“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity” – Simone Weil
What is therapy?
The root of the word therapy means “to give attention to.” With a focused eye on what needs to be tended to, therapists operate in a very unique space with clients that sometimes even the greatest parent or spouse just can’t quite recreate. Therapists make and hold a safe space for clients to play, create, be, hope, and dream.
The popular perception of therapy is loaded with stigma today. Therapy is synonymous with words like “crazy” and “mentally ill” rather than “wellness” or “health.” But, what if therapy was a time to dream and achieve? What if it was a time to examine, reflect, and commit?
What if that IS what therapy is?
The New Year
For those of you who have already experienced therapy, you may know of its power to inform, heal, and bring back a sense of play. Often times any experience of loss or hardship can blind us into thinking we cannot recover or that life will always be unforgiving. The experience of therapy is like the feeling of putting on a new pair of lenses; a chance to look again and maybe find something new. Whether it’s getting over a difficult break-up, finding and strengthening your natural gifts, or healing from long forgotten misunderstood wounds, with the help of a therapist, you can see and be in new ways.
Take a minute. Think about your greatest wish. Close your eyes if you need to! Maybe you are already on your way to realizing this dream and you need some support (or accountability!). Or, maybe you feel stuck and are watching the dream slowly fade away. Is it hard to imagine what you want most for yourself or someone you love?
Oftentimes in order to reach your goal, you have to sit with difficult emotions and dig into difficult parts of yourself. For therapists and counselors, this “attending to” during these hard moments is the gift of therapy! Therapy provides the time and space to dig in, along with the support to face what is sometimes scary, unpleasant, and unexpected. You don’t have to be on this journey alone. Therapy provides the accountability to “give attention to” your goals, your dreams, and your journey.
The Gift of Therapy
Most of the greatest gifts in life are intangible: love, happiness, a special moment contained as a memory. In these modern times, the consistent presence of a caregiver can be so hard to come by. Don’t we all wish we could be present for all our children’s or loved one’s special moments? Maybe you know someone whose time or worth hasn’t been valued as much as it should. Or maybe this person hasn’t given enough attention to his or her self. Maybe this person is you.
Is it time to make an investment in yourself? In your dreams? In your health?
Therapy isn’t just for crises — but we’re here for those times when you’re knocked down by life’s unexpected blows. Therapy is also for giving attention to the moments that make up every day.
If you find yourself swimming in regret or reflecting on lost dreams, if you discover that you’re paralyzed by uncertainty or feeling lost, give the gift of therapy this year. Invest in giving attention to the most important person in your life — YOU.