In a perfect world, every single person would have a therapist. Whether or not they are mentally ill, it's important to always have someone to talk things through with- that's what mental health professionals are for. But what some clients don't realize is that sometimes, the clients help the therapist just as much as the therapist helps them.
u/TheFoodTray asked: Therapists of reddit, what's something that a client has taught YOU (unknowingly) that you still treasure?
Therapists need help too.
In general - that humans can experience an incredible amount of trauma, loss, overall suffering and not only continue to exist, but continue to find meaning and even contentment in their lives.
It's helped me to re-frame my own trauma in a more helpful way and also made me less fearful of what my future may hold - recognizing that we can tolerate much, much more than we think we can.
Sometimes it's the people who have endured trauma that have an easier time letting things roll or looking at life's speed bumps and saying "That happened. How do I handle it?"
Once you've hit a hard bottom, any hardship that isn't that bad doesn't stress you as much. It also gives you more empathy and compassion for people in a hard spot.
When my mother was at her Cluster B best, my friends were impressively self-absorbed and actively did not care. People who had endured worse were so much kinder than people who hadn't.
A thirst for knowledge.Giphy
I work with college students (freshman all the way through final years of PhD programs, med school, etc.) I'm amazed by their constant desire for knowledge.
18yo and 40yo, it doesn't matter. There is an information lust in all of them. It makes me more passionate about my field and I go to trainings and conferences thrilled to learn thanks to them. It's incredible. The difference in my mental state from working outpatient to working exclusively with the student population is amazing. They've saved my career.
This is incredible advice.
Just today someone said to me, "I tell myself all the time 'if I can stay sober for the next 30 minutes I'm going to make it'. Sometimes I have to tell myself that more than once, but I make it every time".
It really got to me today, that little saying has so much meaning behind it for so many things. It put in perspective for me that dealing with certain issues is a minute by minute thing, but I can make it no matter what.
So many things it isn't even funny. I get to learn about professions and hobbies that I have zero knowledge about or desire to do, but I like knowing.
Beyond being taught something, two things have that clients have told me have made me feel so good and have stayed with me.
So, I use acceptance and commitment therapy as my approach. It is an approach that I use in my life so I will use examples of how I use it to help guide clients. I was giving an example of getting caught up in thoughts while on a walk on the weekend. Specifically thoughts about how this very client was doing because she and I had practiced a very difficult script for her to set some boundaries. I was getting swept away and wasn't present on my walk, so I dropped anchor and got in the present.
That client said that knowing that I think about her and her wellbeing outside of session made her feel so special and cared for. I took it for granted that clients knew we think about them. Half of my case planning comes from walking thoughts or driving thoughts. It changed how I practice. I make sure to share, in appropriate ways, how often I do think about my client's wellbeing outside of session.
Another was about 6 years ago. I was sick with my autoimmune disorder, about 100lbs overweight, medications weren't working, I was the only therapist for my work site as they couldn't fill positions. I burned out. Ended up on stress leave for 6 weeks. I returned to work kinda questioning how can I be a good therapist if I burned out. I returned to a hand written letter from a client from the year previous. She wrote a thank you letter that told me how she had continued to use the skills we worked on, how she had changed her life, and the impact I made in her. Literally, this woman's letter saved my career.
I truly love my work and I keep way better work-life balance now that I am more adept a living with a chronic illness! Also, I am 95lbs lighter now too. I got healthy.
Something everyone needs to know.Giphy
How to let go, over and over again, of people I care about. So many years of intensely relating, and giving, and letting go. I treasure the gift of being in the place to learn that lesson. It has helped me be a better friend and family member to not hold on so tight.
How a good relationship should be.
When talking about two people being in a relationship, a child I was working with described it as 1+1=2. Changed the perspective of "my other half" or looking at two people in a relationship as whole.
I know use two distinct wholes (1 person), who choose to come together as two.
To add to this, just this week in my session my counselor used the analogy of a 3 legged stool for a relationship and similarly I said that I always have seen a relationship as 3 people. There is me, you, and us. Each of the 3 need to be cared for to function.
Important to remember.
I'm a therapist in a psychiatric hospital and my patients have taught me how thin the line is between being mentally healthy and ill. Many of my patients were healthy and high functioning until one event happened to them.
That could be anyone. We are all just one incident away from being permanently ill. I am grateful and humbled by the tenacity of my patients, and for each day I am healthy.
Something I inadvertently taught my therapist is when I'm really struggling to start my day, I divide it up into "quest objectives" ala video games. ie "Shower, Breakfast and dress" "Get to work on time" "Complete at least three briefs today" and so on and so forth.
It really helps me set short term goals for getting through the day. She told me she has subsequently used this method with other clients and it's worked well.
