The Tyranny of Change and other Therapist Burdens with Einat Bronstein
With a Law degree at Tel Aviv University, Israel, and Masters in Clinical Social Work at Washington University in St Louis, MO, USA, Einat learnt with Dick Schwartz and practiced IFS from its early years in Chicago. She graduated from Level 1, 2 and 3 IFS trainings; an International Lead Trainer, an IFS supervisor and a Certified IFS Therapist with over 25 years of clinical experience in private practice. She is the co-founder and co-director of the Israeli Institute of IFS. Einat taught Couples Therapy for 8 years in Tel Aviv university, she is married and has 4 kids.
More recently Einat became a grandmother: a grandson joined the family.
Today on IFS Talks we are so happy to be welcoming back Einat Bronstein. Einat is co-founder and co-director of the Israeli Institute of IFS. And she's an international lead trainer and IFS supervisor and a certified IFS therapist. Today we'll be discussing therapist burdens in the therapy room, a topic of great interest to all of us.
Tisha Shull: Thank you, Einat, for joining us again, and thanks for bringing up this important, important topic for discussion.
Einat Bronstein: Thank you for having me. Really a pleasure to be here again, feels like a natural continuation of what we talked about in our last podcast. Thank you.
Aníbal Henriques: Welcome back, Einat, and many congratulations on your newborn grandson. You became a grandparent, such a blessing and privilege. So, in our first talk, the 11th July 2020, so about 20 months ago, we discussed the importance of the therapist-client relationship for IFS. As a model that teaches how to do U-turns, IFS claims Self therapy is possible once you have learned its basic assumptions. So, we discussed how relevant the therapeutic relationship still is, the role of technique in IFS, among many other topics.
Today, you suggested we discussed the therapist burdens and dictums in the therapy room and how those burdens can make therapy harder or even stuck. So, Einat, in these pandemic times of greater demand for psychotherapists throughout the whole world, with so many exhausted or even burned out, maybe this conversation can help us in some ways. So, what are those burdens and dictums you say we take on as therapists. Can you give us examples?
Einat: Yes. Thank you. So, you know, under this topic of, you know, burdens of therapists in the therapy room, we can actually put all kinds of things. You know, there are personal burdens from our personal life stories that show up, you mentioned every relationship we have, as well as the therapeutic relationships. But today I actually wanted to talk about something that feels almost like an oppression on the therapist, something, I kind of call fondly the tyranny of the demand for change. Just feeling that we enter this relationship and we enter the therapy room with this big heavy demand hanging over our head that we have to, we must deliver change. There are many problems with this, you know, for many people at first it would be like, yeah, of course, many therapists will define themselves as change agents. People will say, I even enter this profession because I wanted to help bring change. And that's all true, and it's good. When I feel that without exploring a little further, the whole notion of change and how that expectation or demand is impacting us as therapists, without that, we’re actually, we can go lost a little bit.
Tisha: Oh, what a beautiful topic and what a beautiful angle on it, because yes, just hearing what you're saying and thinking about how we sit with clients with that backstory running, how are we going to help them get better? How do we help them get to a different place, a different way? Yeah. I'm so excited to hear what you have to say and your thoughts on this subject.
Aníbal: Many clients sit with this in mind, please change me. Right? So, like if it is a task of the therapist only. So, Einat, what makes a therapeutic relationship stressful and what are the consequences for both therapist and client of a more stressful therapeutic relationship?
Einat: Yeah. So, as I said, I think that the stress starts off many times from outside sources. As I said, when the schools that trained us told us that we are change agents and we need to deliver change and that's what therapy is about. When the institutions or the agencies that we work for, have very clear guidelines of what they expect to see, they monitor change, they try to assess change, they want to see certain things happen over time. And so, change is something that is sort of like breathing down the neck of the therapy experience from the get-go. And, of course, the client brings, you know, clients bring this expectation in one form or another and the therapist. So, as we know, so many things in the therapy room are contagious between client and therapist, you know, an inpatient part, a critical part. They sort of start to float between us. And so, the critical impatient of the client, you know, triggers a critical and impatient part of the therapist and vice versa. So, that when parts in both systems, the therapist and the client organizing around achieving change, it affects the entire joint field that organizing parts in both systems, client and therapist, we must have change raise stress in both systems, and they feed off of each other.
Tisha: You've named some of your parts or therapist’s parts that come up in that dynamic of agency or agenda for change. The part that maybe wants an outcome. What are some of the parts that you've noticed in yourself that really get involved in this process?
