Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Listening to the Untold Stories

Stories via Greenbookblog

As a therapist, I listen to the untold story. I am the midwife to a narrative that needs to be constructed, told or infused with compassion and new meaning. The loss of the ability to make meaning is crippling. Therapy not only touches the lives of our clients but also transforms the experience of the therapist. It is a cliché to say our clients are our teachers, although it is a truth. How a therapist lives life has everything to do with the capacities of a therapist. I have had the opportunity to train and mentor many therapists. I want to say “live life more fully and your work will follow.’ So therapy changes lives and life changes us. My writing is about moments that have changed my life and lives I have had the privilege to touch. It is also about the spaces in-between where meanings emerge.

Image Via KPLU

Traumas are often wordless. I learned that words were a gift. If you were allowed to name it, describe it, teach it, you could master it or at least tame it. When it remains wordless, the horror and shame takes over and limits people lives and potential.

Image Via Woodbridge

The walls of the counseling room are constraining, although filled with people’s truths and confidences. The moments are profound, yet secretive and private. The lessons, I believe, need to be shared integrated back into community. Words give voice. Abuse silences. My willingness to companion my clients as they face the sometimes-unimaginable horrors changed me. So my work is about moving from wordlessness to words and making meaning out of the traumatic and the ordinary.

- Laurie Kahn, MA, MFA, LCPC

*Do you have an opinion on this post? Have some insights to add to this article? We would love for you to leave us a comment below! You are now able to comment completely anonymously if you would like to share your wisdom but aren't comfortable with your identity being shared. Just type your comments in the box below and then click on the box next to "Comment as" and choose "Anonymous!"

1 comment:

  1. Laurie, what a beautiful reflection on the work you do with trauma clients! Thanks for companioning people as they move from the space of wordlessness to words. I hope that some day I may be able to do the same.