I'm a therapist for children with autism. These kids go to school and then therapy 5 days a week. Adding up to 10 hours a day, more than some working adults. Most of the kids at least. They work hard to increase their skill sets. I have struggled with severe anxiety and still struggle with it sometimes.
While I'm teaching them life skills, they teach me perseverance through tough days and to smile and keep going even through the mistakes. These kids never fail to amaze me and I'm so proud to say I work with them.
I was the patient but during an early session I mentioned the Chaplin quote "A day without laughter is a day wasted." And my therapist had never heard that before and said they were going to use that. I saw it as a quote hanging on their wall soon thereafter.
As much as academic scholars are held in high esteem for their higher education, so should those who have learned and applied valuable knowledge simply just by living.
Those with street cred have just as much of an advantage at succeeding in life, thanks to specific experiences that can't be taught in a classroom.
Curious to hear examples of what those might entail, Redditor WiSe_genX asked:
"What can you learn in 1 minute that will be useful for the rest of your life?"
Class is now in session.
A diploma isn't a requirement for being able to apply these life-saving facts.
"Maybe not useful 'the rest' but very much so when it is"
Worth A Try
"CPR: Lay person flat on their back on a hard surface, place your hands one on top of the other with arms straight, compress chest down to hell to the beat of 'Stayin Alive,' don't be afraid to crack ribs."
"Edit: Oh, and remember that if someone needs CPR, they're dead. You are working on a corpse. If they don't survive, it's because most people can't wake the dead with their bare hands. Talk to someone if you have to, but don't beat yourself up over it."
Take The Side Exit
"If you're caught in a riptide, swim parallel to the shore to escape it."
It's Easy To Lose Sight Over This
"Always wear some type of eye protection when dealing with anything that can cause eye damage. From connecting battery jumper cables to yardwork and everything in between."
"Protect your eyes. You only have two of them."
"Always unplug/remove the battery from your power tools before performing any kind of maintenance."
The kitchen can be a danger zone unless you're armed with these very simple bits of wisdom.
"A wet oven mitt is worse than useless."
Get A Grip
"A falling knife has no handle. Can be very useful in preventing kitchen emergencies."
"Learn how to operate a fire extinguisher. Many people don't bother but so many lives are saved and so many fires are stopped by them. It takes a minute and can save your life, as mine was saved when my mother put out a house fire with one. Also always keep some in your house and make sure you know where they're located."
Let It Fall
"Also hot things. I pull out some weighty dishes out of our 550°C furnace at work and every time before I pull them out I repeat over and over in my head 'Don't catch it if it falls. Don't catch it if it falls.' I also usually put my free hand in my back pocket or behind my back."
It doesn't take long to listen and apply these helpful instructions.
First, We Assess
"Pause and think before you respond."
Don't Be Impulsive
"Don’t put it down, put it away."
Make It Easier To Get Assistance
"How to properly as ask for tech support - 'Hi, this is [name]. I have a problem with [software/hardware name (to the best of your knowledge)]. I'm trying to [thing you're trying to do] and the result is [result] instead of [expected]. It started at [rough time frame] after [something significant you've done beforehand].'"
"How to do it badly: 'My keyboard doesn't work.'"
"How to do it better: 'Hi, I'm Noy. I have a problem with my laptop's keyboard. The L key no longer functions. It started yesterday after I spilled coffee on it.'"
"Your IT department thanks you."
There is much value in the lessons shared here that can change your life or those of others.
Now that plenty of helpful information was shared here, the next time you're about to be swallowed by a riptide, swipe left!
We all pride ourselves in knowing random bits of trivia.
While "useless knowledge" is the common parlance for these little fun facts we, often randomly, know, that seems an unfair label.
After all, who knows when a subject comes up in conversation, and you might be the only one who can answer a group question.
All thanks to the fact that you know a random piece of knowledge almost no one else on Earth seems to know.
Redditor Just_Free_Tea7 was curious to learn some of these obscure pieces of trivia, leading them to ask:
"What is a fact that you think barely anyone else knows?"
Don't be fooled by their cuteness
"The nuke stockpile in Washington State is guarded by trained dolphins that seek out and clamp a balloon on unfamiliar divers."- Gothsalts
A possible STD symptom no one mentions.
"Boanthropy is a psychological disorder in which a person believes they are a cow and try to live their life as one."
"Medical explanations suggest late-stage syphilis as one of the causes?"
You mean, that wasn't flipper's real voice?
"The sound used for a dolphin in nearly every single tv and movie is actually the same Kookaburra bird recording."- HFXmerEpisode 1 Hello GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
You always wonder what goes through their minds...
"Animals and other creatures each perceive time in different ways based on their Critical flicker frequency which is almost like their minds refresh rate."
