Years before I had read Irvin Yalom’s Love’s Executioner I began collecting and documenting stories with a select group of patients who I felt were not only marked turning points of growth in my professional career, likewise left an impression on who I am as a person.
“There is scarcely any passion without struggle.”
I have waffled back and forth many times as to what I wanted to accomplish by sharing such stories. Perhaps it would be to illustrate “what I wish I had learned in graduate school” or maybe to offer what I could to future therapists or non-practitioners along the lines of The Examined Life. Maybe it was only to serve as catharsis for my own internal struggle or to painfully point to the astonishing rates of “burn out” in the mental health field ( 1).
“There is no normal life that is free of pain. It’s the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth.”
~ Mr. Rogers
What’s more is that like Yalom’s work, a number of years have passed since I originally authored some of these stories. This provides a sort of meta-reflection — reflecting on my reflections of a case at the time of, or shortly after I was treating the individual. I will try my best to preserve the original content and leave my original thought process intact and save any commentary for afterword.
Originally published at https://savagezen.co on January 8, 2021.