In addition to returning to my role as a counselor (see previous post), I have also taken this opportunity to take some sessions with my therapist as a counselee. I first began to see Christal in 1988 while in the midst of crisis. Since then, I have changed and, to my surprise and delight, I have found that our counseling relationship has also been able to change as well. She would say that I have found ways to "use her" differently over the years, as needed. I really appreciate that this is possible in a good counseling relationship.
Therefore, with all this new transition going on my life, I booked some appointments with her again. I knew that doing so would help me to better perceive the meaning of this new season of my life experience.
Having observed me for twenty years makes the high price of each session (gulp!)worth paying. That's because I'm not just paying for less than an hour of her time but for our twenty years of accumulated insight, history and connection. It is a fact that, due to the kinds of relationships certain kinds of counseling can produce, no one knows me like Christal. This means that stepping back into session with her -- even after years -- feels like picking up where we last left off.
I have gotten a lot out of this new series of sessions and I feel so grateful for the gift Christal has been to my life. As before, I have left some of my recent sessions with her shaking my head and repeating the word "wow" over and over as I refelct on the things that we accomplish together in such a short time.
The fact is that I'm glad I know both sides of the counseling relationship. There's no doubt that being Bill Faris, counselee better equips and empowers me to also be Bill Faris, Counselor.