Einat: Multiple parts, but the most typical parts when therapists, you know, myself included, for sure, all I say is my own observations of myself for starters, and then other therapists that I work with, but the parts that seem to be most triggered in that, that change is a very responsible part, takes responsibility for everything and anything that has to do with the client. A savior, advice giving, solution seeking, directive, problem solving. These are all parts that sort of like, you feel like they pulled up their sleeves and here they go, they are going to make things happen. They're going to help bring change. They work hard. And they are many times, again, as I said, sort of trigger or connect with similar parts of the client or client comes with parts that are very action oriented, solution oriented, seeking to solve problems, seeking to have, you know, get tools and solve problems. And that creates a process that can be, first of all, quite, I would say flat or superficial, but also stressed. And the chain reaction of that is when we have these parts for us and the client that work hard, that try to problem solve, and advice, and directive, things don't happen. And then the chain reaction is we have other parts show up, disappointed, discouraged, feel like failure, judgmental of ourselves and of the client, they come exhausted, depleted. So, and it happens to both us and the client, lose faith in the process and our ability to come out of wherever we're at. So, again, talk about a stressful, demanding and depleting therapy experience for both client and therapist, that's a sure way to get there.
Aníbal: It looks like we are making a basic mistake that is to hope for change before accepting and understanding that is one of the change paradoxes, right?
Einat: Yes. So, where I go with that is, first of all, you know, I'm not saying, you know, change is not what we want. You know, people come to us because they're in distress, because there's pain and hurt and suffering in their lives. And they want that to stop. You know, that's, if we want to look for change specifically, just people want to stop hurting. They want to like be happier. So, we're looking at, you know, specifics and I want to say the first thing is, you know, when I meet a client, what is the definition of change with this client? Because the way we try to find out is we ask a client, you know, in that first intake, you know, what are your hopes? What are your expectations? What do you expect to get out of this process if it was successful? These are wonderful questions. But the more interesting thing is who is giving us the answers, which parts of the client really answer when we say what change are you seeking? So, I can have a person come in and I will say, you know, what are you looking for? What change, you know, what would be successful, successful therapy session or therapy process for you? And they would say, I want to be able to get a better job, make a career change. I want to be able to find a relationship. I want to be able to leave a relationship. Kinds of things, you know, that people come with it to us. But many times, you know, if we're even able to achieve these changes, this is not what this person really needs. Parts of them tell them, that's what you need. If you only were able to make a career change, get a promotion, get a degree, you'd be happier, and all your problems be solved. If you were just able to get a relationship, then you'd be happy. And that's not necessarily what is the, what's the real change that this person needs in order to get where they want to get in life. Stop on the way it might not even be the right thing for them. But some parts think that it is, they come to therapy wanting that change. And that doesn't necessarily, you know, that's not necessarily what's going to happen. Again, and maybe the change they are looking for is further away in other intermediate, interim changes need to happen first before they can get there. So, the whole notion of how do you conceptualize and define change for each client at each given time it's not so simple. Really requires deeper exploration.
Aníbal: Usually managers are the ones who book the sessions, right?
Einat: Many times, it's managers who book the session and have an agenda. We know that they do. That's what they're there for, have an agenda about what this person needs to change in their lives, and they want to go there, and it may not necessarily be what this person needs. They don't know that, they just try to collaborate, you know, these managers, and then we all get frustrated and depleted because either we can’t get there because the rest of the system is not on board, it's not organic for the system or we get there just to find, much to our dismay, that that didn't bring any of the joy, satisfaction, relaxation, and the good things that were supposed to come with this desire to change.
Tisha: How do you use your own parts in the room in the process as a metric of understanding that deeper change that is calling? Is it about Self-reflection? Is it about deeper connection with the client? How do you get there essentially?
