I took a break from writing my monthly article this past summer because I thought I was running out of things to write about. I also knew that it was going to be a tumultuous time for me, and I wanted to be fully in the experience and not have to be concerned about deadlines. It may seem that 600 words is not a lot, but when you’re struggling, it can be the same as having to write a novel.
As predicted, the summer was difficult for me personally and for the world. There has been a lot of cleaning and clearing going on, most of which has been dramatic and life-changing. Much of it has been distressing personally – getting attacked by yellowjackets (they are very aggressive suckers), getting my first speeding ticket ever after driving with a clean record for 47 years (there’s a connection to the yellowjackets in that story), having to replace my furnace (a very big expense), watching my basement flood during hurricane Irene (the water level coming very close to the new furnace), losing power for almost a week and phone service for longer than a week, and having several clients leave treatment for a number of reasons.
That is not to say that my practice hasn’t had its share of ups and downs during the past 13 or 14 years, but this time it was divined that it would happen and so it did. The difference is in the way I am dealing with it. The good news is that I am not panicked, despite the change in my finances. But I am still trying to figure out what to do now.
From my spiritual perspective as a Yoruba Priest, I believe that Oya (the Orisa represented by the wind) is clearing things out in my work, and Egun (the ancestors) have the answer to my question of: Now what? So, on the basis of the information I have thus far, I’m making some changes.
For starters, I am not grieving the loss of those who have decided to leave. I believe I’ve served my purpose for them, even though from my perspective for many of them the work had just begun. I’ve also decided that I don’t want to work with children under the age of 17. I’ve decided to stop undervaluing my work and charging too little for it, including accepting assignment of payment from a consortium that devalues the contribution of psychotherapists. I am raising my fees whenever possible and quoting higher fees to new clients who can afford them. (I’ll always take on clients on a sliding scale.)
But two changes are most significant. The first is that I want to work with clients who are ready to make a commitment to their lives and consequently to our work. I want to work with people whose ultimate goal is transformation. I want clients who understand and accept that depression, anxiety, addiction, dysfunctional relationships, under-earning, etc. are all symptoms of a deeper underlying issue of the self, and who want to get beyond relief to become the people they have the potential to be.
The second change is that I want to share the process I went through to find my family of origin. This work started in the summer of ’09 and is ongoing. My ancestors actually at this point have a whole room in my house for themselves. When I’m upstate, I have tea with them every morning. My altar is wonderful, made so by the addition of heretofore unknown photos on my mother’s side of the family. I have learned so much from my ancestor work and my relationship with them. I want to help others reap the same rewards. I’m calling this “Ancestor Healing Work” and have included it in my website, and will be marketing it more and more in the coming months. I really do believe that the ancestor work is my greatest gift and has the potential to bring me the greatest success.
So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey, let me know. We don’t even have to be in the same room, city, state or country for us to do the work. Check out my website, which you can access on my GoodTherapy.org profile, and read about what I have in mind. Your ancestors are waiting for you.
© Copyright 2011 by Kalila Borghini, LCSW, therapist in New York City, New York. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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