The Journey of Therapy

This is a picture of the San Francisco Peaks by Flagstaff, Arizona from the Meteor Crater Complex outside of Winslow, Arizona. It is one of my favorite pictures because of the winding road that took me from the interstate all the way to the crater itself. The landscape is the desert (another place I love!) and looks so barren.

I like to think of this picture as a representation of the journey that we therapists take with our clients.

We start from a place where we are comfortable (the buildings in this picture). We know where we are, and we know where we are heading (the mountains). The path between the two is often winding, sometimes treacherous, and sometimes not clearly defined. While the way to the goal is not always clear, when you reach the goal, you can see where you have been.

I closed the therapeutic relationship with a client this week. He was a young man with a tragic history of physical abuse and neglect who came to our facility about 11 months ago. He really started to bloom in music therapy and gave me a clear indication of where he wanted to go. We played through music. We communicated through music, and he generalized that skill into other environments. He left on Friday to go to a foster placement - a wonderful step for him. I am trudging back to my starting place without him...a very sad journey for me, but one that is also joyful.

It is the role of the therapist to put him or herself out of a job.

Think about that statement for a bit. 

It is our ultimate goal to supply our clients with the provisions that they need to continue their journey without us. It is my job to guide my clients to the mountain, but they are going to go past the mountain without me. I return to my base and start the journey with another person, trusting that those who have made it to the mountain have gone on to bigger and better things. Things I will never see.

Thank you for letting me be your guide for a little while. I enjoyed the journey. God speed.


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