For those with a fascination for the therapy profession and therapy experience as a client…this article is worth reading. I particularly love the encouragement for clinicians to be in a consultation group (which I have been for years) , to survey our effectiveness with clients (we have done this at Jill Smith and Associates, but need to re-up our efforts), and, finally, the call to videotape and review our sessions and show our work to colleagues for feedback to improve. Thank you to all my individuals and couples who have given me written permission to videotape sessions so that I may do just that–review our time together and therefore, hopefully, continue to improve my effectiveness.
Patient: My cousin died last year. He and I grew up together, hanging out on hot summer days, getting into trouble, fishin. Drank our first beer together. He died last year. Did I already say that? It about killed me. We were the same age. He had colon cancer. And [tears start streaming] his wife. She, well, she loved him. She was crushed. She wrote a paper that his buddy read at his funeral. She said she enjoyed everyday with him. That he was her best friend. That being with him gave her true joy. She was so lucky she found it. That’s what she wrote. I cried when I heard that. I cried like a baby. And I still cry when I think about that because…because. I want that. I want what they had.
JS: You want what they had. And thinking about that makes you cry.
Patient: Yes. Cause I’m pretty sure I’m gonna die without that.
JS She loved him and she felt he loved her in return.
Patient: And if my relationship with Rachel doesn’t work out, I’m never gonna find that with another person. I’m out of time.
JS: You are here, crying and talking to me. You are alive. It feels from where I sit, that you have the gift of time.
Patient: What good is time if you don’t have your partner.
JS: Time is allowing you to find that love you crave. You may have already found it.
Patient: No. We aren’t there. We aren’t even close. She is always out just of reach. Aloof.
JS : But yet you stay with her year after year. And she stays with you. Do the two of you have your own “thing?” Is someone else telling their therapist right now “I want what they have?”
I love to use analogies and metaphors in sessions. Allegories, too.
Hands down, my favorite, for many years is the hula hoop. Yes, the simple childhood toy. The same one. THAT hula hoop. Hereafter referred to as HH
Imagine a world where everyone has a HH permanently affixed around their bodies. It just hovers there in space…around every single person. Including you.
Let the HH represent a guide to healthy living. A guide to healthy boundaries.
The HH fits perfectly around each person. Not too tight. Not too loose. But inside each HH there is room for only one person—no one else.
Within your HH is ALL you have control over.
Your actions. Your beliefs. Your hopes. Your plans. Your desires. Your decisions. And your voice: Your ability to ask others…in their HH for what you need from them.
This metaphor the foundation of HH Thinking.. .and freedom from heartache and stress.
Much more on the view from the HH to come…