"Dogs, for example, perceive time as being slower than humans do, and it's perceived as a little faster by cats."- TwilightArcade
Well that's disturbing...
"No one has found a centipede with exactly 100 legs, because all centipedes discovered have an odd number of pairs of legs."
"They have found centipedes with 98,49 pairs, and 102, 51 pairs, but never exactly 100."- ZagreusD
If you take a closer look...
"Raindrops don’t fall in the drip shape popularly conveyed. "
"They fall in the shape of tiny parachutes or hamburger buns."- CBGvilleStop Motion Water GIF by TarverGiphy
Two iconic roles
"The girl who voiced Lilo in 'Lilo and Stitch' also played Samara in 'The Ring', both released in the same year, 2002."- ThrowRARAw
Um... how is this not better known...
"Before toilet paper was invented, the people of the USA used corn cobs."- Impossible_Cicada_75
"..I don't want to live on the moon..."
"Not sure how many people know this, but the moon has a sort of atmosphere."
"However, it is so thin that it's considered to be an exosphere."- JustAnotherAviatrixblack and white moon GIFGiphy
They'r contributions did not go unnoticed
"More pigeons have war medals than horses, dogs or mules."- Global-Program-437
It's easy to laugh off most of this information, as our lives might not be changed one way or the other for knowing it.
But we should always be open to learning something new.
And hey, if we ever find ourselves stuck with scratchy toilet paper, we can at least be grateful it isn't a corn cob.
The world is an ever changing place.
In addition to continuing advancements in technology, human behavior also continues to evolve.
As a result, what might have seemed "normal" 50 years ago might seem far-fetched today, while things which we today consider "normal" might never have even crossed the mind of anyone back then.
Making everything we consider "normal" among the many things in this world that continues to evolve at a rapid pace.
Redditor Primary_Berry_3560 was curious to hear what "normal" everyday things were anything but normal fifty years ago, leading them to ask:
"What is normal now but wasn’t normal 50 years ago (1972)?"
We could just leave whenever we wanted to!
"Knowing where your kids are 100% of the time."- bradland
We're all wired up today!
"No one had a computer in their house in 1972."- tcharp01
"Car seats for children."
"And most of the time we sat in the back seat with no seat belts available."- Rosemoorstreet
"There were no sensors- seatbelt were just shoved out of the way."
"Carding for cigarettes."
"Machines were everywhere for anyone to use."- factchecker8515buckle up crash test dummies GIF by ADWEEKGiphy
In the old days, we had one chance!
"Watching an entire TV series at a time that's convenient for you."
"VCR's weren't even a thing 50 years ago, so if your favorite show was on Wednesday at 8PM, you were either at home to watch it or you missed out on it forever."- DeathSpiral321
Music on demand!
"Listening to the song you want to where you want to, rather than whatever is playing wherever you are."- jfincher42Giphy
Being beholden to a landline!
"I am amazed to think about how disconnected we were."
"I could wake up on a Saturday morning and start calling friends."
"It was possible that not a single one picked up the phone and that was that."
"I would be on my own unless I waited a few hours and tried again."
"Also, in my area, the adults in the house almost always answered the phone so you had to get through them to your friends."
“'Hello, is Johnny home?'”
"'Hi this is his mother, what do you want?'”
“'I was wooooondering if he could come out to play'.”
“'Well he’s doing homework right now but I’ll tell him you called'.”
"As a kid, our times were divided between when we were 100% under adult control, which was when we were physically in their presence, and when we were free which was all other time."- Mrmidhoratio
"Asking 'Where are you?' when someone answers their phone."- brontosproximoShocked Phone Call GIFGiphy
No wonder they were all so tan...
"Regularly wearing sunscreen."- dixius99
It's amazing to see how much the world has changed in such a relatively short amount of time.
Leaving us to wonder what things will be "normal" 50 years from now, which today the very thought of would make us burst out laughing.
Don't mess with the ocean.
Why is that a hard rule for some?
It's like people can't help themselves.
Though it is vast and beautiful, the ocean takes life every day.
RedditorDankestKush420wanted to hear from the people who have survived the darkness of the sea.
"Deep sea divers, what are your horror stories?"
I almost drowned from a small but wave on the Florida coast. So a deep dive is a lifelong HELL NO for me. But go ahead... tell us some stories.
Poof. Gone.GIF by VPROGiphy
"I was watching a documentary about saturation divers the other day. Absolutely scary stuff. They live in a dome under the sea for several days/weeks so they don't have to decompress every day."
"There was this interview where one diver told a story about a colleague just vanishing. He was right behind him at one moment and then was gone in the next. No signs of an accident on the safety line, no sounds, no light signals, he was just gone."
