One of the beautiful things about therapy is the possibility it possesses. I have had the pleasure of witnessing growth right before my eyes as folks come to understand themselves on a deeper level. I am fortunate enough to have highly motivated clients who show up consistently, ready to hit the ground running and offer me the chance to point out incongruencies or patterns of behavior that can help them become better versions of themselves. But I have a secret to share with you—sometimes just showing up to session isn’t enough.
Monet David Blog
I’m back again with my boundary stuff. If you have followed me on this journey of understanding the significance of setting boundaries both personally and professionally, then wait till you get a load of this blog—internal boundaries. Each time I have mentioned this concept in session clients look at me like I have sprouted a third eye. Internal boundaries? Never heard of her. And quite frankly, I hadn’t either until very recently when my mentor took a minute to inform me! So, full disclosure, this mental health professional is right here with you on this part of the journey.
In this late stage capitalist hellscape, you will often hear, “We’re family here!” Which should serve as a giant red flag. Why, you ask? Because work is work. You are there to perform tasks and uphold responsibilities laid forth when you agreed to take the position and really, no more.
One of the first questions I ask a new client..... what is your opinion about medication, and what are your past experiences with medication? Often, clients are open to the idea of pursuing medication to address their symptoms and trust my clinical judgement when referring for medication management. Some clients have bad experiences with medication and let me know that they are reluctant to try again.
Picture it—I stand before you, perfect erect posture, an ornate hat placed upon my head and bedecked in some sort of religious garb. I beckon you to come forth and hear my wise words and you are hypnotized by the image before you. The atmosphere mimics the final scene of that one movie where Bill Murray whispers into Scarlett Johansson’s ear and the audience is none the wiser but desperately wishes they were. This time you get to be privy to information. I gently say to you, “Stop being the therapist friend. It’s not necessary. Just be, like, a good supportive friend.”
The therapeutic relationship is such a fascinating concept to me. I invite you, as my client, to join me, your therapist, in an intimate, vulnerable space with clear set boundaries. It seems like for many clients this is a novel experience. They are typically seeking counseling services to address interpersonal conflicts wrought with enmeshment and boundary violations. In these contexts, therapy can serve as a model for what positive, open relationships can look like in one’s life.
When a parent decides to bring their child to therapy, there are a lot of feelings that accompany that decision. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on parents to be everything for their children—provider, comforter, mentor, etc. So, it is safe to assume that if their child requires professional intervention regarding their emotions or behavior it could feel like an indictment on a parent’s abilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic really turned the mental health world on its head. Not only have rates of mental health issues increased, but therapy completely revamped itself to accommodate for the risks involved in contact between clinician and client. Now that the world is settling a bit, we have had some time to reflect back on the last two years and to explore the research about teletherapy.
Can we talk about gender? I mean, it’s all that’s talked about these days and so it’s not a stretch to ask, but what if we really talked about it? Let’s say your child, your daughter in this example, comes to you and says, “Mom (or Dad or Grandma, you get the picture), I’m not a girl.” How do you react? What does this mean for you? Your family? Is your world turned upside down? It’s a lot to take in. Especially if you haven’t considered what gender means to you. So, let’s do that now.
When I hear the word ‘embodiment’......My eyes roll into the back of my head, and are permanently stuck there. This confession makes me feel like the worst therapist in the entire world.