As you receive this newsletter, we are embarking into National Play Therapy Week (February 3-9, 2019). This is such a great time to celebrate each of you and the difference you make in the world! We want to highlight the accomplishments of our local membership in our newsletter and with our award program. Yet we often hear crickets when asking what you do that is amazing. Why is that? Is it because we see our daily work as “just what we do”? Or perhaps because “other people do more”?
This is a week to remember that while our work may not show up in a journal or news article, it shows in the smile on a child’s face. We matter on a micro level, and the difference we make may or may not be seen outside of our therapy room. We matter because we care enough to be real and vulnerable with our clients. True empathy is truly vulnerable. It means we are willing to engage in our own emotion. We have to go to a time that we felt the pain the person in front of us is feeling and not just say, “Wow, that sucks.” We have to feel it so we can say, “That really hurts.” We also have to abstain from fixing the problem, from focusing on alleviating the pain of the emotion. The relief comes AFTER we feel with our clients, so we can give them the message, “It’s okay to not be okay.” That is real support; to be with the hurt and not run away. A lot of people don’t get it. A lot of people don’t want to get it. That makes it our gift. It’s a huge gift in a microcosm that ends up making the world better one person at a time.
My challenge to you this week is to remember that every minute you spend with a client, you are with them in a way they need. They cherish this, even if they can’t say it. You are a Play Therapist. You don’t have to be able to quantify your impact with a prize or article because you know the toy dragon told you all you needed to know about life and emotion. And you loved by simply being in that moment.
Spread the word: Play Therapy is an honor and a gift. We are blessed to be present when someone shows with words, figures, or actions the pain they feel because they felt safe enough to show it.
I am honored to have served you as MIAPT President for the past year. This is my last Presidential Pondering and I thank you for the love and commitment you give to this field. Thank you for being a part of MIAPT! You are such a blessing to me!
If you have something to share during National Play Therapy Week or in our newsletters (pictures, interventions, look what I did, play therapy is helpful because, member spotlight…), please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to hear from our membership because it motivates us and reminds each of us of what we do and what we can do! We also want to post on Facebook some extra fun things this week (and in general).
Abby DuPree LMSW, RPT