WITH INSIGHT BLOG
COMING AND GOING
We therapists get used to people leaving us and not knowing why they’ve gone or how they are managing their presenting issues. This is a reality of our work as sometime people are just not ready for change; circumstances get better on their own, financial issues impede or they just are afraid of the therapeutic process. This part of our job can make us complacent to transitions, loss, uncertainty and the unknowing part of life. Seems like we have to get used to this unknowing to do our work well. I never know if someone stops coming because they decided to end the abusive relationship, learned how to manage dysfunctional family dynamics, moved out of town, went back to drinking, didn’t like the way we worked together or just didn’t feel comfortable with me as their therapist. I wonder what I could have done, if anything, to make their experience better or help them continue their work. Maybe they finally decided to end their life or left this existence in another way. I reach out but often there is no answer. I wonder if they are still alive. Because of a busy practice and life, the wondering stops and life goes on, leaving me with only fragments of those people who visited my practice. I do what I advise to my clients, which is to trust the process of life and not worry about the unknowing. The truth is I don’t have to know what happens to each person who leaves my office after they stop coming back for therapy. I have confidence I will learn what I’m supposed to about them. So, I go on and focus on those that do return. I get used to the unknowing.
Gifts emerge in the rare and precious moments of resolution, however. The most rewarding times for a therapist are when we get to celebrate a successful graduation from therapy with a client. This is our chance to reflect on their perseverance, the joys and sorrows of their self-reflection, how they negotiated their pain and how they have grown through the therapeutic process. Walking beside them as they navigated the change process is a privileged aspect of my job and one I cherish. These moments happen frequently but not frequently enough.
Another gift of resolution is grieving a client’s death or a loss of what they wanted to achieve and could not make this happen for reasons beyond their control. Through these losses I touch our shared humanity, embrace all life transitions and find connection instead of complacency.
Recently, I had the experience of a long term client dying, prompting me to reflect on the coming and going of lives through my door. My grief as I witnessed a life ending way too soon provided me an honored glimpse into the full cycle of life. My client’s death reminded me of the importance of not taking any moment for granted. This client allowed me the gift of witnessing their exist from this life and all the intricacies, pain and ultimately acceptance that were involved. It was one of those rare moments when I saw the fullness and muchness of life. I am deeply honored to have be able to share this with my client and appreciate her gift to me. It made me want to change any residual complacency I have with all the uncertainty inherent in my work. And while I can’t know what happens to those who don’t come back to therapy, I must grieve them as much as my client who died, for there is loss there too. If I don’t grieve these losses too, then I WILL become complacent about the importance of all life transitions. What a tragedy that would be! So I must honor ALL the losses as much as I celebrate ALL the joys. Then the richness of our humanity is fully alive in me, allowing me to share it with others and providing a deeper meaning to this thing we call life.
Thank you to my client for sharing your dying moments with me. And thank you to all my clients who have walked through my door. I don't have to wonder anymore but simply be present to the muchness of all experiences.
5.23.19 Submitted by Caron Leader, is a one of the partners and psychotherapists at Within Sight.
Staff Book Review
We are pleased to announce that we will be writing and posting monthly book reviews and picks from our clinical staff members. These are books that are great for clients to learn more about specific mental health issues, certain therapy models or positive coping skills. We hope you find these useful and informative.
Our first pick is from Sue Mann, LCSW, LCAC. She has recently completed her training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR as it is more commonly know. Sue is excited to share this book with you written from the creator of this therapy model. Please let us know if you have any comments and/or suggestions for topics. You can email us at [email protected] Enjoy!
This book, written by Francine Shapiro, the developer of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR for short, provides readers with an explanation of the basic concepts of EMDR psychotherapy. Her writing leads readers through exercises to develop safe ways of accessing positive memory networks. In addition, she lays the groundwork for identifying negative cognitions and touchstone memories that are causing distress currently in the lives of individuals. She does this as a way to prepare individuals to apply EMDR techniques to decrease the emotional impact of those cognitions and memories.
Although this book is written for lay people, the author frequently reminds the readers to seek direction from a therapist, if their self-directed use of EMDR techniques becomes too intense. She identifies that EMDR is a useful form of therapy for people with various issues including; PTSD, trauma, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, substance dependence and grief, along with a variety of other issues.
