These recent comments by clients were unsolicited:
"I wanted you know how much the work with you still impacts me so many years later. Your influence has even extended to others who I have urged to seek out professional help when facing situations similar to my own."
"You come to my mind so so many times that if I contacted you each time, you'd have to kindly ask me to desist… I'm still thriving and going strong, expanding on the foundation of self-care and self-esteem you so patiently helped me grasp, both by your insightful words and by your example. I learned A LOT from your example. I remember how adamantly I insisted that my views of myself are correct, that people in general think like me. You gave me space and time to change my outlook, you gave me the direction but you never rushed the process…. The feelings of gratitude just naturally resurface. I will be always grateful for what you have given me."
"After 2 years our time together is at its end. I write this note on the eve of our final meeting...
The flat is quiet and still. I feel calm and grounded. My surroundings these days feel a lot more like what is going on internally - less chaotic, happier, simpler. Maybe the better-put-together mind sees itself reflected outwardly, or maybe the better surroundings... allows our minds to follow suit. I think it's a bit of both; that's how my journey has felt. Making the unconscious conscious. The internal and external coming into balance.
I remember fearing early on in the process that undoing all that led me to therapy in the first place - everything that culminated in the somewhat functional but lost person you first saw two years ago - was too Herculean a task. I couldn't see how I could do that - it was too grueling, too difficult, surely I'm set in who I am. Though at least part of me was fighting that - fighting for me - else why would I have turned up at your door? You told me that these things are often a lot of effort to maintain (though I of course didn't know any different) and the process of undoing them would result in me expending far less energy and feeling much more connected to myself and whole. Wise words and beyond prophetic.
I used the word casually above, but I think that tiny word - lost - encapsulates where I was (or rather was not!) at the beginning of this journey. I had a sense that my life was happening to me, that I acted in the world (if I were even aware of it) in a way that was incongruous with what some deep part of me really wanted. I didn't know what the boundaries were of myself, others and - arguably most crucially - the sub-personalities that make up (the one and only) Me.
I was so wholly unaware of these things, aside from the very nebulous "I just don't feel as happy as I know I should". The fact that I "should"'d myself into therapy seems very circa-2019! Oh no, it wasn't that I wanted to be happier I should be happier.
Thankfully, through sheer luck of the universe, I landed myself in the very capable and caring hands of someone I honestly couldn't imagine doing this journey without: you.
With unwavering patience, care, and entirely without judgement you asked questions. You listened (really listened, not just heard the words) and you asked more questions, or you mined your vast knowledge and experience to give me a nugget of wisdom, that in my own time I could turn over and inspect (or question) and appreciate. In acting as my guide - by asking simple questions (though perhaps with complex answers), by imploring me to look deeper within at my feelings and motivations - you showed me the blueprint of what real, integrated self-love is. I may have gone on the journey (and proud I am of it), but you showed me how I could do it for myself, by doing exactly what you have done for me.
The difference between the lost lad who first came to you two years ago and the man I am now is staggering. Maybe the Herculean task wasn't so imposing, maybe there's more strength in me than I gave myself credit for. I'm not so sure about the former, but I'm pretty damn sure of the latter. If there's one thing this whole journey has shown me it's that I'm capable of so much more than I ever thought, and that really knowing one's value (truly knowing it, feeling it through real self-love) is a helluva thing to base this life on.
It's taken me a while to write this so now I've got a beautiful sunset. Seems even more appropriate. The idea of our journey ending fills me with real sorrow: I'm going to miss our weekly session (I'm still amazed I had anything to say after 6 weeks!) and the companionship I've had on this most incredible journey in my life. My ever-present guide helping me be a better [me] than yesterday. The solace I take is that all those wonderful qualities have left an imprint on my very soul and I know that your companionship will always be a part of me, in some form or another.
So with this I sign off, Dr D. Thank you for everything you have done for me. My life (and I really do think the world itself) is immeasurably better for it. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.Yours forever and always,
"I wanted to share this news with you because this chapter would not have been possible without the work that we did together. It brings tears to my eyes thinking of the journey we went on together and the tools I use to this day to take care of myself…. Thank you for helping me get to a place that exceeded my wildest expectations."
