Hello world! Welcome to My First Blog Ever!

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?!


5 comments on “Hello world! Welcome to My First Blog Ever!

  1. marylindsey says:

    Lovely post. Congrats on your shiny new blog. Ooooo happy dance. I’m your first ever comment.

  2. Hi Ms. Diamond! Welcome to the Blogosphere!

    Very nicely written. I’m off to figure out out to add you to my Google Reader. 🙂

  3. philangelus says:

    I’ve found that in most cases where I knew more about the other person than they knew about me (my children excluded) it was because the other person honestly didn’t care about me. She (they’ve all been female) in those cases cared about making herself heard,and it didn’t matter to her who it was on the other end listening. When I asserted myself, talked about what I wanted, or just cut off the monologuing, the relationship changed in that the other person then sought out another sounding board.

    I was in the reverse situation where someone knew more about me than I did, but more because of the dynamics and the fact that the other person didn’t share than because I didn’t want to know. I did. And once I did begin learning some of the things that had been kept hidden, it made a LOT of things a lot easier to understand, and it was like a relief, knowing more of the true person there, and even though the other person had hidden things for fear they might cause rejection, I found them to be really impressive and special.

    I did have a therapist for my son once who found out that I’d lost a baby and then proceeded to use our sessions to talk to me about her miscarriage. That didn’t wig me out, but it annoyed me. If she’s going to get therapy from me, she needed to be paying me for it! 🙂

  4. lbdiamond says:

    Thank you for the warm welcome!!

    Philangelus, looks like you’ve seen multiple sides of the dyadic (two-person) relationship. On the one hand, you can definitely know too much about the other person without the opportunity to share yourself. And on the other, the person may know more about you simply because they are more guarded about themselves. I agree, when I learn more about the other person, I do find very interesting and rewarding things and it usually helps to strengthen the relationship. In therapy, the “blank slate” stance of the therapist can be disconcerting. This does come up in therapy frequently. On the flip side–and quite unfortunately for you–it sounds like your therapist spilled too much of herself. It’s a fine line to tread between sharing for the sake of connection with another human being, versus sharing and dumping too much information on the listener.

  5. philangelus says:

    She wasn’t even supposed to be working with me — she was supposed to be working with my three year old! LOL!

    I’m currently working with a spiritual director, and she definitely knows more about me than I know about her. I know enough to trust her, but beyond that, she hasn’t shared much. But I don’t view that as a friendship because it’s a functional relationship.

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