A lot of the time, this field is akin to detective work. We worry that our helpees are not being honest with us, or we wonder about which parts they’re hiding. “I’m smelling underlying trauma,” we say to one another, or, “Maybe a talk with the department head?” or, “I have to wonder if he’s using more often than he’s telling me.” This search for what’s real makes so much sense. We know how much of ourselves we’re concealing. We hide most of our unpleasant, nutso thoughts and our weird, compulsive behaviors because we know that if the world saw us as we really are, the world would reject us. We conceal ourselves in shawls of mindful, positive gratitude because the world is largely not a safe place. We strive to create a safe place in which our clients can actually access their experience and move toward ever-increasing congruence. We watch our clients for signs of dishonesty because we want to do all that we can to help them move into their authentic selves.
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