When I tell people I am a therapist with specialties in trauma and substance abuse, they tend to respond with worried looks -- crinkled brows and faces full of concern. They say things like, “Wow that must be really hard!” or “I can’t imagine doing that -- it sounds so depressing!”
I suspect that they think that it is heartbreaking and demoralizing to hear of people's painful histories and current difficulties.
Yes, the people that I work with are facing challenging, distressing circumstances and histories, but I am blessed with a job in which people open up to me in the midst of their struggles. They share their truths and fears and their steps toward change.
I am allowed to know their experiences, past and present, pain and, yes, suffering.
But it is an honor not a burden to be given this trust.
I get to know the people I work with in a profoundly meaningful way. I see their strengths, resilience, heroism and humanity.
Collaborative therapy, along with 12 Step meetings and sponsorship for addiction, can
support decreasing shame and isolation, increase coping skills and strategies and provide a blueprint for a healthier, happier, more centered life.
When clients work on all of the different aspects of their life — psychological, emotional, spiritual, relational and physical — healing happens.
I see people at their “rock bottom” make incredible strides. Not only does their suffering decrease, but peace and joy follow. And I get to be a part of the process. The work I do is absolutely soul filling. So, maybe, the next time someone you know says they specialize in helping people with substance abuse or trauma, you can say, “Wow, aren't you lucky.”