I can remember sitting on the bench outside of the therapist office. Patiently waiting to be called, yet sweating profusely – full of anxiety and uncertainty. I immediately began to contemplate whether I should stay or walk away. What would my family think if I was here? What would my coach think if I was here? What will the therapist ask me? What do I have to tell the therapist? Do I need to be here or is there another option? I quickly grabbed my bag and stood up- there was a sudden moment when I thought… “stay”- I was so desperate to feel better. I shook my head and started to walk away. I heard the door open and my name was called. “Sarafina?” The therapist smiled, and asked me if I was ready. I turned towards her and followed her into her office. There was large couch and I sat on the right of it holding all of my belongs. My throat was choked up and I felt like I was swallowing cotton. The session began – What brings you in today? A flood of tears came pouring down from my face.
I will never forget my first therapy session, as it was probably the most frightening adult conversation I have ever had. I share this moment because it is necessary for the therapist to understand the vulnerability of a client, and the strength it takes for one to enter into a therapeutic relationship. People do not usually participate in therapy unless there is an internal problem they can no longer handle on their own. The role of the therapist is to understand the etiology of the presenting problem and work with the client to discover ways of processing and handling it.
With Intention, Sarafina