Tori Olds, a therapist at Deep Eddy Psychotherapy in Austin, TX, talks about how she’s wanted to be a therapist since she was 10, what she loves about connecting with others, and how sharing real human moments with her clients feels.
A Very Lovely Experience of Deeply Connecting to Another Person
I love being a therapist. I’ll just say what it’s like to me. Being a therapist is like getting to have these kinds of encounters that I think all of us long for and need and it’s really lacking in our Facebook-driven culture, but it feels really satisfying and good. When people have the chance–like I’ll see in our groups–It’s almost like, “Wow!” The oxytocin feels like really satisfying and enriching and supportive, but being a therapist is a fabulous job because I get to be in that place all day. I get to have this very lovely experience of deeply connecting to another person and even when it’s with their pain there’s such positive connection.
Does Being a Therapist Get Tiring?
Sometimes my clients ask me, “Doesn’t this get tiring?” But even when it’s with their pain there’s such a positive thrust to it that there’s also healing there. So, while the pain might make me feel sad, for instance, I’m just appreciating the beauty of two sad people being with each other. When a person is sad and I’m able to be with them, there’s a real beauty to that, so it’s very satisfying.
Being a Therapist is Deeply Who I Am
Being a therapist is also something I’ve known I wanted to do since I was 10, it’s deeply who I am. When I was in middle school, when we’d have slumber parties, we’d get everyone in the circle and we’d do “group therapy” and I’d have them describe the most difficult thing in their life right then and then we’d all do it. So, at ten, this is how I would coach because I didn’t know anything about therapy, but it was pretty good. I’d have each say what they liked about the other person and then give them a hug. That’s my therapy and it was so fun. We all loved that game. We’d all say, “Lets play that therapy game!”
When I was in college—same thing. I’d have people come in my dorm room and I got known for that and I’d have people I didn’t even know on campus coming up to me and saying, “I heard someone came and shared their feelings with you, can I do that?” And that was really awesome. I’d just be like, “Yes you can, I love doing that!” So, I’d have people come around and we’d do these sessions. And, of course, this is the danger in having therapists for parents because I thought I knew what I was doing. But I’d had some trainings right out of high school, which I was drawing on because I just knew I wanted to do this, so I started training right away. So, what that early training looked like was just learning how to deal with feelings, in the moment, in the body, and also how to connect to somebody through eye contact and through resonating.
I Love My Clients and Care About Them
I really love being a therapist. I love my clients. Sometimes people will feel that I care about them and it can be a little confusing because I’m in a role as their doctor and I’m getting paid. So, they’ll say, “You seem like you really care, but I’m paying you, so what’s the deal?” So, sometimes I’ll have them think about if you’re a teacher for a kindergarten class or something like that, and you’re absolutely there for the kids, but you wouldn’t be there if you weren’t getting paid. You’re doing this, it’s your job, and it’s professional, yet these little beings you’re working with—you really care and you get to know them as real people, you love them, you care about them.
Exploring Vulnerabilities Together in Therapy
With some of my clients, I know them better than I know my friends. I get to see all of their vulnerabilities and everything and so it’s impossible not to care. So, there is actually a genuine bond between therapists and clients, even though there are boundaries, as well—and those boundaries are important—but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be something real, a real human moment.
Starting Therapy in Austin, TX
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