A letter from your therapist.
Today, I am changing things up. Today, I am going to describe to you what it is like to sit across from you and share things that we never talk about outside my four walls. Things that happen in the room when you and I are together....the hard stuff, the joyful events...the heavy concerns that you have to carry with you.
But before we start, let me tell you about myself. If you give me any personality test (literally any), the thing that will consistently show up is that I am the helper. I care. I am empathetic. I understand. I can literally feel what you feel. And as a therapist, it is my greatest gift that this is who I am to my core.
I genuinely feel that my purpose in life is to help you heal, grow, and face the demons and hardships that life throws at you. And, it is my greatest pride that I can do these things and help carry your burden. It can also be my greatest weakness.
As I write you this letter--I do so with tears. Your burdens are not too heavy for me to bear…. However, your sorrow hurts my heart. You don't deserve this grief, no one does. The amazing thing, though… despite the hardship and sadness I see, is that I believe in you. I believe in change and believe in the incredible peace that comes with healing.
But, client, I need to also talk about you. There are times when I leave my day of sessions, and I am speechless. I listen to what you say, what you feel, what you think, and I am so amazed by you. I am astonished at your strength. I am humbled by your walk and your fight. There are also days… when I come home and cry. Because your journey hurts. Your journey sucks. Your bravery through the trials you face makes me so overwhelmed, and it is hard for other people in my life to understand.
I am so honored to help you carry your pain. I know it’s a load that I can bear when it feels too heavy for you. I know it’s a weight I can take when it feels like everyone else in your life doesn't understand. Your bravery in allowing me to share your burden floors me.
Client, there are days when I leave the office angry. I am livid at what the world forces you to endure. When your parents, friends, classmates, and strangers cause pain in your life. When they betray you, break your trust, bring shame into your life. I am furious.. You do not deserve that. AND, yet in these same moments of anger, I feel pride. Because you are fighting. Because you don't want to carry the hurt anymore. Because your strength makes you face each day. Client, I want you to know that it is truly the most extraordinary thing to sit across the room from you and see you. See you for who you really are. To be the person you trust and feel safe with. To not judge you… like so many other people do. To be the person you confide in... The person you share your joys with, but also the most intimate secrets and sadness. To be the person who gets to see you come into your own through healing. I am astonished by you.
So, client, I want to say thank you. Thank you for fighting. Thank you for trusting. Thank you for being you. Thank you for your courage and your resolve. Thank you for the days when you feel like giving up…and you don’t. And, thank you for believing in me (or trying) when I say I see a light at the end of the tunnel for you.
Thank you for giving me a purpose in my life. You are so resilient and amazing, and I am blessed to be able to walk next to you in your journey.
-Brittany Harp, MA LPC