It’s natural to sit across from the person who knows the deep corners of you, a person who is mostly a stranger to you, and wonder what they’re really thinking. This is especially true if you’ve opened up something particularly vulnerable, something that’s shameful, or something you haven’t shared with anyone else. As a therapist, I can confirm that when you are sitting in front of us, we are always thinking about you and always listening, even to the things you don’t say. And since I’ve been asked so many times, here is a short list of some of the things we really think, because I think you deserve to know what goes on in our heads too.
1. What you’re feeling is ok and we’re going to get through this.
2. You are way too hard on yourself.
3. You deserve so much more than you’ve gotten from others.
4. You are not damaged/broken/crazy even though you think you are.
5. You are so worthy of love.
6. I wish you could see the strong/brave/beautiful person I see.
7. Your trauma is not shameful.
8. The abuse you endured is not your fault. Ever. And nothing you can say will make me change my mind.
9. You have so much inside of you to offer. I wish you would show that to the world.
10. I’m not going to judge what you share with me. I will always seek to understand your experience.
11. There’s very little you can tell me that will shock me.
12. It’s ok to cry. It doesn’t make me uncomfortable, and that’s why there are tissues.
13. Being in therapy is incredibly difficult and it takes a strong person to be this honest.
14. I am a human and I feel things with you sometimes. But I can handle my emotions and I can handle yours too.
15. I am so deeply humbled and honored to get to hear your story and be a part of your journey. This is more than just a job to me.