Tuesday. Yes, Tuesday is the day I begin my new job. Now it feels real that I have my professional permit. With the undue amount of time it took for the entire application/approval process, seeing my name on the States database was more of a "finally!" than a "jump up and click my heels" reaction. Having my start date has brought the excitement back into my spine (clicking heels).
So now I am preparing to return (permanently) to the work force. Getting some new garb, deciding on yoga classes that fit my schedule, pondering the most economical way to commute and mentally preparing to provide therapy again.
I love my work and have a true passion for it. To be able to hold the space for someone dealing with difficulties, to help them in finding the answers that are within themselves, to use my instincts to uncover hidden possibilities and ideas, and to provide people with tools they can use in coping with life provides me with fulfillment on a deep level. No, therapy is not all atruistic. I need to work at a job that is not just for a paycheck in order to feel statisfied in life and, yes, I do get a lot out of helping others. Therapy should be positively symbiotic with healthy boundaries.
Is it difficult at times? Absolutely. Since most people choose therapy to deal with difficult things a therapist is mostly surrounded by negative energy (though there is the occasional "I just need a place to sort out all the wonderful things I am doing in my life" clients). As a therpist, you need to be able to contain that without taking it home with you. Individual and group supervision helps with this, but more important: self-care and staying grounded. Yoga, laughter, friends, quiet time, plenty of rest, healthy boundaries, being in nature, etc. is how I try to accomplish this. People can not help others if they are not taking care of themselves first. (Shrink, shrink thyself!)
I washed and waxed my Mad Wheels (a.k.a. my little Hyundai) yesterday to look a little more professional when I roll in to the lot on Tuesday. (Hey, would you get therapy from someone with a dull car? I think not!) Today I am going shopping for some more work appropriate attire. It is important to look put-together in order to feel put-together, despite the fact that shopping is not my favorite activity by any means. Sometimes it just has to be done.
So, who needs their head shrunk by a well dressed, clean car-ed, yoga-loving therapist? Hmmm, maybe I need to work on my marketing skills.......