As a psychotherapist, I am trained to help people feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Crying, long periods of silence, anger outbursts, lying and denying problems are all part of the therapy session from time to time. It is to be expected and anticipated as a therapist. No one comes to see me when their life is going well… they only come when things are challenging. And, they usually come once they have tried everything their best friend or Dr. Google has suggested. Then, they call me when they are really desperate. And that is okay. I welcome that first call when someone reaches out in despair. It might seem odd, but, from my perspective, I see this as the first step in their healing journey and transformation process, and so, I welcome it.
Discernment is defined as the ability to judge well. This is a beautiful and simple definition of an elegant term. It is clear and precise. It is impossible to be confused about what it means to use discernment with a definition like this. However, when your marriage or partnership is on the rocks, you will feel anything but clear and precise about the unspoken decisions you need to make.
As a psychotherapist and certified life coach I have accompanied many people on their journeys through the messiness of life. Some people reach out to me in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy while others wait decades to seek healing from childhood atrocities. I always aim to be present, empathetic, and supportive to my clients no matter what they are facing. Like many helpers and healers, I am a wounded healer, so relating to people in the depths of despair is quite natural for me. However, as I observe the events around racial and social injustices in America unfold, I find myself at a loss for words and understanding.
It usually starts like this, “I don’t know if I need a therapist… actually, I am not sure what therapy is but my friend suggested I call you. I have never had a problem that I could not handle myself before this thing happened. But now I can barely concentrate, I am not sleeping well, and I am constantly yelling at my kids… can you help me?”