An Ode to Therapy
Therapy as a Mediation Practice
As I was contemplating my day of seeing clients, it hit me—therapy is my meditation practice.
It is never as easy to be in the present moment as when I am sitting with a client.
I’ve had others tell me this. When I first started my private practice, the oh-so-present Jinny Tesik said “sometimes my clients ask ‘what do you think?’ and it takes me awhile to answer. I have just been listening, not forming my response.”
I did not get what she was saying. Instead I thought “how in the world is that possible?”
I have an abundantly active mind. I used to have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). Being in the present moment used to put me to sleep. I partially credit my 20+ year meditation practice for helping me get off medication and be able to sit still.
A couple years ago when I joined a consult group, we were sitting in my colleague Terry Steig’s, office on a cloudy Friday morning, eating pastries and drinking tea. Since it was my first time with the group, we all shared why we chose to become therapists. Terry, a man of great kindness and humanity shared “For me, therapy is sacred space, and I like to sit in sacred space a LOT.”
By this time, I had decade of experience and I immediately felt the truth of his statement.
Today, I was talking to a client about expanding his meditation practice—taking it to a deeper level. That conversation is likely why my realization hit me. Being in the presence of my clients, simply attending to what they choose to share, is a deeper meditation than my solitary sit with incense.
I finally realized what Jinny shared more than a decade ago. The experience of another human being sharing their life and allowing me to witness their vulnerability, brings me into the sacredness of being present with another human being.
This is why, when a client thanks me for working with them, I can honestly say “it is my pleasure.”