I was sitting in my office preparing for a session with a client and my mind wandered to the voices of the children and families walking down our halls and the voices of compassion I heard from the therapist walking with them.
For all of us, I think that is why we do it, this kind of work, because of the compassion we have deep within ourselves for many different reasons connected to our earlier experiences in this life.
“It just feels right,” is what we hear from the therapists we work with and the folks we see and get to work with each day. When you strip away the trauma-informed care philosophy, the evidenced-based models, the competitive grant and funding market, what is left is that strong compassion we all feel at different levels to help, to be accommodating, a part of helping someone improve their life and being that someone who can hear their challenging stories and still look at them with respect and say, “It Is OK. You will be OK and I am here for you and with you.”
The stories and the situations of the families and children we work with impact us in many ways. Many nights it is hard to get the stories out of our minds and not think about how that family might be struggling at that very moment when we are home comfortable and safe with loved ones.
We push on because we have that hope that is backed up by our past experiences, seeing families that are down and out be able to pull themselves up and become what they never thought possible: happy, content, valuable, lovable and worthwhile!
We will never know what those few extra minutes with a family in session did for them or how challenging that parent to find a better way to connect and bond with their child may have positively changed that parent-child relationship, but that is OK. It is OK because, again, we don’t do it for the payoff, we don’t do it for the money, we don’t do it for the prestige. We do it out of the compassion we all have inside of us.