I’m sure, like me, you have experienced those moments in life when something happens that has caused you to stop and think about what really matters to you most above everything else.

Perhaps, like me, you have experienced the loss of someone special.  Whatever the circumstances, it seems that even just for a moment, we may feel detached from the everyday business of life, and our eyes are opened to the things that really, really matter.

I still remember the day some years ago when two police officers knocked on my door and told me that a body had been found at my father’s address.

Now, I don’t think I have anything but a very ordinary life.  And you certainly may not have experienced any of the crises that have been mine to deal with.  But we all do experience crises which are devastating individually and personally in different ways.

Of course that may describe the client sitting in the chair across from you if you are a therapist.  And there are times when that describes you as the therapist as well.

It’s very easy as a therapist, particularly when we are still finding our feet, to get caught up in whether we are “doing it right” particularly so in those times of working with a client in crisis.  Are we adhering to the principles of our working therapeutic approach?  Did we say, or do something “wrong”?

But again – just stop for a moment.  Think about what most supported you in your crisis.

It will be different for each of us, but my guess is that at the heart of everything will be the fact that someone was there.  Someone “simply” listened.  Or sat with us in the silence and tears.  Someone perhaps held a hand.  Someone made us a cup of tea, or brought round a meal.

As a therapist, you may well not engage with making a meal, holding a hand etc.  But being there with someone, sitting with the pain, feeling the tears, and listening, transcends any working therapeutic approach.

It really doesn’t matter whether you are a person-centred therapist, gestalt, psychodynamic or integrative or any other shade of therapist.

What matters most is listening and being there.