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Through the eyes of a therapist

I see you. I see the look on your face when you come into my office- the hesitant smile and the sadness in your eyes. I see how hard it is for you to be here, the courage it took for you to reach out. I know it wasn’t easy. After pleasantries and small talk, we move on to the big stuff. The things during the week that upset you—the things from your past that nearly destroyed you. I listen to the words you are saying, but I hear the messages that are not readily said out loud:

I am lonely

I am hurt

No one cares

I am not good enough

When you are happy, I am happy. When you are sad, I feel it with you. I cannot take away your pain, but I will hold it with you. For a moment, I vicariously experience the moments in your life that have defined your existence. I'll walk with you through the darkness and I will celebrate with you in the light. There is a sacred power in witnessing personal growth.

This space is safe; it is a holding room for the pain and anxieties that plague you. You are allowed to be who you want to be here, there is no judgment. Your trust in me is a priceless gift; for I have the privilege to witness your courage and strength. As you talk, I will show you the worthiness and value that is already within you. I will remind you that it is OK to not be OK, and that you are allowed to feel what you feel. I will honor your trust and respect your values and boundaries.

You have given me something that no one else can give: your story. Through your words, I learn what it is like to live a life that is not my own, to experience agony and problems that I hadn’t even dreamed of. Through your eyes, I learn about struggle and hardship and I witness your persistence and bravery. In your presence, I experience the feelings that you are going through and I have the opportunity to name them with you.

Each and every story I experience opens my world to the complexities of our existence, it is impossible for me to remain the same. Not only do I help facilitate change and growth, I grow too.

As you leave my office, I praise your hard work and I sincerely thank you for your trust and your willingness to explore the darkness. In my heart, I hope that your insight and growth follows you out the door. You are so powerful; I hope that one day you will see it in yourself like I see it. Until then, I will see you next week.


Kylie Chaffin M.A., LMHC, LCPC, PMH-C

Authors note:

Challenges in life often leave us feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and lonely. You don't have to do it alone. I provide a safe and supportive environment to discuss your concerns, discover your inner strengths and resources, and develop goals that focus on what matters most to you.

I am a licensed counselor in the state of Washington, Idaho, and Michigan and I provide counseling at my office in Spokane.

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