Therapy Thursday

Wow! It is difficult to find consistency in some things. Does anyone else have that problem?

I’m pretty sure part of the problem is that since my last post, I have downloaded a dating app. Again. After deleting it. Again.

The things humans will do for love.

I decided to download it again because I feel like I am in a good enough place to know what I want and not feel bad about rejecting the men that don’t have those qualities. There is no “well maybe he’ll change his mind” or “It isn’t that important to me, and he’s really cute so I can totally deal with it.” NO, Kaylin. Just stop that.

People deserve to be with partners that don’t expect or hope that they will change. People deserve honesty.  People deserve to get what they want in life and in a partner.

You are people too. And I am people. I deserve these things. Perhaps I’ll share more about that at a later date. App/online dating stories are always fun.

Which brings me to my next point. I originally called this post “Therapy Notes Thursday,” which as I’m thinking about it now sounds highly unethical and implies that I will be sharing my notes from sessions with the world. I should probably clarify and/or change that.

What I will be sharing is my experience, as the therapist, without giving any major details away and changing names and maintaining confidentiality and all that. The client will be secondary in this. My goal in this is to share the other side of the couch.  Being a therapist is exhilarating and terrifying and humbling and beautiful and produces anxiety and makes you cry and laugh and smile- yes, still talking about the therapist’s experience. This is my raison d’être. To be there, and hold on to my client’s deepest fears and insecurities and secrets and show them love and acceptance and understanding. (Side note, my best friend and I decided today that I am a mix of Kesha and Carl Rogers– glitter and empathy).

So I have a client who is recently out of an abusive relationship, and the ex is asking my client back. They haven’t returned, yet. Hopefully never… (In the cycle of abuse, the victim/survivor will leave and return to their partner on average 7-9 times before leaving for good. Please call for help if you know anyone or if you are in danger.)

Clients like this break my heart. Because of the above reasons. My head is full of rainbows and butterflies and glitter and sunshine and I want everyone to find their perfect partner, whatever that looks like, and be happy. That would be great. And victims of abuse don’t get that. They get stuck in a place of love and hope for change.

So my experience- we used an assessment from Imago therapy, which is pretty interesting.  The client answers 5 questions about personality traits and characteristics of their caregivers, as well as their needs as a child. Then, the therapist (that’s me!) turns those qualities into personality traits of their romantic partners.  I used to do this in groups with my addicts and it is almost 100%. It’s really crazy.

So I did the interpretation and IT WAS AMAZING. This client is highly protected and shut off from feeling, but thy started to cry and talked about how much they want to be happy. These are the moments I live for! To have a client and feel as though I can’t reach them or I can’t get through to them, to them have them feeling and expressing is so beautiful. I got a little misty, I won’t lie. I was nervous to do this assessment. I’m slowly learning to accept that not everyone will open up to me as easily as others. I’m learning that the only way to be the best therapist that I can be, is by simply being myself and being present with my clients. Those are always my best sessions- the ones when I’m not thinking and I’m just being.

Does that apply to other careers? I would love to know!

We ended the session by deciding on the smallest steps that the client could take on the path to finding what it is they want. Progress doesn’t have to be huge and scary and life changing all at once. In fact, it’s probably better if personal growth happens at a slower pace.

What small things do you all do to help yourselves grow and create love yourself? I recently began putting my hand on my heart as soon as I wake up, and I say out loud, “good morning, Kaylin. I love you.” I heard about it on this TED talk. I’m only like 3 days in, and I’ve forgotten to do it a couples times, but I’ll let you know what I notice.


The Beauty of You

I was in the locker room at the gym and I heard two women talking. The first woman’s says to the other, “Oh, I should spend more time prepping myself like you are, but I just don’t feel like it today,” to which the other replies, “Oh, I’m hardly spending any time today. I’m only putting in my hair extensions and doing my make up. I should spend more time too.”

I’m already slightly amused/saddened/curious and they continue…
Woman One says something to the effect of “I just feel so lazy. My coworkers are going to get what they get and they just have to deal with it.” The second one laughed and said “Yeah, they can deal with one day of me not being primped as usual,” as she continues to put in her hair extensions.
And the conversation continues slightly and I stop paying attention but I did not stop thinking about it ALL. DAY.
The way these women talked about their make-up, their appearance, it was as if they owe it to the world to spend a certain amount of time in the morning in order to look… presentable? beautiful? OK ENOUGH TO BE IN PUBLIC?
I’m assuming both of these women are cisgender. They are both blonde and skinny and attractive within the societal norms – I live in Orange County remember.
So I don’t tumblr. But I do read Buzzfeed’s lists of Tumblr. On one of them there was a post about women paying rent in order to exist by looking pretty… That’s what’s coming up for me during this.
To give you an idea of where I am coming from- I like make-up. I don’t spend a lot of time or money on it, and I enjoy it. I really love mascara and once I can afford to keep up with eyelash extensions you better believe I will be getting some. I typically wear some eyeshadow, some mascara, and a highlighter if I”m feeling crazy. Not a whole lot. I don’t like the feeling of having a lot of stuff on my face. Even the weightless powders and creams and whatevers feel like way too much for me. That’s my preference. I don’t judge girls who wear a lot of make up, who spend hours in front of the mirror, just like I don’t judge the girls that don’t do that. IF anything I admire those girls- both types. If you can wing your eyeliner, I’m super jealous of you. You do you, boo. What caught my attention about this conversation was the fact that these women were talking about their appearance as if it didn’t belong to them. Like we owe it to the world to alter our appearances to their liking (its liking?).
“The best thing is to look natural, but it takes make up to look natural” – Calvin Klein
“I believe that all women are pretty without make up and can be pretty powerful with the right make up” – Bobbi Brown
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself” – Coco Chanel
Calvin Klein, you make no sense. Fuck these standards set by society. Fuck the idea that women need flawless skin while men are allowed to walk around blemishes and all; and I dare say that the more flaws they have, the more rugged or weathered or handsome they are. AND ALSO fuck the “rule” that says men can’t wear make up if they want to!
Guys (in the all inclusive non-gendered sense), do what you want with your body. Make your style. Change your style. Or don’t. I would love it if I had to find a new career because no one had these issues anymore.
Oh, shit. No more low self esteem? No more not feeling good enough? No more trauma? Alright cool, I’m going to follow my other dream of being a beach bum. People will pay me for that right?
Guys. Girls. Zee’s. Zim’s. Y’alls. Everyone. You’re the perfect you. Keep creating yourself and creating that meaning in your own life and everything will fall into place, I promise.
I’m excited for my Friday night. I’m drinking margaritas and painting for the rest of the night. And probably Netflix. After enjoying time on the patio.

Create Love… Daily

An introduction attempt

I’m obsessed with TEDtalks. I heard one once, I can’t recall who was speaking or where it was, in which the speaker spoke about love as an action. One of the things I believe to be true. The way she said it though- you have to create the love you want. You have to co-create a relationship with your partner. This involves communication and negotiation and give/take and lose/win. This involves looking within yourself and knowing what you want.

I love that.

That’s exactly what I want my relationships to look like- co-created works of art.

I start with self-love. Obviously, there isn’t a lot of co-creating going on with the art of self love, just creation. What I’m working on though is making it pure and only for me. It’s my life, my love for myself, I really don’t care if you agree or not. If you support me, cool, stick around and maybe we can create something together. If not, bye. I wish you well.

I’m not sure what this blog is going to look like yet. Very spiritual, very psychological, very fitness oriented, very foodies, very me.

Hi, I’m Kaylin. I’m an MFT intern in Orange County, California.

Create with me. ❤