Is It Safe to Talk with a Therapist?

This picture was taken last week . . . because construction is taking place on the parking lot outside my office, DANGER tape was placed on my door to keep people from trying to enter the office from an unsafe entrance. A client of mine commented (jokingly, I think . . . I hope!), "maybe it's not safe to enter your office!!"

And that got me to thinking about the pushback that I sometimes receive when I tell people the work I do. Not everyone feels safe in the therapy office - that might be because they've had prior experiences with therapists who weren't safe people, or it might be due to fears that exploring the inner life will create too much vulnerability, or perhaps there are other reasons not to feel safe in therapy.

Therapy is about healing, and the healing process can sometimes feel unsafe. Opening and exploring what has been pushed down or avoided for a long time can raise fears about the painful work that may be ahead. I often say, "you have to go through the grief to get through the grief, and you have to go through the trauma to get through the trauma." Now there are different ways to go through grief and trauma, those ways don't always mean speaking about every detail, but they certainly do mean that we have to put ourselves in the willing place to work with a professional or a trusted friend or colleague. And that work may not always feel comfortable or easy, we may feel that the unknown is scary and dark.

I haven't found a better way. But I have found that taking that risky step with a safe person can lead to healing.