"Things are continuing to go incredibly well - amazingly so, on all levels - and I'm becoming more balanced, more self-assured, less anxious with each passing day. Sometimes I can scarcely believe it. I'm so grateful to you for - basically - changing my life. The twin gifts of sobriety and self esteem (which has finally, mirabile dictu, popped out at the end of the process, just as you said it would) have given me unthinkable power and self-assurance, and so much of the psychic weight around reponsibility for [my spouse] has been lifted..., so that [it] continues to improve, day by day, and has given me my [spouse] back, and my life back. I'm remembering to stay close to myself. And I'm always remembering to ask myself what [I'm] feeling, and why. And when I do that, it's in your voice. When my friends are down, or in the dumps, or right at the bottom, I always say they can borrow a cup of hope from me. The same cup that - almost two years ago, I first borrowed from you. You're a truly wonderful man, and I'll never forget how you've helped me."
"I also wanted to thank you for the past year of therapy. I can't believe how much progress I've made with my love life, work-life balance, self-image and confidence. Your sessions may be expensive but they were worth every penny :). I'm really glad that I kept coming back for as long as I have."
"You don't know how much of a force for good you are!"
I want to express my feelings of happiness, freedom and contentment… You have helped me to feel beautiful, calm and happy from within,. How?… Compassion, empathy, objectivity and knowledge… Thank you for your great work!
"With unwavering patience, care, and entirely without judgement you asked questions. You listened (really listened, not just heard the words) and you asked more questions, or you mined your vast knowledge and experience to give me a nugget of wisdom, that in my own time I could turn over and inspect (or question) and appreciate. In acting as my guide - by asking simple questions (though perhaps with complex answers), by imploring me to look deeper within at my feelings and motivations - you showed me the blueprint of what real, integrated self-love is. I may have gone on the journey (and proud I am of it), but you showed me how I could do it for myself, by doing exactly what you have done for me."
"You're a dedicated, kind and fantastic therapist."
"Your kind words and thoughtfulness in addressing both my immediate needs as well as greater issues in my self-image have helped tremendously in the last years. In terms of day to day life, you helped give me the tools I needed to manage stress, voice my limits, and recognize negative emotions. Doing so has helped me to overcome a fear of disappointment and I feel like I both freely pursue opportunities that are outside my comfort zone and show greater authenticity because I am less reliant on others to build my self-esteem. I do not shy away from discussing difficult topics. I am optimistic about the future and incredibly grateful to see how far I have come Thank you for being such an amazing ally and support. I am definitely a convert to therapy, and I appreciate how much working with you has put me in a mindset to enjoy my life more fully. "
"[T]hanks to some great therapy, I am doing pretty well myself…. You are always in my thinking, as part of my thinking every day, for which I will be forever grateful."
"I wanna say thank you so much for getting me through those times. I genuinely don't know where I'd be without you. You were the only person I could talk to openly and honestly at that point without any fear of judgement or repercussions."
"You have given me the gift of freedom to be myself, the ability to live (and soak up!) the moment, and most importantly, the opportunity to live a happy life.
I might have spent the rest of my time here in this world as I had before I met you— anxious, depressed, self-loathing and unbelievably lonely. For a long time, I found no joy in life. It was just something I endured. Coming to therapy was an act of desperation. I couldn't tolerate my life as it was anymore, but I didn't really expect it'd ever be good. I just wanted relief from the pain… At times I lost hope I could ever be happy and didn't want to carry on living at all… But today… I am so happy I am still here. That is in very large part thanks to you. Again, I'm not sure how I can ever really thank you for that.
[T]here have been a few things in particular that I have especially appreciated about you… You are consummately professional, which I needed in order to trust you and the process of therapy, You are endlessly empathetic, which meant I ultimately felt safe sharing things with you that I had never acknowledged to myself, let along told anyone else. Your love of literature and a good reference kept my intellect engaged and stimulated… [S]omething I think of most fondly is the warmth and kindness you radiate just by being in the room. You made me feel immediately comfortable and over time I learned from you how to be warm and kind to myself.
You have such a gift which really matters in this world and I can only imagine how much of yourself you must give to your work. All I can really say is that for what you have given me, I am eternally grateful."
"You helped me change my life and adapt my sails to the wind. I couldn't ask for more."
"I wanted to thank you again for all the support you've given me these past few sessions. I was pleasantly surprised that with only a few meetings I have learned so much. I really appreciated your willingness to connect with me."
