I met this other therapist about 7 years ago. It was a brief meeting, and one I recall holding a bit of tension as we disagreed on several aspects of mental health. We haven’t spoken since, to no fault of either party. This past week I was asking a local referral network for some suggestions about a client I needed to refer. The therapist I mentioned above responded with some helpful advice and referrals. I thanked her for her response and reminded her we’d once met many years ago.
Her reply was great: “Thank you so much for remembering me!” I doubt she remembered the tension we shared, instead she was grateful that I knew who she was.
People don’t remember what you say to them, but they do remember how you make them feel. This shows up in the therapeutic relationship with our clients. I’ve been in my own therapy several times and there are very few words that I can remember my therapist saying to me, but I can describe in vivid detail how it is that I feel when I am with him. When starting your practice, don’t let your anxiety get in the way of providing a safe healing environment for your clients. They most likely won’t remember much of what you say to them, but they will remember how they felt in your office.
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