Sometimes I wonder what I am doing in the therapy field. I think I’m a pretty normal guy. I like to watch movies, I go running, I took a modern dance class…you know, normal guy stuff. I don’t come from a difficult background (although my mom is Canadian), but it seems like that is a prerequisite for being a therapist. Come from a difficult background…and be weird.
Or, if you are not going to be weird, be overly touchy-feely.
I’m just the right amount of touchy-feely.
And I do like to talk about feelings. The truth is, I don’t know what else I would do with my life if I wasn’t a marriage and family therapist. My brother-in-law is a cop. He was an undercover drug/gang cop and on the SWAT team for years. Really nice guy and a real man’s man:
One day I was hanging out with my manly brother-in-law. He and a friend of ours (an FBI agent….when did I start hanging out with such cool people?) were swapping manly stories about taking down culpri…felo…bandits. My BIL (that’s text-speak for brother-in-law. Yes, you can borrow it) asked if we wanted to see his gun that killed a man. I suddenly became a 5-year old and yelled,
“Cool!…I mean, sure dude, whatever. Who hasn’t shot a guy?”
He pulls the gun out and he and the FBI agent talk about the type of gun. It was like a 68 caliber. The FBI agent holds it up and gets a feel for it. My BIL asks if I want to hold it.
“Sure,” I say as I wonder what emotions my BIL must have felt as he shot a man and how he handles the tears that inevitably still come. I take the gun and hold it up, just like the FBI guy. In my head, I looked sweet. My BIL’s reaction indicated I may have looked something more like this:
So, I may not ever have a moment in my life where I yell, “Put it down!” (for those of you not counting, that is 2 Twin Peaks references in one blog post). But I’m good at what I do. I relate well to people. I’m the kind of guy you want to hang out with, though not necessarily in athletic competitions.
Not all therapists are weirdos (if you are a therapist and you are reading this blog, I don’t think you are weird). We don’t all hope to become one with the universe and our inner chi. We don’t all look like Dr. Jacoby, and none of us want to be Dr. Phil. Most of us, myself included, believe in what we do and try our best to help people.
I think I need a hug.
Rob Porter, Ph.D., LMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist, Austin TX