grief & loss
on being a therapist
my child within
taming the mind
spam of the mind
basic human rights
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Carl Benedict Reflects On Being a Therapist
Meeting a client for the first time is a moment of privilege, honor, wonder, and humility. Clients do not arrive to discuss the weather or sports even though sessions sometimes begin with such talk. Rather, clients come for help in solving problems of life, and in the process they usually open their souls to a complete stranger, who happens to be me.
I join clients in life's most profound moments as they share with me their struggles to create meaning and purpose out of an existence that is frequently scary, always difficult, and sometimes brutal. On a daily basis I hear stories of incredible loss, terrible misfortune, and immense cruelty, but clients bring more to our sessions than their sad experiences.
People often ask how can I listen to such "depressing" stories all day long. My response is that I don't because, in fact, what I am actually witnessing is the strength and resiliency of the human spirit, often in the face of overwhelming odds. To play a small role in such meaningful journeys is an awesome privilege that humbles me. To be allowed to witness in such an intimate setting the healing and growth that takes place in the lives of my clients is immensely rewarding.
I am truly challenged by my clients in ways I never imaged in graduate school when I thought being a therapist was simply helping clients. I didn't realize that clients would also be helping me. For example, their courage inspires me to be a better husband, father, son, and therapist. Their tenacity forces me to look at my own complacency. Their hardships challenge me to take nothing for granted since one's fortune can change in the blink of an eye.
I am grateful to my clients for allowing me the honor and privilege of playing a small role in their journeys to healing and personal growth. I am grateful to them for inspiring me to take a closer look at my own choices in life. I've learned much from my clients, and for that I offer my gratitude.
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Text and photos by Carl Benedict except where noted
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everything recurring 'til we answer from within."