I cried in session the other day.
To be honest, I thought I would cry more in the therapy sessions I conduct than I actually do. I am a crier by nature. I cry when happy, when sad, when angry, when overwhelmed...you get the gist.
In my first five years as therapist, though, the tears have remained outside of session for the most part. But the other week, I found the tears coming out. They were soft and light, yet they were present.
After the session I reflected on why I cried and why the tears have been minimal over the years. I recognized that my tears arrive when I sense the hopelessness another person has, and I was feeling that in the session.
I often wish all the clients and couples that come my way start therapy and end therapy with me with their desired end goal. That goal is typically for peace, ease, staying married and happy. The reality is that my clients and I do not always get to see that end goal. It's incredibly challegning for me to not reach that end goal with them.
When this happens I sometimes blame myself. I wonder if there was more I could have done, a better technique or skill I could have given or even done better at listening. And, yes, I am sure there is always something more I could do because we can always keep growing and trying. But I, too, am human like my clients.
I do my best to show up to each session prepared, attuned and ready, but I also have days I'm fatigued, my life is distracting me, and I miss the mark.
What is consistent each session is the desire to help my clients, to show them love and safety, and to be with them for the hour we have together.
As those tears came in that session, I recognized the hopelessness in the room, and it hurt. It hurts to see my clients hurting, struggling, desparate and fatigued. It hurts to bear witness to their pain, and it also feels like such an honor to be a person who can hold that space with them.
So while I may not cry in session as often as I thought I would, I do cry outstide of session more. I spend time releasing the emotions I hold and create space for by crying in my own therapy sessions, sweating it out in a workout, or just simply after the session resumes when the camera is off and my clients have gone on their way.
The tears are for me, for you, for everyone who is trying, desiring and seeking relief from pain we encounter in this world.
If you need space to shed those tears, to try and seek relief, and to be seen by another, may I encourage you to reach out? You can work with me or I can help with finding someone for you to work with. Either way, know that your life--your pain--and your desires deserve to have a space to be seen, known and welcomed.