Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What does the therapist do

when she's depressed? Well, there are all the wise and effective tools I teach my clients. I start by reminding myself that taking care of my physical health is the first step to managing emotional turmoil.

Have I been getting enough sleep? A really good question for me because I am not going to bed early enough to get as much sleep as I need. And then I ask my client: what's getting in the way of getting the sleep you must have in order to do the work you want to do? How come I can say all these smart words to my client and then not listen to them for myself? While that is a good question for myself, the real issue is that I am not listening to myself.

How can I be so smart for everyone else and not apply it to myself? It is so hard to change the way I behave. Isn't that the bottom line at this moment on my getting beyond these feelings of sadness, and in the big picture, isn't that exactly why getting better, (for any of my clients) is so tough. The benefit of experiencing my own bout with sadness is that I can more effectively teach my clients the simple and often effective tools for getting rid of the depression.

Now (to me) simply breathe. Fix some of that nice veggie soup you made and watch a little mindless TV and GET SOME SLEEP.

Breathe. It will all work out in whatever fashion it works out.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

She's quiting. Again

That's what happens with my clients. It's hard work. They begin to feel a little stronger, better and even begin to experience a little joy and then life rears it's ugly head and it all feels too much. The desire to shop - not a little nickel dime shopping but some big thousand dollar splurges - or the urge to do some type of self harm - cut or burn - or the desire to break the three month sobriety all become overwhelming.

All of which is part of the process of getting better. Those urges will be there AND in order to continue the healing process my clients MUST sit with that awful feeling. The wonderful part of sitting with that awful urge is that they do survive the urge. Even when it is at its strongest and most painful, the client can choose to maintain her/his sobriety or her abstinence from the harmful behavior.

She or he is stronger for having sat with the urge and has even earned the right to be very proud of her or him self for taking such good care. Getting better is not easy and is not pain-free, but it can be very freeing and the client learns how to be proud of him/herself for such healthy behavior. Oh, yes, she got through that urge to break her sobriety and kept her next appointment.