Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back in the Therapist Mode

I never thought I’d say this, but I think I may be ready to re-enter the counseling profession. An interaction today reminded me why I wanted to pursue psychology as a child. I like helping people. The following conversation showed me how God has provided me with all I need to be a good clinician (now that my own depression is under control).

In a meeting with a lady who knows me only by name, having no idea I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a lifelong history of major clinical depression:

Me: Was your Christmas okay?
Her: Yea, I just have no motivation.
Me: Are you depressed?
Her: I don’t think so. I don’t have any reason to be depressed.
Me: Don’t you hate when people ask you what is wrong when you don’t know? Like you’re sad but don’t have any reason to be sad?
Her: YES! That is exactly how I feel! I’ve been staying in bed and drinking a lot. I don’t know why… maybe I need to get out and be social, be with people…
Me: But it depends on the people… some people just want you to ‘snap out of it’, and that makes you feel worse!
Her eyes welled with tears: “Exactly! Oh my gosh! You know exactly how I feel!”

I felt God tell me to keep it about her, and this was not a time for self-disclosure. Just be there, listen, and not judge. Honestly, it was easy. I simply responded to her as Jesus responds to me when I am hurting.

I’m ready to use what He has given me to serve His people.

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