The first time I encountered the concept of “sitting with the pain” was in supervision, some eight years ago when I was doing an internship in counselling psychology. This was following a particularly difficult session with a client, who was clinically depressed and was desperately trying to process her feelings of grief and loss. As I sat with her in the session, an intense feeling of helplessness took over me and I fought hard to resist the urge to provide her with a solution and a “quick-fix”. Later in supervision, as I related what happened, I realized that I was actually afraid to confront my own anxiety in the session, and to confront my own assumptions about what my role as a therapist is. As I delved deeper into my own fears, I realized that I was afraid to confront the reality, the fact that I could not “save” my clients, that I could not take away their pain and that I could not do their work for them.
Recommended CitationMoussa, Mona, A Transparent Look at a Counsellor’s Inner World: Learning to Self-differentiate and Hold the Client’s Pain, Middle East Media Educator, 1(2), 2012, 123-126.