So you’ve completed all your coursework, training, supervised client hours.  You’ve received your Certificate, Diploma or whatever.  You’ve set up in private practice or signed up with a private organisation or charity.
And this is it.

The person in front of you is not one of your colleagues from your training group, your peer group or a volunteer known to you for a skills exercise of your course.

This is a real person.

This is a real therapy session.

And you are a real therapist.

Remember to breathe!

You will always remember that first client. Their name perhaps.  Their story.  How it went really well.  How they didn’t come back after that first session.  How they simply disappeared after a few sessions.  How there was a good progression through the therapy and a good ending.  Things that were said.  And things that were left unsaid.  The room.  You will always remember that very first client.  I certainly do.

You might even remember your first real-life supervision session.  Well - you might! I do absolutely!

Remember to breathe!

And hundreds or thousands of clients later down the line, you will still remember, even if some of the details start to blur.

And the client will certainly remember.  For good, bad or indifferent, they will remember.

So, if something is going to go down in memory as much as that, isn’t it worth doing well? Doing it to the best of your ability?  Yes, you’ll complain about the costs of training.  The cost of supervision.  The process of your own therapy.  The work required to be submitted and resubmitted.  The cost of books.  The travel.  The amount of time......oh certainly the amount of time.  I did all that.

But, at the end of the day, whatever stage of training you are at right now....Do it well.  Embrace it.  Engage with the challenges.  Enjoy the process and the outcome.  And recognise that this is only the start of the next stage of your training.

But trust me – remember to breathe!