You know what they say about women? Our lives, responsibilities, relationships, work and the menu for the week are all snarled up like spaghetti in our minds and hearts.
Just like we could carry a toddler on our foot and a preschooler on the hip while juggling the frying pan and the phone, we can take a call, finish the soap notes, change the linens for the next client and think of a funny memory all at the same time.
Multitasking aside, the mothering tendency does not fall on everyone in the same way at the same time, even amongst those to whom were afforded the privilege of doing this mothering thing "full time".
For me, though, it usually happens like this. When God gives me a client, I take it seriously. That's right. I take it to be that everyone who walks through my door or into my life.. for whatever length of time.. is just that.. a gift. And for me, God is the giver of gifts.
Gifts are to be cared for, nurtured, treated responsibly. Just like these five beautiful children God has given me. I didn't earn them; I was gifted them. The same with my clients. In some ways, I feel the mothering instinct come out when I have a client before me.
Not that I possess the client the way a parent does, but for a moment in time.. I have the privilege of encouraging, uplifting, nurturing and helping them.
Isn't that just what we do with our own children? (Yes, there is a lot more to parenting than those few things, but in the big picture..)
And just like we, as parents, have the responsibility of keeping our children safe, I as a therapist will often ask the client this question, "Do you feel safe?"
I know they are safe. After all, I am not going to hurt them. But do they feel safe? What if our children did not feel safe with us? Can you imagine how strange it would be to grow up that way? What about our clients?
If they do not feel safe, how are they supposed to relax? And if they are not relaxed, how can we help their muscles and bodies to heal? So, I spend more time building a relationship with the client prior to the massage not just to get a thorough intake but to take the time to make sure they feel safe.
When they let go of tension, then I feel the freedom to go forward with the treatment.
It's just a little bit of my two worlds colliding. Mothering, if you will, creates the safe "nest" in which the client lies. Therapy, on the other hand, becomes the "food" and sustenance of the relationship. After all, they have come to you for treatment. Without that high quality "food", there would be no client/ therapist relationship to tend to.
So, yes, it's all tangled up like spaghetti, and it makes perfect sense to me.