One of the questions I'm frequently asked as a psychologist, is whether I get sick of listening to people's problems. But what some may see as problems, I see as the privilege to be invited into other people's lives, to hear their experiences, share in their pain as well as their joy. Overall, what I get to bear witness to are people who share their deepest worry/secret/trauma despite fear, despite shame and despite the potential for judgement, share themselves anyway.
I don't hear problems, I see authenticity, I see vulnerability and I feel connection with each of my clients who invite me on their journey. It takes courage to expose the deepest part of ourselves to a complete stranger and to sit in that sort of vulnerability without the usual armour of deflection, sarcasm or maybe even anger to keep us safe. But in that vulnerability lies the capacity to connect, to relate, to be seen and heard, to build relationships and to heal.
If you have ever felt like pushing those difficult feelings away, ignoring them, escaping them or afraid of what others might think if they saw the "real you", then I invite you to watch this Ted Talk by renowned shame researcher, Brene Brown. She doesn't seem to hear problems either, she sees breakthroughs.
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By Annette Forde
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