A certain degree of neurosis is of inestimable value as a drive, especially to a psychologist.
– Sigmund Freud
We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us, that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet.
– W.B. Yeats, Still Water
Like anyone else, I have suffered and made mistakes. I sometimes notice myself locked in a limited perspective, feeling apart from the world. I have mostly been extremely fortunate in my life, but sometimes misfortunes have befallen me. Through it all, it has been critical for me, especially as a therapist, to acknowledge my pains and see them as experiences that are worth feeling and learning from. First-hand experience has taught me that the right kind of engagement with suffering, which is an unavoidable condition of being alive, can be a gateway to happiness, joy, fulfillment, and even a sense of awe.
I was drawn to the prospect of working in this field, as a young person, out of an intuition that I would be personally enriched through contact with a broad swath of humanity; so that I could learn from the people I sought to help and grow in my own capacities for wisdom, compassion, and knowledge. This intuition has borne true and being a psychologist has proven to be a labor of love. Over the course of my training and professional career, I have had the privilege to work with patients and clients from almost all corners of the world and from varied walks of life. I feel appreciably better off to have worked with individuals of all ages, gender-presentations, sexual orientations, ethnic and racial backgrounds, and philosophical, spiritual and religious persuasions.