Einat: So, this is a great question, because I think it kind of leads me to the next thing that I actually want to say that because I said, okay, so I just said that we can't really trust the managers who say, this is the change I want as our guides to navigate the route. Okay. So, how will we navigate here? Where are we going? And, for me, I like to just sit there very humbly. I listen, you know, when I hear clients say, this is what I want to see change and all that. Because these things are here, they're there in the field, of course, the managers and the parts that say that. But I am, you know, for me, I am really trying to be very mindful of those parts in me that won't jump on that bandwagon and say, okay, all right, good, good, that's what we got, you know, you want to go there? We're going there. Let me help you out. I'm a trained professional. I can help you go there. I'm really trying to sit quietly with my system and say, I don't know anything. I don't know anything about what this person really needs. Maybe they know what they don't know that they know or the parts that say they know, maybe they don't know what they don't know. So, I'm sitting and saying, I don't know anything and I'm just here to connect with this person to get to know them, to establish a relationship and from this relationship the wisdom will come, the knowledge will come from both of us because I feel that when we are looking to accomplish a certain change for a client, we become outcome focused and not client focused. And I think it's really big. It's a big shift when you sit with the client and you and the client are outcome focused where it's so much better, I think when we, the therapist can be client-focused, I am interested in everything about you and the entirety of your personhood, your life, your being, and from establishing relationship with that gestalt of you, all of you, things can emerge. And the main thing that I would love to see emerging is a safe, respectful, compassionate, Self-energy field relationship. From that everything can open up. So, for me, if I need to name an agenda, if you would like, because we always say, well, IFS, you know, Self has no agenda. So, this agendaless agenda is let's just be in, let's just be in a relationship. And let's just see when we create the safe space, Self-lead relationship, Self-presence, Self-energy, what can come out. Because, I can have this relationship with my client and create that space for us. Client can then create that space internally with their parts, then the Self to part relationship reveals the truth about what each part needs in terms of change, in terms of care, in terms of growth, in terms of healing. Change is a big word. A lot comes into it. Again, sometimes it's an acknowledgement, not the big change. And a client can relate to a part that up until now was deemed bad, negative, hurtful, destructive, and a client can really from Self connect now with this part in a way that is appreciating, validating, including. That's a big change. Most people don't come to therapy naming that as a desired change, they don't even know it's possible. They don't even know that it's an essential step, making really long-term deep, sustainable changes. So, the relationship is what reveals the path, the path to change, whatever change means for each part in the system. Then for all of them together.
Aníbal: Beautiful. Einat, this tyranny of change that you are speaking for also applies to the therapist because many therapists also want to change themselves. And we are wounded healers, right? On one hand, we need awareness of our own burdens in order to become capable of understanding others' burdens, right? So, do we need unburdened therapists or what do we need?
Einat: Yeah, I mean, I guess, you know, if we can be unburdened and if we can be, in our own system with more Self-energy, with more harmony, which of course is good for us and is good for our clients. I see though, I mean, when you said how, when you noted how therapists pursue change, what came to me is the incredible, I don't even know how to name that thing, but the incredible breathless race for learning. And what I see around me is that we are now, of course, in this digital age, we are bombarded with seminars, workshops, conferences. I mean, it's, you know, what happens in my email inbox is just crazy every day. I mean, I could spend my whole life, every minute of my life, learning, online in a webinar, in a zoom teaching, I mean, reading books, listening to books, it's mind boggling. And I see how triggering it is for many therapists, because there's so much. And so, it's like walking into a huge bookstore that used to happen at a world of bookstore, feeling like, oh my gosh, I will never be able to read all these books.
Aníbal: What am I missing?
Einat: Exactly. And for therapists, it's like, it's this race to be better, you know, am I good enough? Did I take enough seminars about trauma? Do I know enough about attachment? Have I learned enough, you know, how to work with exiles? And it's constantly this breathless doubting, am I enough? Have I learned enough? And it's constant. There's so much offering. And I feel that when parts go there and there are people that, you know, we're in IFS training and they say how exhausted they are because they just finished, you know, an EMDR training or an EFT training, or they're in the middle of one, they're doing it simultaneously. I'm thinking, oh my gosh, you know, how are you taking care of yourself? How are you allowing the learning to even sink in really fully deeply when you have so much of it? So, I feel that that is one of the burdens of therapists. You know, the race to be better, to learn more, learn more, which really doesn't allow you to be in a relationship with yourself. Which again, to me, that's where the magic is. It also, it's a distraction. You constantly are in a learning posture. You're using your learning parts all the time. And that many times just removes you and distances you from you. We think, oh, now I'm better because I know more, because I've been to this workshop and been to this training, it doesn't make you a better therapist actually. What I think makes people better therapists is when they have a good relationship with as many parts inside themselves as possible. When they really know that internal terrain, they can offer something so safe, accepting, and comfortable for their clients.
Aníbal: Beautiful. Yes. Sounds like an extension of this change tyranny that you were talking. We need to know more in order to be able to change. Yes.
Einat: I need to change, you know, the body of my knowledge or the level of my expertise in order to be better and better and better. I mean, again, it's another outcome focused experience rather than person focused. In this case, the person is the therapist, ourselves, we need to care for that.
Aníbal: Einat, our profession, according to many in our field can be a burden and a privilege. Clinical psychologists look back on their lives work and when asked to reflect on their life's work, a recurring theme in the therapist's comments was that it had been a privilege, a humbling experience to come so close to other people's lives, witnessed their pain and suffering, see their remarkable ability to cope. However, many also describes the burden of feeling so much responsibility for clients and being exposed to so much suffering. They said that age and experience had made them more sensitive. And there was an accumulating effect of sorrowful things over the course of a career. Do you want to comment on this? