An Ode to My Therapist
May 18, 2022
To my personal therapist -
Thank you for listening to me ramble at a thousand words a minute when I need to. Thank you for letting me sit in silence when I have nothing to say. Thank you for teaching me to reflect and to be self-aware without being self-judgmental.
I know in our professional setting, I rarely get a chance to express my gratitude. Nor do I ever know if it’s the right time to ask about your career, or your life. But what you provide for me drives why I build, and what we have built at Nirvana. Now having worked directly with hundreds of therapists, counselors, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists, I’ve gotten a glimpse behind-the-scenes of what it takes to be who you are and what it takes to do what you do for others.
I’ve seen how busy therapists are. I know I am one client in-between many, all with entirely different life stories. I know there’s more after a session ends. This ranges from the notes you write to track my care to the books you read and classes you attend to advance your training. I’ve seen the calendars of our therapists, fully booked back-to-back, where our Nirvana meetings are often the only time they have to sneak in lunch.
But I’ve also seen the empty calendars of therapists who are just building their practice. I’ve seen the anxiety of not knowing where to get referrals, not knowing where to advertise and feeling lost about whether a Talkspace or Headspace or Headway can help them start. I’ve seen therapists not know how to meet their clinical hours or supervisors uneasy about what they can and cannot supervise across state lines.
And I’ve seen how overwhelming it can be to operate the practice. The stress of maintaining your schedule, dealing with last minute cancellations, all the while receiving random letters from Multiplan and other insurers you may have never heard of. I’ve seen therapists feel alone thinking they are not building a viable business because they don’t know what to charge or how insurance even works.
And I feel how discouraged a therapist must feel when insurance reimburses so poorly-when years of training go on to net a reimbursement rate that can barely justify the cost of operating a practice. I’ve also seen how frustrating it is to want to take insurance to see more patients, but can’t fathom the additional stress and wasted time on insurance phone calls and faxes and claims. You have a practice to maintain, student debts to pay off, and a family to support.
You are not alone. We see therapists daily who feel the same and entered this profession to help others yet feel held back in being able to do so effectively. I’ve also seen what happens when a therapist thrives-when they hit their groove with building referrals and managing their practice. At Nirvana, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing what happens as a practice grows and how it means that more individuals can receive care. To partner with a therapist and watch them succeed and see more clients is why I get out of bed-to recreate what you’ve provided me for others.
Mental Health Awareness Month is about more than the stigma of getting care. It’s also about you, the clinician. It’s a celebration of the thousands of therapists who day-in and day-out listen to and care for those who need help. It’s a reminder that we have a lot more work to do to get it reimbursed and paid for at the fair value you provide each individual client. We are proud to work with our range of therapists from Camilla Mager to Caity Thompson to Jessica Behr to Resilience Lab. And we’re just getting started.
My founding story began with my own struggles, but it’s turned into a journey of empathizing with yours. Thank you for what you do.
All my best,