Being Where You Are.

Being Where You Are.

I often come across the misconception that as a therapist I give a lot of advice. I do a lot of listening. Usually in my sessions I talk far less than my clients.  Even though I do have and use different interventions and strategies, I am still a little surprised when people end our time together and say that it was just being here, just talking, that helped. I’d like to think it was something fancier that I did. It reminds me that usually people don’t need to be told what to do, how to get better, or what is wrong with their situation. Often they already know this. What people don’t have is someone that fully listens to them, that meets them where they are, that is just there with them.

In social settings lately I have been involved in several conversations about helping people who are facing severe trials and hardships. I  think our Midwestern, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mentality takes over and we try to think about what we can do, what we should say, or how we should help. Yet when the hard side of life comes to the door of a loved one, we come to the humbling realization that there is not a lot you can do to change it in the short run. So what we can do is just be with them, to sit and listen, or just to sit. To allow them to be where they are. 

I think we might be more helpful if we resist to urge to help by doing something and help by just being with someone. 


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