Lakefront Psychology, LLC is celebrating five years providing expert care with compassion. It’s an honor to serve the mental health needs of our community and be a trusted resource during difficult times.
I want to take this opportunity to share a personal message of gratitude to all the individuals I’ve had the opportunity to work with these past few years. As a psychotherapist, I don’t often talk about how this work affects me, what it means to me. And I think it’s time you know how very lucky I feel each day that I get to do this job. People often thank me for the work we do, but the gratitude flows both ways. People are often afraid of burdening me with their troubles, but the experience of working on them together fills my cup. I want my patients to understand my perspective of this work and them because I promise to always be authentic.
When I look at my schedule for the day, I feel excited to connect with each and every person on my calendar, looking forward to hearing updates and exploring where we go next. Your willingness to be vulnerable and open with me is humbling.
I know full well how challenging it is to reach out for help from the very beginning. By the time we speak on the phone for the first time, you’ve already had to overcome a variety obstacles. You’ve had to come to terms with the extent of your struggles. You may have faced stigma about having mental health issues and asking for help. You’ve had to search for providers and sought a match for your needs. And I appreciate how brave it is to trust a total stranger with your most personal feelings and issues you may not speak aloud with anyone else in your life.
I feel so fortunate to sit with you during the heavy sad times, during the vibrating anxious times, and during the painfully frustrating times working through old patterns again and again. You continue to show up to do the work that can feel painful at first. Sometimes we let the tears flow. Sometimes we sit in silence. Sometimes we laugh together. Sometimes we meditate and practice new strategies to help you cope with all the heaviness. Sometimes I don’t have the answers as we grapple together with the challenges in our world. We commiserate on the messiness of life and parenting and making relationships work. And always we are real with one other. You know I am human, and I care about you.
I see your exhaustion and frustration. I see you trying. I see you digesting the things we talk about in between sessions. And I see your persistence and commitment. This is tough work that requires a lot of you. I feel so lucky to get to know you this way.
I’m grateful to share the moments of insight and progress, when you understand yourself differently or find yourself handling things better than you would have in the past. I’m grateful to wade through the weeds of stagnation and hold hope for you when you can’t find it for yourself. I’m grateful to witness your learning and growing and treating yourself with the kindness you deserve.
The practice of being a healthy human in this world is a messy, rewarding process. I am contually impressed by your willingness to be vulnerable and your resilience. I learn from you. I get such fulfillment and challenge from this work that helps me become a better person too. It’s a privilege to do this work with each and every one of you, whether our work has wrapped up for awhile or is still in progress.
I look forward to many more years in this prctice and the promise of getting to know new, amazing people who are willing to embark on this challenge with me. Thank you all!
Written by Suzanne J. Smith, Ph.D. owner and clinicial psychologist at Lakefront Psychology, LLC.