What is the most helpful thing a therapist has ever told you? | Cup of Jo

woman walking with dog beach

Okay, I have a confession to make…

I love and am so curious my therapistand even though I know you’re not supposed so I always try to ask questions to know more about her. Needless to say, she never takes the bait. Such an example:

Me: “How was your Thanksgiving?”
Her: “Okay, thanks.”
Me, stretching me: “What Thanksgiving food do you like?”
Her: “Oh, you know, the classics.”
Me:

But you can’t blame me for that, because she’s a genius. During our sessions, she has offered such thoughtful words of wisdom that I often feel like I am hearing the answer to a riddle. One phrase she shared that has helped tremendously?

BOTH THINGS CAN BE TRUE.

Just before she said this, I had described a stressful parenting situation and kept interrupting myself to say, “But I really, really, really, really, really, really love my kids.” Finally she said, “Joanna, it’s okay, you can find parenting overwhelming AND love your kids. Two things can be true.

Since then, the concept has been proven true many times. When my stepfather died, I was relieved that he could finally rest AND heartbroken that he was gone. As we laughed at my mother’s house after his funeral, I remembered that we could simultaneously celebrate his life AND mourn his death. Every time I have spent an evening or weekend alone, I have enjoyed the silence AND missed the noise of my children. When I think back to new parenthood, I remember how you can desperately need a few hours of sleep AND feel your heart explode with gratitude every time you look at your baby.

Have you ever been to therapy? What is something helpful a therapist has told you? So curious to hear these special nuggets.

This song makes me laugh too:

PS The Grand Canyon trick it has saved me a million times, five ways to become a better listenerand what are your core values?

(Photo by Alba Vitta/Stocksy.)

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