I ask my clients to fill out an exit survey that tells me what worked for them, what can make things better for future clients, and what they’d like you to know if you haven’t worked with me! I also ask permission to share things they tell me all throughout the work: Early, midway through the process, and afterward. Here are some of their words.
“I was beyond burnt out on therapy before I met you, and never would have come to see you if we hadn’t met by chance. But I’m so glad I did meet with you, because you changed my idea of therapy, and showed me that I’m not just a ‘set of symptoms,’ and that there are things that can help me. I finally know how to keep my peace instead of going into a rage. I never would have thought this was possible before we met!”
When I first came to see you, I thought I needed help just to manage stress or something. I’m realizing now that it’s so much cooler than that: This is really all about finding who I am and claiming my voice and my independence. My goals are changing, and I’m really excited to be discovering how happy I can really be!”
“The tools you showed me helped me to feel less guarded and defensive right away, and my boss noticed how much more open to feedback I was. It feels good to be able to take in feedback without feeling threatened by it. There is a visualization you taught me that really helps, and the visual is automatically there for me whenever I need it, helping me to feel safe.”
“My family members knew I needed help, but were afraid to even bring up therapy as a possibility to me. But finally, they did, and I came to see you. Your approach and our work together has flipped my idea of therapy upside-down—in a good way!”
Finding Safety in Therapy
“I know it’s safe in here because your words, your posture, your laugh—they all tell me it’s really okay to bring all of me here. It’s a sense of safety I’ve needed for a long time.”
“I thought therapy would make me very emotional since so much bad stuff has happened to me, and I thought it would be hard to go to work after. Now that I see how we work and how I feel after our sessions, I know I can schedule my counseling on lunch breaks.”
“I suddenly had this epiphany—this realization—that most people are safe. Most people mean well. I hadn’t felt that before. I’d always been on guard without even knowing it.”
“This therapy is so different and so much more interactive than I’ve experienced before. I knew I couldn’t handle a counselor who would ‘just listen,’ and that I needed input and to see someone respond to me like a real person. You do that!”
“My partner and I got into an argument again, but I was able to calm down so much more quickly and speak so that he could hear me. He said this is the first time he’s seen me so at ease, and it’s so much easier for us to talk! He says there’s a softer quality in me these days, that he can see it in my eyes.”
“I can’t believe how much easier it is for me now. I can get through the day without crying. I can go to work. I can talk to people. I haven’t felt this good in a long, long time!”
“My boss criticized something I did, and before, I would have just shut down and felt angry at her—and like a failure inside. This time, I saw her feedback as a true gift, and I was able to take it in and make real improvements. She noticed the difference!”
“I felt great actually (after our session) and was able to focus throughout the day and get work done. Also, I had no idea it was possible to be talked down from an almost manic episode, so I am hopeful that I’ll learn how to talk myself down instead of needing you to do it. Just knowing that level of control is possible really helps. My mood is up, but not manic. That entire experience felt like a bit of a turning point, now that I know from experience that it is possible to take control of mood/emotions, there is light at the end of this damned tunnel.”
“Your words and the way you said them stayed with me all week. I was able to reconnect with myself and feel a compassion I haven’t felt before.As soon as I started working with you, I felt like I could finally relax, like I was safe. For the first time in a long time, I was able to get a good nap and a good night’s rest.”
“I used to feel like I needed other people to take care of me, and I felt so desperate. It was a need that never felt like it eased up, and I had parts inside that wouldn’t work together. Now, it’s like the parts are along with me, and we’re working together. I feel like I can take care of myself now, like I have support from inside.”
Your ability to sense the tiniest, smallest changes in my posture, eyes, breath, body language, etc. etc. Your incredible perception, coupled with your gentleness and softness was SO powerful and welcoming for me. You helped me become aware of what I was REALLY feeling and thinking by your observations and voice that spoke into what my body was conveying. This was HUGE for me because I had become so good at “flying over the radar” with people because of my advanced social skills. I felt I couldn’t hide anything from you, and I didn’t want to. I felt truly SEEN, and that was an extraordinary gift. Also, you modeled for me what it looked like to have softness and approach-ability, yet very firm boundaries. I had not seen softness and boundaries co-exist before, and yet I desired it immensely, so your example gave me a visual and goal of what I wanted to strive for.”
“You helped get me “unstuck” in a very short amount of time.”
“My energy is coming back, and I can focus now. With the things I’ve learned, I can settle myself and focus. I’m so much calmer at work, and that’s making my time there much more productive!”
“I’m realizing now that my hypothyroidism has largely been triggered by stress. As I learn to calm my stress, my thyroid is functioning much more efficiently and I no longer feel the tightness in by neck that I was before I had the resources to calm myself.My relationship with my children has drastically improved also as a result of me being more calm and stable, and less irritable and hyperactive.”
“I now feel like one, whole person! I feel increased confidence in my ability to speak what I’m feeling and sensing, with increased relational boundaries, yet increased relational closeness (which I used to think was not possible if I established boundaries). I have increased self-compassion, which has actually brought literal healing to various physical ailments. My work with you was life changing in every way I can think of; I feel like a new person!…like you helped me find the “real me”…and now I’m living “her”. 🙂
If you are eager to go deep into yourself—not into who you THINK you are, but into the depths of your being as you exist in this very moment—this is the best form of therapy I could imagine.
I feel more at home and at peace in my body. I’m far less reactive and I feel like much of the trauma has released from my body. I don’t feel that panicked anxiety when I’m out in public. I definitely still have some social anxiety but not like it was before. I feel like I’ve truly HEALED parts of me that have been broken for a long time. I’m surprised that I was able to release certain things that no longer control me.
It is the best hard work I have ever engaged in. My life is richer because of it, and I am becoming the person I dreamed I would be by living out this healing, continuing to be curious about myself, and by giving myself grace.
“At the end of our work together, I know I’ve come a long way. And I enjoyed our work, too! And I love how many approaches you use, and how you’re always learning new things and bringing them to our work. It kept the work so fluid and dynamic. We did hypnosis, and I had big breakthroughs. When we used EMDR types of techniques, that hugely helped me. The therapy that worked with my body helped me to feel a sense of boundaries and solidity in myself. And your empathy helped me to feel what I was feeling, to stop suppressing my emotions. My relationships are better. I know what I want, and I can say it. I’m taking care of myself, and all the parts of me are working together.
“I used to be so hard on myself. Now, I can catch myself starting to do that, and I imagine your compassion. Your compassion for me is helping me to be compassionate toward myself, and that changes things for me.”