“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it” – Helen Keller
As a therapist who has worked extensively with survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, military sexual trauma, and rape, I can fully attest to what this quote is stating. I find it an honor to be able to sit alongside my clients as they navigate what life has dealt them and learn to, not just cope with it, but overcome it.
A common theme I have encountered in my work is that regardless of what brings a client into therapy, there is always an underlying belief about themselves that keeps their symptoms intact. They may know better than to believe it’s true, but they still feel it. As a therapist trained in EMDR, my goal is to identify that belief and target it. What is the source of it? Why does it keep popping up? How did this belief protect you?
I believe that people don’t develop habits or ways of viewing the world that didn’t, at least at some point, serve and/or protect them. Oftentimes, what once was previously beneficial becomes the reason someone seeks services, because it’s no longer helpful or needed. Perhaps before you avoided attending social events because you wanted to avoid being bullied as a child, but now as an adult you feel isolated and lonely. Maybe you grew up with extremely strict parents and learned to give into whatever they wanted to avoid punishment, but now as an adult you feel as though everyone takes advantage of you. I promise that whatever it is, you are not “broken” or “crazy”, and we will figure out what it is, why it’s not “bad”, and learn how to address things differently in the future.
In my personal time I enjoy traveling (pre-COVID). For me, traveling is all about exploring and learning new cultures. I enjoy seeing the world through other people’s eyes. I believe this is something I use every day as a therapist. I’m a curious person and I never want to just learn what your symptoms are, but why they are there. What caused them? What triggers them? How can we even work with them rather than against them? I want my clients to learn to be curious about themselves because you can’t fix what you don’t understand, and most of the time, when you understand yourself, you can have more self-compassion.