"I used to work at a dive shop, a regular customer of mine told me on one of his deep cave dives at around 300 feet his main light imploded, and both of his backup flashlights failed. While this happened he also lost his guide line (read: life line back to the surface)."
"He was in a large room, so he dropped a reel with line on it and swam back and forth basically fishing for the guide line. He eventually hooked it and located it, but then had to make a decision which way to follow the line. The correct choice would lead him to safety, while the wrong choice would lead him deeper into the cave system. He made his choice and slowly followed the line out."
"He reached his first spare air tank that he staged and knew he chose the right direction. He had a long wait at each of his staged decompression tanks. It took him, from what I recall, around 7 hours to properly decompress and make it back out of the cave, all while not being able to see a damn thing."
"I went on a group dive trip with someone who was pretty experienced, and he was telling us a bunch of stories about his wreck dive down to an old WWII-era Japanese warship sunken in the Pacific. One somewhat morbid but funny story was when his group went into the ship and saw several pairs of shoes strewn about, lying perfectly side-by-side."
"After they all surfaced later, one girl in the group was like, 'Why did they leave their shoes behind like that?' and everyone else just looked at each other like, 'Oh man... who's gonna tell her?' Anyway, the real horror story is about a father and son duo who had decided to go on this trip as a bonding experience. So the thing to note about WWII shipwrecks is that after over half a century, they're pretty much rusted to oblivion."
"One bad kick will effectively disintegrate a perfectly-preserved captain's log, just from the motion of the water. Well, the duo was exploring the inside of the ship, and suddenly someone hears a loud CLANG! The father and son had wandered into an enclosed room, and the door had slammed shut with both of them inside."
"At that point, the guy telling the story paused, and someone else in the group was like, 'Wait, so what happened to them?' And the guy was like, 'What the hell do you mean, man? They got trapped and f**king died!' And in that moment, I decided f**k that s**t - I am never, ever diving down to go check out the inside an old WWII warship lmao."
"For as long as I been around the internet 1 diver story stuck with me. Not because of paranormal or unexplainable events. This person's story said they were deep diving with their father and literally saw a Lovecraftian size creature envelope his father ahead. After all was said and done at the surface he come to find out later his schizophrenia had come to while he was deep sea diving. I couldn't imagine seeing something your brain was telling you was real. Especially in that setting."
VortexJoe Biden Reaction GIF by GIPHY NewsGiphy
"One time when I was on a diving boat with some friends, one of the guys on there told about a story about how he used to be an underwater welder, and one time he and some other guys witnessed someone getting sucked through a hole the size of a tic tac."
Why do people even go that far down?
Everywheremarine life wildlife GIF by KQEDScienceGiphy
"I’m by no means a deep sea diver, but I am a licensed diver, sea urchins are massive and everywhere, like you really don’t expect their size and how common they are."
"Did a 60M/200ft dive on a wreck in a shipping channel. The dive boat skipper should call up the harbour master and check if there are any ships scheduled, and if there are not good to dive. Anyway did the dive. 25 mins bottom time so a fair amount of deco."
"During the 12M deco stop we could hear the rumble of a very very very large engine. Hmmm. Kept getting louder. And louder. And louder. During the 9M stop it got REALLY loud we looked at each other, gave two thumbs down and bolted back down to 18M and just hung there figuratively shi**ing our drysuits until it got quieter after a few minutes."
"We then resumed our deco. A small pod of dolphins came in to have a gander at us which was cool. A big f**k off panamax sort-a-size ship had come within 100M of our deco buoy. Never dived off that boat again."
Not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but the [Byford Dolphin Diving Bell Accident] (https://www.reddit.com/r/CatastrophicFailure/comments/4x1a2c/comment/d6blno6/) is pretty gruesome and scary. Basically, when deep see divers were returning to the surface, they were in a decompression chamber at a very high pressure."
"And there was a catastrophic failure of the decompression room that meant the air depressurized several atmospheres almost instantaneously and killed a couple divers by literally exploding them from the pressure release. Not sure what could be more of a gruesome tale than that."
"Not my story but still wanted to share: it's the story of a diver who was hired to remove and bring back bodies from a bridge that collapsed into semi deep water with numerous cars on it. Some people made it out of their cars and some didn't. But the worst thing that he saw was the bodies of children still stuck in the cars while the parents saved their own lives. The thought of going into murky water to essentially fish up corpses that are like a day old chills me every time I think about it."
Nope!Not Gonna Happen No Way GIF by FaZe ClanGiphy
"I went diving to a wreck around 200ft down, and I heard this terrifying roar and saw some creature almost twice the size of a blue whale. Noped right outta there as soon as I saw that, I'm not going there again, I'll stay in my lifepod."
Well that is all I need to hear. I'll stay on dry land, thank you.