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To the Therapist Who Sees Me Not Just as a Client, but as a Person

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For 13 years of my life, therapy was painful and the worst part of my week. I didn’t like the concept of telling my story to a stranger. Between the ages of 8 through 21, I saw six different therapists before I found you. I knew how to manipulate my therapy sessions, telling each one what I knew they wanted to hear. I figured if I told them what they wanted to hear, then I’d be able to get out of there sooner.

Other times, they would ask me questions and I would refuse to answer. They would sit across from me in their chair with their notepad, writing down everything I said, even when I said nothing. I was treated like I was broken and they were the masters at repairing. Because of this, I stopped therapy for good.

I was never ready for therapy and I was never ready to be vulnerable until I found you. The one hour each week you’ve given me has changed my life for the better. Before you, I was closed off. I was so angry at my dad for his suicide and all of the pain it caused me. I spent so much energy on being angry and avoiding my other issues because I didn’t think I could get better. I didn’t think there was any possible solution to this tragedy.

To say you are my saving grace doesn’t cut it. You’re so much more than that to me. You say I give you too much credit because I’m doing the work, but I want you to know the reason I want to do the work is because of you. I know I need to give myself more credit, but I think you deserve just as much. Not many people can do your job and excel at it. Your passion, grace and empathetic nature exudes through every word you say. You care about me not just as a client, but as a person.

When my mind is racing and I feel like I’m sinking, you’re there. You’ve shown me how to put myself first. You get me, and I know when I need someone you’re there. You’ve cried with me. You’ve laughed with me, but most of all, you’ve heard me. For so much of my life, I just needed someone to hear me, to understand me, to just “get it,” and you have.

So many people have questioned my progress, but the only person who needs to see my progress is me. I have climbed mountains since I started seeing you. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to others. For being incredible at your job. For being authentic.

You’re so much more than my therapist. You’re my confidante, my compass and the person I feel like I can change the world with. Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” For me, you’ve been that change. Thank you for inspiring me every single day.

Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: August 22, 2016
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