Holiday music is on full blast. Santa has visited in the post-Thanksgiving parades. Kids are making wish lists so parents can frantically arm-wrestle each other for the most beloved gifts that will get the most screams on Christmas morning. Cookie decorating and ugly sweater competitions are ON. (Target has amazing ugly sweaters, by the way. *Shudder*) Anyone else feeling the stress of the season yet? As therapists and healers, we have a responsibility to provide a safe, calm space for our clients. A place where they can breathe, reflect, comprehend, and learn. A place to simply be…without pretense, judgment, or fear. Without pressure from any season, any obligation, or anyone. Our relationships with our clients allows this freedom, which allows the healing. It’s a beautiful circle.
Our ability to develop this healing relationship with our clients is quite dependent on our true acceptance of the client as a human being. A feeling, experiencing, perceiving person. We have the responsibility to accept their reality as that individual’s truth without judgment, and to accept and hold their emotional experiences. Let’s face it. All of the spectacular training and credentials in the world will not do an ounce of good for a client if they do not feel connected.
This letter is to encourage you to find, or continue to light, that spark of your personality that draws people in. Your individual way of helping people feel comfortable, accepted, heard, and safe, regardless of their experience, emotions, actions, and *gulp* ugly sweater of the season. I truly wish for all of you 25 days of peace, fun, and therapeutic healing. And side-aching hilarious stories of scoring the very best scream gift.
-Jesliee Bonofiglio, LMSW, RPT