i’m thankful for something i’m learning at work. i’m a great listener and that’s a good asset to me as a therapist. but i’ve come to the realization that listening is not the single most important part of therapy. i have to have the background knowledge and training of course, i have to know what to look for. yes, that’s important, too.
to backtrack, i’ve just been through a phase of feeling kind of incompetent: i’m great at building rapport. people feel accepted by me, they get comfortable, they like being with me. but most people don’t wanna show you their ass, they want you to stroke their egos while they do a super job being a rose-colored representation of themselves. i’m good at the ego stroking, but have felt stuck when trying to figure out what i can do about it.
i’m laughing to myself right now because what i want to say seems so obtuse, so not something that you normally affirm as a good thing. but sometimes, as a therapist, i need to stir the pot, manipulate, mess things up a little bit so i can see why this sweet little carefully crafted mask sitting across from me is really here.
that’s my job. that’s what i’m there for. crazy!
i like when things get interesting. last week i had a father and son who had been the perfect image of family cooperation flip out when i was laughing at the son’s solution to dealing with bullies (“say some yo mama jokes”). and then today i had to whoop this little 9 year old girl’s ass at checkers so she would stop acting like the perfect little angel trying to convince me she didn’t have a dark side that her mom can’t handle. she messed up the board, used verbal trickery and smoke and mirrors to try to convince me that her last move was three moves, and tried to force me to move my king-me blockers so that she could start winning again. she showed me her ass! now we can get somewhere.
i’m starting to remember why this job is awesome!