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A Therapist's Open Letter to Clients

Dear Client,

I've gone back and forth on my decision and procrastinated an unhealthy amount before I started writing this. Since our time in our sessions is for you, I've left a lot unsaid. This is a candid acknowledgement of the impact you've had on me.

Many of you have begun this journey with certain assumptions. I'm supposed to be the expert on your mind, while you irrefutably accept the insights I provide. You are now supposed to submit to my guidance because you couldn't handle your struggles on your own. Our sessions are supposed to be a secret as if it means there's something lacking in you, as if you are weaker than the people around you.

Every single time It's been quite satisfying when we break these assumptions together.

To those who've felt embarrassed

You've admitted to me the thoughts you wouldn't admit to yourself. You've said things that very few would dare say out loud. I want you to know that at that moment, you had broken years of conditioning of what is and what is not supposed to be spoken about. While you were testing the waters to see if I was judging you, all I felt was admiration.

I want you to know there's hardly anything you can say that surprises me. I'm no better than you to judge you and I take pride in being the equal of someone so brave. Each day I get to witness extraordinary strength through ordinary people.

To those who doubted if therapy would even work for them

With a hopeless voice you professed that you are incapable of "feeling positive", that you were weak for not being able to push yourself through everyday struggles and that maybe you were doomed to fail despite all your efforts.

I could see you were tired of the "positivity'' people had tried to force on you. I could see you were angry and frustrated at the world. Why wouldn’t you be? You felt misunderstood, rejected and disappointed. In your version of reality, there was no hope.

Yet you trusted in the work we were doing, you came back week after week. Life had pushed you to the edge of what you thought was your breaking point and yet you were here displaying remarkable resilience.

Progress wasn’t a glamorous process. Countless anxiety attacks, feeling like you were back to square one every other week and crushed at being unable to instantly stop the self-sabotage.

There were days I had to hold on to the hope you couldn’t feel for yourself. But I saw you refusing to stay down . With each session you were working to shift your perspective, you were making new connections and inspiring me with your grit.

To all of you

In the past years, you have radically altered everything I believe about people. You’ve taught me the world isn’t split into heroes and villains rather we are all capable of being both. No matter with what conviction people believe they are unloved, I’m yet to meet a person that wasn’t loved by someone.

At the core of every single person there’s a brilliance that’s as unique as a fingerprint. I’ve seen it in the things you are passionate about yet afraid to share, in the emotions you think should remain hidden and in the ideas you have mislabelled as “worthless”.

I’ve maybe woken up on a few days wondering about the mundanity and the meaninglessness of life but never once have I felt it at the end of a workday. Every day I get to be on a journey with people who fight to be aware, to fully thrive and that excites me. It’s truly humbling to witness raw human authenticity and vulnerability. You’ve trusted me, a stranger, to be a part of your journey and I’m grateful for that.

Next time we are in a session, I want you to remember that this may be your fight but I’m in your corner. We’ll get through this together.

Yours truly,

Your Therapist

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