"I just wanted to say thank you. I think about our time together and conversations often. They were so impactful and continue to help guide me when I'm feeling anxious or stressed. Because of that, I feel so much more empowered and in control of my thoughts and feelings. For that, I am so grateful."
"Lovely to talk to you and to find you every bit as warm and understanding as I'd been told."
"Kenneth, I felt I needed to share with you these highlights... [of my happy life]. I want you to know that you remain close to my heart. I am grateful for your tender loving care during times when I didn't know my own resources within. I needed your care and courage to hang in there...even when other[s]… weren't so keen on my abilities. You were such a professional… but you made room for me to be me."
"I spent two days locked in my room with dark thoughts. I packed most of my belongings and was ready to harm myself when I opened my drawer and saw your card with your number… I am so glad [we were able to meet.] You saved my life. Thank you very much."
"I am happier than I have ever been before. I want to thank you for your time and help. You have helped change my life and I will always be grateful."
"I would just like to say thank you for your help in turning my life around. And most of all helping me find ME !"
"I found you very easy to talk to you. I found a marked difference with my experience of [past therapists]. With them I felt I was just answering a series of set questions. With you it was more of a flowing conversation and I felt I could speak more freely."
"I am in a far better (more integrated) place internally and feel immeasurably stronger and more focused as a result of your guidance… I use the concepts you taught me on a daily basis, and cannot thank you enough for your astute and caring insight… I believe that my future will be brighter and that I now have the perspective to break some of my cyclical mistakes."
"I really enjoyed the session. I was worried that I would feel uncomfortable but I ended up really liking [your] communication style and left feeling mentally lighter. [You gave] me... some food for thought."
"You have been immensely helpful, and I cannot thank you enough. If, for any reason, I need your help in the future I will be in touch."
"I'm very pleased to say that I feel and have felt an entirely new person since our time together and am much more in control of my life, thoughts and feelings ! I feel its long overdue but thanks again for your wonderful impact on my life."
"Just a quick note to say a big thank you for our sessions last year....[T]ruthfully, the brief series had a real impact - something was definitely unblocked, and I feel so much more assertive and confident."
"I felt that I was really understood and was very much inspired by what you said… Your advice… resonates with me extremely... You helped me to see deeper into why I am acting and thinking the way I am. Thank you so much!"
"In my life I have struggled to believe that I can do things: get into … school, date, run a [marathon], climb a mountain. While some of the things …have [been] achieved and others are in the works, I now know I can do all of them because of what you helped me find in myself. You helped me realize that I [have] all the answers within myself. I stop to think about why I feel the way I do and then I go from there. I do not hide from my feelings, I take ownership [of] them. From the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you. Thank you for showing me that I can do just about anything and for helping me believe in myself. Thank you for taking a chance [on] me."
"It hasn't been easy at all but I do feel like things have turned a real corner. Again, thank you so very much for your great care and support. You really changed my life."
"I would just like to say how rewarding the experience was meeting you and it certainly stirred things up in a way I hadn't anticipated…"
"I really look forward to our next meeting and must thank you for your sensitivity while going over events in my life that were fairly emotional and not easy to express. Though I know this kind of thing is to be expected, I appreciated the warmth and kindness you showed."
"The time I came to you I was stuck knowing what I had to do but not knowing how to do it. Your words gave me the strength and I got through it. So, very many thanks. You're up there in lights amongst those who have helped me."
"I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me to see the me that's already there... for your patience and guidance...Your kind words and humour with the addition of genuine care is much appreciated."
"I want to thank you again for meeting with [our student]. Your recommendation provided information that was valuable to all of us.... Thank you again for your very valuable help under especially stressful circumstances."
"The lessons I learned during our sessions were life-changing. I finally learned how to act in my own best interest and to get in touch with my [emotions]. I cannot thank you enough!!! You are a gifted psychologist and I feel very lucky to have worked with you!... I am generally happy—in large part due to the work we did together, and I look forward to a bright, happy future. Thanks again for all you’ve done for me."
"I am grateful for our sessions over the past few weeks and your advice has helped me get through a difficult time and enable me to look forward to the future. You helped me open up to long hidden feelings and a way of thinking that I will continue to use."
"I wanted you to know how much the work with you still impacts me so many years later."
