Tori Olds, a therapist at Deep Eddy Psychotherapy in Austin, TX, talks about finding people who are ready to show up and do the work and why therapy has strengthened her belief in humanity.
Being Ready to Work
I love working with people that are just ready to work. It doesn’t even matter if they have really strong defenses and resistances. I think it’s really important to not judge that or be anti-that. As long as there are some reasons they are there. Which is just about everybody, otherwise they wouldn’t be there.
Every once in awhile I have someone who’s just like, “my wife sent me” and I’m just like, “Do you want to do this?” And they say, “No, not really.” And that’s the only time I leave it.
But people that show up ready to work, I really tend to like those clients and that’s because those are self-selected people that want to work on themselves. Often, I’ll say of all the different groups in the world (political parties or whatever) of all the different groups, one of my favorites is people who are in therapy. It’s like a really neat group of people.
Being in Therapy Takes Courage
Being in therapy takes courage, it takes commitment to growth, sometimes it’s just wanting to be a better person. Often, people come in because they want to be a good parent or a good partner. Those people are really neat. I really tend to like my clients. I love when they are willing to work and I’m just present in there and able to jump into the process. That’s really satisfying.
What’s the biggest challenge that you [Tori] are working through with your personal growth?
That’s a good question. I’m working through more existential questions. You know, just getting older and being a mom, and my parents getting older and thinking about them dying. I’m thinking about, “What’s the meaning?” I really love and think that life is really beautiful, but it’s almost like when you were in your 20s you develop all the things you know and then like you deconstruct that and develop a new construct.
How We Gain Complexity
I think that’s actually how learning goes, you learn something and you’re confident about it and you deconstruct it and kind of scramble it and then you learn something better or more complex and that’s healthy and that’s how we gain complexity. Then we go through all the doubting and go to the darkness of that and then we reemerge to something else. So, I feel like maybe I’m going through a phase of something is doubting within, but there’s an underlying confidence in the process that it will take me somewhere good. I’m thinking a lot on specific beliefs that I have. So, I’m in that place of not knowing and I did actually schedule a session with my therapist for a few weeks out. That’s healthy. I could notice a little inner angst within me. I was questioning, “Is my outward life really aligning with this value I have and what do I want to do with that?” So you know, I guess we’re always kind of growing with these kinds of things.
What do you [Tori] feel most certain about in your life?
The thing I am most certain about is that human beings are beautiful. It’s something I’ve actually known my whole life. I really got that at a young age, that we’re all doing our best. I remember being young and someone saying like, “If I were you, I would do this.” And I really thought about that and I was like, “No, because if you were me you would be doing exactly what I’m doing.” We just have the brains we have.
There’s Nothing to Be Ashamed Of
So, the first part of that is that I’m very anti-shame. I really feel like there’s nothing to be ashamed of. I don’t believe in evil or bad. Even though we deal with unhealthy things, that’s always because of unhealth rather than badness.
We All Have A Potential for Healing
On the other hand, I think there’s this potential for healing we all have. The mind is actually good at that, too, if given a chance. So, it’s really that people just need a chance. They just need support. When people are way off, they just need some kind of support or guidance or learning because at some point, someone failed them (cause the support should happen more when we’re kids). But people are incredibly resilient, they are incredibly beautiful when they’re able to be with their feelings and their selves in a settled way. What I see come out in people is the best part of being human—compassion, humor, strength, longing to help. I really do see that come out, again and again, as soon as people are settled in themselves.
This work is very uplifting in terms of your belief in humanity.
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