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Creating a space for our clients to speak their truth

The shared comfort of recognizing you are not the ONLY one is the gift of community. And as we can see, it takes courage and there are consequences to those who stand in their truth. YET, how can any of us be free if we do not feel the freedom to say what’s true for us? It’s why the environments we create as healing arts practitioners matter. Giving our clients ONE place in the world where they don’t have to be afraid to speak their truth is a tremendous gift.

As I sit with my clients this week (individuals and groups), the impact of the Kavanaugh hearings is loud in the room. It’s evident in the sorrow and rage one woman felt at being dismissed, while another tapped into the horror of feeling powerless, still another felt “collective sadness and betrayal.” It shows up in all the women who don’t speak their small truths because they learned so young not to speak the larger truths. It streams into the awareness of male clients who are considering their behavior and its impact.

Feeling the echoes of righteous indignation, I’ve settled into a quiet calm. It’s just ONE of the reasons I love AAIT. In my personal practice a few days ago, the focus was on my righteous indignation. Not that there is anything wrong with righteous indignation, it’s more that I did not enjoy the state because it inhibited my sense of personal freedom. Righteous indignation settled into a sweet balance with speaking my mind.

However, IF I were still embroiled in righteous indignation, I am not confident I would have the presence of mind not to let these conversations devolve into a kind of futility, an escalation of outrage or circular defeatism. Instead, what’s happening in my office is women are rapidly moving into and through the trauma of being survivors of sexual assault. They are finding their voice. They are aligning with a steadfastness of being that recognizes when they are being dismissed and STANDING in their large and small truths, learning to be IMPECCABLE with their word.

I am deeply humbled and grateful for having the means to address, to really help these clients end the trance of triggered pain rather than roam through the territory of our collective frustration and indignation for an hour. It is our job to keep our oars in the water, not to just float on the current. More than that, it really does thrill me to know that other AAIT practitioners are making BIG gains with their clients this week.

What about you? Are you finding it challenging to keep the therapeutic conversation on track? What’s helping you move back to the heart of your intention in your work in these turbulent times?