"Just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for the...sessions.... [Your] advice gave me an entirely new perspective on my issues which has changed everything. I have kept your 'integration' philosophy at the core, and it has continued to work wonders for me when I apply it to different aspects of my life. Seems so simple now! I realise we didn't have many sessions, but the few we had were a 'eureka moment' for me."
"I'm not even sure where to start but thank you so very much for all your help over the past year. It has changed my life enormously and has really informed and changed the way I operate and ... feel!"
"Hey, I just wanted to let you know that you made a super unbelievable impact on my life. [You] knew I had it in me. [and you] guided me towards it. I was so impatient to learn the meaning of everything, so then I could sit back and relax and contemplate existence. I do not do that anymore. Each day is a gift. Life is an ever unfolding pattern that teaches us new stuff every single day."
"I've found the work you've done with me to be very valuable indeed, it's helped me make sense of a difficult phase in my life. Everyone I know who has seen you thinks very highly of you and the work you do. The help you offer seems to be second to none."
"Thank you so much for helping me and [my husband] through such a tough time. You were instrumental in showing me the situation wasn't so black and white. You were a huge reason why I didn't walk away... and I can't thank you enough for that. There was a lot of love left and I'm so glad I didn't throw that away. I'm sad to see our time spent has come to an end, but also feel so much has been accomplished."
"You have saved my life and I never thought it would be possible for me to feel "fixed"... yet somehow incrementally I feel things slotting into a place that feels natural, real and authentic. Im learning to feel my feelings and live one day at a time."
"I feel a lot has happened since our last meeting. Thanks to your advice, I feel for the first time in so many years that there is chance of a change in my life that I had come to think was not possible. Though only having had a couple of sessions with you, I feel [they] sowed the seed that gave me enough of an insight to look outside the world that I have in a way been locked into for so long, and resigned myself to not being able to change… I am afraid to hope for the impossible but can now at least see the possibility which I could never have seen before… Though for once I feel hopeful, I can see I need to build on a foundation different from the one I have been so used to."
"Thank you for your help in making my future a happier one."
"Very few people can get into my head the way you did and that's saying a lot… I am relieved and better centered for your kind advice. It was the way that you delivered it that got to me. No pressure, no criticisms, just an intellectual musing that on the surface seemed to glance off me but over time bored its way through my brain until I could resist it no longer. You are good!"
"It was a wonderful experience seeing you. I felt tremendous growth in such a short period of time."
"Thank you again for your help while I was in London… I seem to be a new man – more assertive, confident and not disassociating so much. I always remember what you said about doing what we wanted to do, not what was easy… I seem to have finally discovered what I was meant to do. Thanks again, and I will continue to “take care of myself"."
"I would really like to thank you for your help and
guidance... I can truly say that you have made us a better couple."
"I just wanted to thank you for believing in me from the start."
"Thank you for the thought provoking interview! It was appreciated and gave more to take away than anticipated."
"One gets what one pays for... With Kenneth it is quality time. He dug and rummaged a bit (for 6 months) and most of that was to strengthen me as I was in a rather weak condition. He did an admirable job of improving my capacity to face myself, for that I am ever indebted to him. I have been so much happier ever since!"
"...[a] more lovely, mild-mannered, considerate person you could hardly hope to meet."
"You know, you always say the nicest things. I wish I could talk to you everyday as you always find ways to boost my happiness. I will always be grateful to you for your kindness and assistance, they will not be forgotten."
"Thank you very much for your help this past week... You have gone far beyond
what most people would do and it’s very clear that you genuinely care about the people you help."
"Your help enabled me to take better control of my life and to make the decisions necessary for me to live the rest of my life."
"I hope you're.....still helping people live a better life just like you did for me."
"You are different from my previous therapists, which I personally feel is a great thing. I have never felt particulary comfortable talking to people about how I feel and you have given me the confidence to feel that I may be able to achieve that... I respected your decision to steer our session in such a way that it allowed me to think about options I had not assessed or thought may be possible... You are a great guy."
"I have seen many psychologists for depression, self-harm and anorexia, but [you were] the first and only one I was comfortable talking to."
"I really would like to thank you for the help you've given me up to now, though - for all it felt like an ordinary conversation at times it really seems to have made a difference. I suppose if anything that tells me you're good at your job :)"
"I wanted you know how much the work with you still impacts me so many years later. Your influence has even extended to others who I have urged to seek out professional help when facing situations similar to my own."