It’s been almost 2 weeks since Therapy Reimagined 2019. Curt and I connected with so many #moderntherapists in impromptu conversations, in-depth discussions during workshops, and in our live podcast where we talked about how we are defining the #therapymovement.
In reflection, I realized that we are promoting the idea that each of us must take personal responsibility not just for our own work, but for our profession as a whole. And we even pushed that further, discussing our responsibility to our communities and to society at large. As agents of change, we feel the pressure to do something to heal what increasingly feels like a broken world.
And in my quiet moments after the conference I realized that this responsibility feels enormous. And overwhelming. And exciting. And confusing.
We signed up to help people, not to help everyone. Right?
What really is our responsibility?
I hate to say it, but I’m not sure I’ve come to a solid answer. As a true therapist, I truly think “it depends.” Each person has something different that they bring to the table. Each of us has a different level of privilege and different challenges that we face. We have different perspective, passion, motivation, and capacity to address societal needs.
SO – I felt the need to clarify – we don’t all need #jointhemovement with the same marching orders. The beauty in this community is that we can each come as we are, bringing what is ours to bring.
However, we must do some introspection to identify what we actually can and should be doing.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to identify ways you can support moving forward as therapists and as a society:
- What inspires me? For some (like Curt and me), the inspiration is specific to improving our profession. For others, it could be a specific issue that impacts the community at large. What inspires you?
- What am I hoping to accomplish? Having a clear vision of what inspires you AND what you want to do about it, can be critical in making the decisions related to this type of work or activism. The steps you take must be guided by your vision for what needs to change.
- What are my goals and values related to my work? Too many therapists will sacrifice themselves for the work. This isn’t sustainable and isn’t really required. In helping to move our profession forward, I think it makes the most sense to have your advocacy efforts align with your goals and values overall. You don’t have to compromise yourself in order to make an impact.
- Where am I most effective? For me, I’m most effective on a microphone. I want to stand up and speak out to the most people I can. For others, the one on one interactions in the therapy room or behind-the-scenes are where they shine. Don’t feel like you need to be able to do public speaking or podcasting to make a difference in the #therapymovement.
- What else needs my attention? Sometimes, we have a clear runway and are able to devote a lot of time and energy to a cause. At other times, we need to focus on ourselves, our health, our family, or something else entirely. It is okay if you need to focus more efforts elsewhere. Show up in your work and in your life in an authentic way that aligns with your morals and values. You’re still making a difference.
- What can I plan to do later? There are times when our capacity, capability, or time of life doesn’t match what the difference we’re hoping to make in the world. That’s okay. There’s time. Identify great ideas or passions that you want to take on later. Plant seeds with your activities now: attend amazing training, join a supportive community, or chart your course in some other way.
How do you plan to show up?
Are you ready to #jointhemovement?
Come together with other #moderntherapists in our FB Group.
Stay connected for our training and live events.
Connect and let us know what we need to be talking about now!