I found this book to be an excellent introduction to EMDR therapy, providing the basic framework of EMDR and sharing numerous examples of EMDR case studies. I would recommend this book to clients wanting to learn more about EMDR therapy before seeking EMDR therapy and to therapists as a basic framework to begin the study of EMDR therapy. - Sue
Submitted by Caron Leader, Partner & Psychotherapist at Within Sight
Within Sight will turn three years old in January. It is hard to believe that we have already been in business for nearly three years. I can easily remember those early days of being totally overwhelmed with the many tasks necessary to open the doors and seeing clients with only a chair and a folding table! The excitement of our new endeavor and adventure was fueling us on and we were definitely at our Growing Edge. This was a good place but a very scary one at the same time. A Growing Edge is the place where tremendous change is happening and there are definite paths that lead to positive and/or negative outcomes. It is where we learn more about ourselves and others. This can be frightening and can feel like we are falling over a cliff. While it's true fear is always present at our Growing Edge, there is also always excitement and opportunity to evolve and soar like never before. Allowing ourselves to go toward our Growing Edge involves trust, vulnerability and above all else courage.
As we approach our third year in business, I am reflecting about our vision and mission, the changes that we have experienced during these three years and our Growing Edge. Starting a new business is much like having a new baby. You feel overjoyed, excited, anxious and overwhelmed all at the same time. All the happiness, excitement and joy give way to late nights, exhaustion, worries about the enormous responsibilities ahead and the reality of the tiring, unrelenting and hard work. Despite these hardships, love & accomplishment fuel confidence and pride as baby becomes toddler. What emerges is a unique entity with her own personality soaking in the world as she takes it all in. Experience along with support guide her to stand up and bravely step forward. Life, change and growth continue as she approaches each Growing Edge.
Within Sight has faced its Growing Edge and as a result so have we. Our baby has changed over the past three years and is emerging into its unique entity. The people who have worked here, our clients who have courageously put their trust in us, and all others who have helped and supported us when we opened the doors to this moment are a vital part of our growth and evolution. All have helped us stand up as we took our first steps. Now we are walking taller and more confidently toward our future Growing Edge. Our mission is our guide and it has helped us stay on course during challenging times. Within Sight's mission is to provide quality and collaborative counseling and consulting services that allow our clients and employees to achieve their best personal and/or professional selves in an environment that supports discovery and connection.
Following the Growing Edge is hard but we feel well worth it. We will continue to reflect on how we are doing, how we can be better and which path will lead us to our Growing Edge. We will do so courageously and genuinely, knowing this is the best thing for us, for Within Sight and for our clients. Our door is open.
CARON LEADER IS NOMINATED FOR ATHENA AWARD
Caron J. Leader, Partner and Psychotherapist at Within Sight, is one of 10 nominees selected for this year’s award. The celebration takes place this week with a luncheon and then announcement of the award winner. The women selected make up community activists, volunteers, businesswomen, doctors, entrepreneurs and counselors. A committee of community and business leaders selects the finalists after being nominated by a peer. Selected for their work in community service and mentoring, all the women nominated exemplify what the ATHENA award stands for. Caron is following her mother’s example. Her mother, Donna Leader won the Athena Award in 2004.
Caron played a key role in growing an already stable psychotherapy firm, aha!, to the next level by increasing the firm’s brand, visibility and market share in Evansville. In addition to clinical work, she developed their website, assisted in automating the billing and scheduling system and transitioned two partners into the firm.
Caron developed a program on burnout and compassion fatigue that Within Sight provides free of charge to social service and not-for-profit agencies. She has the agency’s staff come to Within Sight and then treats them to conversation, group activities and good food, which the agency can use for professional development and/or self-care. She has hosted Albion Fellows Bacon Center, Youth First, Inc. and has also done the program off site as well. In addition, she plans to work with the Evansville Parenting Time Center this fall.
Caron is not only honest and trustworthy, but she inspires trust in those around her. If Caron makes a commitment, there is never a doubt that she will follow through and do so in an ethical manner. Caron is a true professional and interacts well with everyone because she strives to understand people and their situation without judging.
Congratulations to a friend of Within Sight, artist and Associate Professor of Social Work, Jill Chonody, PhD, LCSW. For anyone who has played in our sand tray room, you may recognize her art if not her name. We would like to acknowledge her generous contributions of a variety of photographic images that broaden the world for all who play in the sand tray room.
Jill recently has recently edited and co-authored called, “Community Art: Creative Approaches to Practice”. This book details various art mediums as therapeutic interventions. Our very own Caron Leader is co-author of one of the chapters in this book titled, “Building Objects for Identity and Biography”. Caron writes about the use of everyday objects that can be repurposed for dynamic play in the sand tray.