In the Army I learned the importance of having the “right fit.” Having the right fit of boots and socks could be critical. If a boot had a loose fit, there was a spot that rubbed a bit, or your sock was bunched up, it was no big deal. As long as you were just walking around the workplace.
Throw on a parachute, an 80-100 lb. pack, and spend days or weeks constantly walking and watch what happens. Those “little annoyances” can quickly become crippling obstacles. Now you’ve got new wounds that need to be healed. (I almost typed “heeled”, but I could hear the collective groan.)
Since leaving the Army, I’ve found that the idea of “right fit” applies to many other areas of my life. Today, I’m talking about the “right fit” between client and therapist.
On my own healing journey, I’ve collected experiences (things that have happened to me, things that I witnessed, or were shared with me by clients) that demonstrate what it can be like when there is a “wrong fit” between a therapist and client. These experiences all have a common thread of the client not feeling heard, or the therapist telling the client what they need to do (to get better). Imagine being told “go home, box up your loved one’s things, and get on with your life” (6 whole months after an unexpected death). Another common thread of these experiences is that the client has a gut feeling that says “I’m not in the right place.” It’s unlikely that healing or growth will happen easily, if at all, in those situations.
We’ve all had our own “wrong fit” experiences. They can truly interfere with the healing process. Sometimes they can create new wounds.
I think I am fortunate. I see the “wrong fits” that I have experienced as a gift. Instead of feeling angry or dwelling on the negative experience, I have filed each of those experiences as “how not to treat others.”
I like to think that those experiences help me avoid unnecessary stumbles in my relationships, including with my clients. Those experiences are why I emphasize to potential clients to take their time, research potential therapists, and spend some time face-to-face. Do you feel heard and understood? Can you imagine sitting with this person and choosing to be open, vulnerable, and invite healing to happen? Are the two of you a “good fit?”
A “good fit”, whether it’s quality socks, the right shoes, or someone who listens, understands, and offers help in traveling the healing path, can make a critical difference in the quality and experience of your journey. I wish you safe, smooth, and healing travels.
If you think you’d like to sit and talk, to see if we’re a good fit, please contact me and I’ll set up a consultation. Cheers…