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Life Lessons, Part 1-Compassion for Ourselves and Others

Here is some of what I have learned over the past 15 years of practicing therapy!

  • Sincere concern goes a long way, and is welcomed by just about everyone.

  • Learning never ends.

  • I can always find a way to relate to a person who needs help.

  • The practice of truly listening to another person is a rare, precious, and often transformative gift, for all involved.

  • Empathy is innate, and I feel it easily for most people.

  • Compassion transcends disparities in age, race, gender, afflictions, and life experience.

  • Nothing is personal, though it may often feel otherwise.

  • Good supervision is essential for a new therapist to have, and it can be hard to find.

  • A good, strong support system is important for the maintenance of anyone’s mental health.

  • Self-care practices are essential for everyone, and especially for those who are engaged in helping others.

  • Teenagers are skilled at detecting insincerity and disingenuousness in adults.

  • Nothing is worth the sacrifice of your own health and well-being.

  • If I had been afflicted with all of what ails my clients, then I could be of no assistance to anyone.

  • We all have problems, whether or not they are apparent to others.

  • We all have mental, social, and physical limits.

  • Most of us want to be loved, happy, comfortable, and to feel like we are needed.

  • I have to keep believing in myself in order to accomplish anything in life.

  • Witnessing mental illness in a person, in its florid state, makes it much easier to detect when it is present to a lesser degree.

  • Most people are mostly focused on themselves, and that is partly related to survival.

  • Mental illness is very common, but varies greatly in terms of severity and treatability.

  • We cannot expect someone who is sick to act well, nor can we blame them for their symptoms.

  • People who struggle with mental illness often must choose between their symptoms and the troublesome side effects of their medications.

  • People are often afraid of mentally ill people in public, but there is usually no reason to be.

  • It is important to remember that there is only so much one can do for another person.

  • Many, if not most, struggles with emotional disturbance, are related to past trauma.

  • There is a significant difference between helping and enabling.

  • It is essential to continue parenting, forgiving, and encouraging myself.

  • New therapists are often given the most challenging internships and cases, and are more likely to feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders.

  • Experiences that feel untenable at the time often lead to future insights, and make for incredibly valuable learning experiences.

  • It is essential to retain compassion and understanding for ourselves, as we continue to learn, make mistakes, and go through life!


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