This is continued from my previous post about my own personal Sandals Resort that happens inside of my head:
On a Wednesday, when the week seems as though it should be over, I got into my car and drove over to my counselor’s house. This was no ordinary house. This was an old house she had bought years ago to be a safe place for burnt-out women to come and be refreshed. Her parents had passed and left her an inheritance for her to make her dream come true: having a private practice out in the country to serve the over-serving women. I admired the fact the house was in an indirect way, a gift to her. I suppose I just saw in her face the appreciation and respect because she did not feel as though she “owned” it. I drove down the long, gravel driveway lined with trees. It was just long enough for me to enjoy the butterflies in my stomach about sitting in that rocking chair on the porch and marinating on the hard questions she will ask me for the day. I finally reach the house, I get out and she is waiting for me on the porch. She has a giant smile across her face and a mug of hot Russian Tea waiting for me. She is around 55 years old. She has been married 20 years with 2 children that were getting close to my age. She loved dogs and there were two constantly at the house. They had become part of our counseling sessions. I enjoyed that she shared just enough about herself and her life experiences so that I could trust her and identify with her. But she never shared too much so that I would not feel as though the sessions were about her.
I tried to pace myself so I didn’t seem over-eager, but my face told it all. She had learned to understand when I needed her to listen and when I needed her to speak hard truth into my life. She knows today is a day she needs to do both. As a counselor, I tried to nail down her theory of choice, perhaps in order to have some sort of control in my sessions with her. But, I could never nail one down. She used an eclectic approach, combining different aspects from Rogerian to Behavioral, depending on what I needed that day. She greets me with a hug and we walk around the wrap-around porch to the back. The back porch overlooks the river. She calmly and confidently sits down her in rocking chair waiting for me to start talking. I wasn’t sure I wanted the silence to end.