Our national celebration for independence last month made me think about our country from another perspective. The increased intensity of political tension and division within our nation has made its way into my therapy room often in the past few years. It has led many of my clients to ask what it means to be an American and has of course impacted me as an individual and a therapist too. When I woke up to “Happy 4th of July” texts from some former colleagues, many thoughts ran through my mind. Thoughts of clients who have personally been impacted by racism, the me-too movement, war, and news reports mixed with the words of teens wanting to move to Canada rang in my mind.
My thoughts landed on a more positive perspective, the things I’m proudest of as an American are the individuals who embody the guiding principles I share. Those therapists who sent me that simple text reminded me of the freedom we have to be able to support those who are struggling in a safe, non-judgmental, space. The role each of us, as therapists, have is bridging the division created by politics, differences, pain, and ‘isms. We connect with our clients, sharing care and concern for the well-being of people who we have no requirement to love or care about, but do, immensely.
I am proud to be an American because of each of you. Because we bridge divides and show individuals that it can be safe to connect to and love others. We put ourselves out there and are vulnerable so that others can be safe, making the world a better place, one interaction at a time. Keep supporting each other, we need to be pushed to keep giving and to care for ourselves because the world needs safety and connection and we can’t give it if we don’t get replenished.
As members of MIAPT, I challenge you to support another therapist today. Remind them they matter and our world is a better place because they care.
Abby DuPree LMSW, RPT