Jeff Levy, LCSW
Mental Health, Relationships, Trauma, Identity
Jeff Levy, LCSW
(originally posted on Branching Out: The Live Oak Blog, July 2014)
“Hey Jeff, I just realized that by the end of this month I’ll have known you for 14 years. I didn’t realize we’d been seeing each other that long. Did you?” I thought for a few seconds about Adam’s statement and question before responding. “What makes you think of that now,” I asked. I prepared myself for a response about him feeling like he’d made no progress, or him telling me something about how this must mean there is really something terribly or deeply wrong with him. I was just sitting in this office thinking about who I was when I walked in all those years ago, and who I am now. I feel kind of proud of myself,” he responded. “Thank you.”
I glanced at my appointments for the rest of the week. I wondered about the length of time I have been seeing other clients. I wasn’t surprised when I counted seven clients this week who I have been seeing for over 10 years. I haven’t been seeing any of them weekly all these years, but there have been periods of regular sessions, periods of meetings twice per month, and then months and sometimes years between any sessions at all. When I looked more closely at my overall caseload, I found that I had another 6 clients I have been seeing for over 15 years. In today’s world of immediate gratification, immediate results, and evidence based practices, I asked myself how I can explain these long-term therapy relationships.
All AIDS Anger Apologizing Asking Questions In Sessions Authenticity Beginnings And Endings Being The Expert Boundaries Boundary Crossing Boundary Violations Breaks From Therapy Collaboration Between Therapists Coming Out Compassion Fatigue Contact Between Sessions Continuity Between Sessions Courage Crying Death Depression Disclosure Disclosure And Technology Dogs Email Emotional Support Animals Emotions Empathy Ending Psychotherapy Endings Expectations Experiments Failure Finances Forgiveness Framing Therapy Fraudulence Gifts Goals Grief Happiness Healing Rituals HIV Holding Back Homework Honesty Hope Human Animal Bond Identity Imposter Injuries Interpersonal Neurobiology Intersectionality Long Term Therapy Loss Loving Yourself Memory Metaphors In Psychotherapy Microaggressions Money Multiple Identities Neurophysiology New Information New Normal Normal Not Knowing Pain Physical Contact Positive Emotions Present Moment Priorities Privacy Questions Rage Real Relationships Resentment Resolution Rites Of Passage Rituals Rupture And Repair Sadness Safe Spaces Safety Safety Plan Safety Versus Comfort Secrecy Session Structure Short Term Therapy Silence Stigma And Mental Health Suicide Survival Strategies Themes In Psychotherapy Therapist Client Relationships Touch Trauma Trigger Warnings Values Vicarious Resilience Vicarious Trauma