Friday, 10 June 2016

The eternal student

At school, I was hopeless at physics.  I have a younger sister whose aptitude for the mathematical sciences shone bright and quickly eclipsed my own.  We've both grown up.  School grades and exam marks matter very little to either of us now.  Today she uses her talents for the benefits of her patients.  And I endeavour to use my own for those I work with.

Physics notwithstanding, I was ever an enthusiastic learner.  And in this respect, I am well suited to my profession.  As a therapist, it is both a pleasure and a duty to continue to learn.  Einstein is said to have been the first to say that the more we learn, the less we know.  This is certainly my experience.  And, in the therapy room at least, not knowing is important.  

What know what we are but not what we may be. 
 ~ Ophelia, in Hamlet

My clients are my teachers, as well as their own.  Whilst I have skills, and training at my disposal, I am anything but the expert.  Therapy is the dedicated opportunity to explore one's own experience.  

I stand alongside my clients, and offer them a lens through which to observe that which they describe, but herein lies an often misunderstood fact:  a therapist serves the client by creating and holding the space in which they do their own work.

As a therapist, it is my responsibility to continue to work on myself.  This is where ongoing training comes into play, alongside my own therapy and supervision.  I doubt I will ever develop a mastery for physics.  Beyond the swimming pool, it has little relevance for me today.  The things that I will continue to explore, and keep abreast of are those things that I find most useful in the therapy room.  

Much learning does not teach us understanding. 
~ Heraclitus