Thursday, August 11, 2011

Appropriate Intimacy...

I've been fortunate enough in my career to be sought out and successful with providing therapy to others. My colleagues often ask what is it that I do to have clients come back time after time, making sure that I don't miss our appointments, etc.


The answer that keeps coming up is that I'm able to create appropriate intimacy with the client, so much so that the client is able to open up freely, feeling comfortable and trusting of the relationship we have established. I interact with others from a place of complete trust in the process, in taking care of myself, and in the fundamental truth that I believe is at the core of who I am and who all human beings are - worthwhile.

Saying to someone, "You matter", has created a whole host of responses from my clients. Most of the responses center around the inability of the person to allow this statement to be true for him or her. He looks away quickly when I say these words, unable to let it be true.

But it is true. It's true for each and every one of us funny, unique creatures. Allowing it to be true, considering it to be true, working on letting our inner truth change or alter to have it be true (for us) is what I work on with my clients. "You matter" is the foundation from which all the other work gets created.

When Melinda first heard these words she looked away quicker than I had ever seen anyone look away from my eyes before. She was sure that this was not true, that God (or some force she had no control over) had let her go through so many horrible experiences that she was sure she didn't matter anymore...or, better yet, that she never did matter. My introduction to her that she indeed did matter sent her in a direction she had never considered, and, at first, flat-out rejected.

It took time, but slowly, ever so gently, she came around. Now, with little prompting, she can say it back to me. She has begun her path toward validating how she feels, what she thinks, and understanding that although she cannot control others, and sometimes things happen out of our control, she can control how she responds to it, and she can take care of matter what.

With appropriate intimacy we work on these matters...plunging through the negative self-doubt and reproaching tendencies, all the way to the place of feeling better about ones-self...feeling good about who you are...and finally embracing that you, you are worth taking care of...and with some work and a little know how to do just that...because you're beginning to see that you really are worthwhile.

What do you need to do to feel good about YOU? I'm not talking about seeking pleasure...those are usually only distractions from the shameful feeling that you are not worthwhile. Instead, what can you say, do, or think that will make you feel good about YOU?