Ever since my first psychology class in high school, I knew that being a therapist was it for me. Don’t get me wrong, as I continued my journey to becoming a therapist, I learned that what I learned in our traditional psych 101 was not even 5% of what being a therapist is about. Being an associate, I’ve already gained so much knowledge having worked in two very different private practices. There was fear during my educational career because I did invest everything into the MFT path with very minimal experience in doing therapy. Today, I knew I made the right decision and here’s why!
1) Learning from each one of my clients everyday
Having worked in two very different practices has allowed me to serve a wide range of clientele. Because of this, I am continuously learning which issues I may gravitate to more and where I may need more consultation. Working with different clients exposes me to different values, cultural practices, sexual/gender identity, occupations, and trauma. Everyday, I am amazed to be able to come away from sessions with new depths of knowledge about the world. Not only do I learn about how these amazing people navigate through the world, I learn little by little about how the world around them operates differently than mine.
2) Seeing their hard work translate into growth
Seeing where my clients are today in comparison to where they were when I first met them is one of the most amazing things I’ve experienced not just professionally but personally. The level of self-awareness and confidence that starts to build is incredible. Working on ourselves is one of the hardest jobs in the world that is often overlooked, but I am fortunate to be in a career where I get to see the importance of it. It is not only heartwarming to witness but it is also empowering for my own healing journey.
3) Connecting and empathizing w/ my clients but still being able to maintain personal boundaries
Being in this career truly forces me to constantly check myself, continue building my awareness, continue practicing cultural humility and good self-care. I have to make sure that by the time the next hour comes that I am good because I know some of the weight that my clients carry will need to be held by me. Being able to uphold my personal boundaries after hearing my clients traumatic experiences is difficult but many times healing. Sometimes even fighting the urge to provide my clients an easy “fix” but instead practicing patience to sit with them and allow their stories to be told. This is part of the job that allows me to be more present and provides clarity about ‘my stuff’ versus what’s theirs.
4) Having a career where everyday consists of meaningful conversations with others
This part keeps my work engaging. These meaningful conversations allow me and the client to build communication and use our interpersonal skills. It allows room for more self-reflection and creativity. It also allows clients the opportunity to talk about things they don’t usually get to talk about or focus on but that are crucial to their overall health.
5) Laughing w/ my clients
This is #1 favorite thing about my job. The humor that me and my clients share during our hours together. It’s a sweet reminder that therapy isn’t always heavy for both the client and the therapist.
I’m glad for this opportunity to share a bit about my experiences and I look forward to expanding my list as I continue on my therapist journey.