Okay, I have to say that I really feel like I’ve entered the 21st century. And since this is my debut, I also feel that it’s important for me to say something entertaining AND profound–no pressure! Well, I suppose I could be trite and spout out a few cliches like “Life is like a box of chocolates,” or “Tomorrow is another day.” But that’s just skirting the real reason why I’m here. So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty before everyone falls asleep.
As a mental health professional, I have the opportunity to vicariously experience hundreds of lives. It’s my job to establish an environment of trust, understanding, and support. Furthermore, confidentiality is BIG. And I totally respect that. After more than four years of clinical work, I’m still blown away by the fact that even though I’m no more than a stranger with a medical degree, the people/clients/patients I work with share their most intimate thoughts, emotions, and secrets. Granted, some are more open than others, but maybe that goes without saying.
In addition to prescribing medications, a lot of what I do includes extrapolating the stories patients tell me in order to reflect the key points back to them in search of a deeper meaning. The flip side is that, as a rule, I do not divulge personal information in return. It’s important to not muddy the therapeutic waters with my own “stuff” because the purpose of counseling is to help the patient. In other words, if they’re thinking about my life and history, they’re not processing their own.
So, why am I writing about this? Let me explain. In my role, I enjoy a certain level of anonymity. My clinical shroud protects me. I present a “blank screen” to my patients so they can see a reflection of themselves. It allows them to identify their blindspots, reveal the things they’d like to change, and delight in their strengths. As a result, the idea of blogging, putting myself out there–on the internet where there’s no protection, no wall, no hiding place–is a challenging one. At the same time, it’s something that I’m excited to embrace.
Before I go, here’s a topic of thought, and hopefully discussion (I welcome your comments!), that I pose to you:
Consider a relationship you’ve been in where you know more about the other person than they know about you. What advantages did you have? What disadvantages? If the “barrier” between you and the other person was removed, how did that change the dynamic of your relationship? Was it for the better? Or for the worse? And–this is totally self-serving–if you were my patient, would you be “wigged out” that you found my blog?!