6. Not as common as you'd think.
People absolutely don't think about sex anywhere near as often as I was taught (or as often as I wish). That said, mommy and daddy issues are more common than I thought before heading into this game and, yes, we're all terribly predictable.
7. Words to live by.
Currently a doctoral student doing my clinical training as a therapist. I had one client who adamantly believed that happiness is a choice, and lived by this belief. This client really changed my outlook on my own life, and I find myself stressing less about small stuff that doesn't matter in the long run.
I also don't let the choices of others have as much of a negative impact on my own mood as they have in the past, which was a huge struggle of my own. This, of course, is not always going to be an option for everyone all the time, especially for those who suffer from clinical anxiety, depression, and the like.
This was a high functioning client who had a fairly good handle on things so it worked well for them. It was really an excellent reminder that our clients aren't just there to learn from us and our guidance. We learn so much from them as well.
8. It all depends on the person.
Everything is subjective: one person can view an 'event' as an opportunity while another in the same situation can view it as a threat.
9. A lot to take in.
I learned that people are more decent and more resilient that I had previously thought.
I learned that suffering is part of the human condition, and it is not unusual for people to experience depression or anxiety problems at some point in their life.
I learned that someone’s distress about their problem doesn’t necessarily correlate with how big that problem objectively looks to others.
I learned that in order to benefit from therapy people need to have the humility and curiosity to try something different, to try thinking and behaving differently.
I learned that it can be frustrating when someone just uses therapy to talk about themselves but doesn’t make changes in their life, even though they’ve identified that their behavior is dysfunctional and is making others unjustifiably unhappy.
I learned that even though this work often makes me crave time away from people, it’s rare to come across a patient I don’t like. Everybody has something likeable that makes me feel tender toward them, even if they don’t realize it (and it’s often a quality they’re not particularly aware of).
I learned that if I give my all to every patient, they will probably benefit from feeling that I am totally present, passionate about helping them, and that I understand them and I like them. But if I do all of that for every patient, I'll have nothing left over for me and my loved ones, so I've learned not to. It's an uneasy compromise but it's the only way I can find balance