Category: Personal Development

I Absolve You For Being Human

“I absolve you for being human!” That’s what my friend said to me when I told her of my mistake. “I absolve you for being human,” and then she added, “And you could absolve yourself, too!”

I try hard to get it right. I had tried hard for about 20 minutes to avoid this particular mistake, and I thought I had, but then someone pointed out to me that the very thing I had been trying to avoid had manifested just as I secretly feared it would.

I wonder if the fear of being judged for getting it wrong (especially in public) holds back many practitioners from putting themselves out there and making themselves more visible to potential clients. I know the idea is to stay hidden under the veil of being “the blank screen” onto which clients can project their view of the world, and so bring out their transference. But maybe there’s just a teensy little bit of fear that we might be seen as ordinary people; and then the truth would be out that we are really no different from those normal, mistake making mortals to whom we offer our help. If clients saw us in our true colours, if they knew how much of a mess we really are behind the role of the therapist, behind that convenient blank screen, maybe they wouldn’t be so quick to catch hold of the hope that we can offer them something more.

When that kind person brought to my attention that I had made a mistake, I immediately thought, “See, that’s what happens when you put yourself out there.” And the part of me that wants to live my life from the safety of the broom closet had her moment of victorious righteousness. But there’s a bigger, braver part of me that knows that that safety is an illusion. The bigger, braver part of me knows the truth of the saying, “It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” And that goes whether it’s love of another human being, or love of the enormous abundance of the world we inhabit.

So when my friend said, “I absolve you for being human,” it really hit home. The gift of humanity is that we always have a choice. We get to decide what we want. And I want more than brooms and dust pans. So I thanked her for her gift, and closed the door of the broom closet behind me as I left.

Our Time is Up!

Setting and holding firm boundaries is an important aspect of self care. It helps us to mind ourselves in the work, and reminds us that our needs are important too. It is also an important aspect of modelling for our clients. An ability to set and hold boundaries is an important skill in the business of having a therapy practice too, as it gives some priority to the therapist’s needs as well as the clients. If we can’t hold to the contracts we make, with ourselves and with others, we will find it difficult to earn a living as a therapist.

Time business concept.One place in which these boundaries arise is in relation to time. A colleague told me recently of her difficulty getting one particular client to leave at the end of their sessions. She had raised the issue several times with the client, and in supervision, but nothing seemed to work.

What would you do? Read more

Have You Enough Support for Your Business?

I was a bit taken aback when a colleague suggested to me during the week that what I was really looking for was support. After all, I teach this stuff, don’t I? As a therapist, I provide support for my clients, usually emotional support, and sometimes the more practical support of looking at resourcing or problem solving. In this role, I write and teach others about the business of therapy. Need support? Moi?

As you can guess from my reaction, I can be touchy about allowing others to support me. Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I am independent, self-sufficient and like to be able to fend for myself in all situations. I hate it when there’s something I can’t do! Needing support conjures up shame for me, and that’s not a place I like to visit unless I have to.

supportNow in general, this independence is a very useful trait. If something needs doing, and I think I have any chance of doing it myself, I’ll have a go. I can do many things well, and a few things really, really well. I’m enthusiastic and willing. I’m what Jane Austen refers to as an ‘active, useful sort of person[1]. As a result, I have skills and abilities galore. But there’s one thing I can’t do for myself no matter how hard I try.

I can’t see my own blind spots. And a major blind spot for me is that I get caught between those twin horns of wanting to sort things out for myself on the one hand, and being a therapist on the other. Read more

Setting up a Private Practice

Are you thinking of starting your own practice as a counsellor or psychotherapist? This workshop will help you get off the ground.

Looking at the practical issues related to setting up a private professional practice such as

  • Clarifying the type of practice you would like to create
  • Exploring the services you might provide, and the clients you might like to attract
  • Looking at how to market your services
  • Understanding what is needed to start a business

this workshop is an opportunity to spend some time networking with other health professionals while you learn from experienced professionals who have done it before you.

A one day workshop  presented by Jude Fay MIAHIP MIACP and Dr Genevieve Becker.

Date: Autumn 2013

Venue: Dublin West

Time: 9.30 to 4.30

Read more…