Daily Ground – – -Paying attention to Spring – – – February 21st
Presence and attention are the most precious gifts we can give to another.
When I did my first internship as a budding therapist in graduate school, I learned this loud and clear. I worked at a youth service bureau in a depressed area of Southeast Baltimore. Many of the families we saw were already deep into the system (DSS, CPS, Probation, DJS). I was a bit nervous and completely unsure of myself even after completing a rigorous grad program.
I thought I needed to memorize the DSM and know every intervention possible. I was worried about diagnosis, and correctly presenting cases in supervision. What I quickly learned was that so many of the people – children, adults, families, parents – sitting across from me had never been truly listened to. They needed to be heard.
There is a lot more to psychotherapy than just being with another, but it is the most important part. Id’ say it’s even the most difficult part. It’s true of most people we encounter; we aren’t normally present to each other at all. Give someone a gift today. Make it your intention to be truly present to those you encounter – try it even with one person.