Sunday, June 10, 2012


Other than a minimal concern about navigating the terrain of unknown and previously untried technology, I honestly have no concerns or striking reactions to the prescribed demonstration of counseling skills via video. My experience at residency taping sessions was inspiring and encouraging but for my extensive and surprisingly striking sense of vanity (wishing my overall performance better presented my underlying movie star image!)

Such harsh judgments we render upon ourselves. If there is a similarity between my self-indulgent judgment on my taping session, it is just that - the harshness with which people (and more specifically, new clients) judge themselves when sharing personal intimate secrets. I have been in counseling in the past and I understand the desire to express and resolve my issues and challenges but wishing to present them in a package that did not allude to my possible image of crazy person, idiot, or (God forbid!) helpless, unassertive damsel in distress!

On the other hand, I appreciate the fear of turning one's insides inside out in front of a complete stranger for fear of judgment, even if the harshest of those judgments comes from the internal personal, blown-out- of-proportion and radically injudicious self. It is hard to admit one's own sufferings, personal shortcomings, and inabilities. But it is more. It can be ravaging, tearing from one's core the ability to maintain some semblance of sanity. It is frightening beyond belief. Scary that one is being found out, but worse, that there may not be a conciliatory resolve. There may not be a fix, and once the issues are spoken, there may be a pervading brokenness forever.

The new client may wish to enter the therapeutic relationship with a contractual agreement with the therapist that states as follows:

1. You are not allowed to judge me.

2. Don't tell me I should be better.

3. Don't make me face my inadequacies.

4. Let me pretend everything's okay.

5. Let me be better without working too hard.

6. You must not look too deeply in places I have not yet found the courage to navigate.

7. You must remind me of my hidden beauty because I am afraid it is not there.

8. You must not make me face myself alone.

9. Tell me I'm okay.

10. Help me understand life can be so hard but that doesn't mean I'm a failure.

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