R E A D E R E X P R E S S I O N S
We Asked: What’s the most important lesson you have learned from a client?
Here is what you told us…
Each and every client has brought with them special lessons that impact me and the work I do. Most importantly though, I have learned the ability of simply being. To "be" in the present with nonjudgmental, positive loving regard. I believe this is the most important lesson, being taught to me by every client in every session.
I specialize in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. At a health fair, I saw an elderly lady. She suffered extreme pain from caring for and lifting a dying mother. She hurt too badly to sit in my massage chair. Unable to think of anything I could do or say to help her, I simply placed my hands on her shoulders and exhaled with deep compassion. Tears filled both of our eyes. The next day she came back and related that almost all of her pain had disappeared in that instant. I was overwhelmed, awed and grateful. The lesson: Compassion heals.
The most important things clients teach me are on a nonverbal level, having to do with tapping into the collective consciousness. Not just the spiritual level, but on the mental, emotional and physical level. Two-way healing happens.
As a polarity practitioner, I focus on both the physical and emotional bodies of each client. Through my clients I have learned that the simple, yet profound, act of listening accesses and directs the practitioner to each client’s unique healing opportunities. To listen fully means to focus all your senses on what the client is conveying via her/his words, facial gestures and physical states, and her/his emotional state. It means freeing your mind of your own agenda to open your ears, head, and heart to truly hearing what is being communicated. True listening honors the person and their unique process. This is the heart of healing.
I met Mary in 1994. Her son had been killed in an auto accident eight years beforehand, just four days before an accident had claimed the life of my best friend. Instantly, we were connected on many levels, having shared deep loss and pain. The therapeutic relationship took a firm hold, and very soon became multidimensional. There was an intense opening process that began for her, and as layers peeled back, there was at times an incredible amount of responsibility to remaining open to the pain and confusion that were revealed. Having experienced loss myself gave me tools to assist Mary in this process, which was a priceless reinforcement for me. There were times when it was difficult to stay grounded in the midst of the anger and tears, but we pulled through. Two years ago Mary lost her husband, which began another journey for us. We have a solid friendship, yet the therapeutic relationship remains fully intact. Mary has taught me much, and will continue to do so.
My most important lesson was to probe and listen to what my clients expected from the session. When I first opened my business, I jumped into my newly learned, feel-good modality. The reality is that every client makes an appointment with an expectation of what the outcome will be. This is what they are paying for. It took me a while to recognize that it is often the basic work that people expect. I learned to ask questions and to ask clients about their expected outcomes.
This lesson that "We are never done with our education" has not come from one client only, but from many over the course of time. As a therapist, brother, sister, mother, father, daughter, son, friend or passerby, this applies. Whatever our role in life might be at that particular time, we do well to always be ready to learn from one another. Be ready for the next lesson. They’re all important.
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