“What types of clients do you work with?”

After a talk I gave recently, a woman approached me and said, “I never realized before this talk just how much counseling can help with lots of things — not just the stuff people think of as ‘really messed up.'”

She was right! In general, folks who come to counseling are actually higher functioning than people who don’t seek help. More people you know are in counseling than you think, and some of the most “together” and caring people you’ve met seek help. They’re confident enough in themselves to know when it’s time for help, and they’re able to ask for it.

My clients can usually speak at length about other people’s needs, hurts, and fears. Some of them are healing professionals who have devoted their careers to helping others.

When I get clients together in a group, their intuition and care for one another is palpable. Their ability to connect with others and to empathize propels the healing of other clients. The room is full of caring, and laughter. It’s a safe place for tears too, and that’s largely because my clients make it that way.

My clients  have persevered, sometimes through very difficult circumstances.

Some of them don’t know at the beginning of therapy just how resourceful they’ve been. They minimize their struggles, underestimate their gifts, and understate the depth of who they are.

My clients are people, people I like.  They’re often people who want to give to others, who want to heal in ways that impact not just their lives, but their relationships, their communities, the people they come to care about and help.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to really ponder who I work with.

It makes me realize anew how deeply I respect the people I come into contact with every day. It is a gift to get to make an impact in their lives, and to really get to know who they are.

It’s more wonderful still when my clients themselves reach the realization of who they are. Often, a client will say something like, “You know, I’m finally coming to really know myself — and even starting to like me!”

I like my clients, and my clients come to like themselves. And that enriches their relationships, deepens their giving, and lets them reach out in new ways that open new opportunities for themselves and the other people in their lives.

 

 

 

Author: Michaela Lonning

I'm a counselor in Corvallis, Oregon, and I work mostly with intelligent and sensitive people who are struggling with a sense of connection to themselves or in their relationships. Near Corvallis? Come see me. Not near Corvallis? I work with clients around the world via Skype: Come see me.

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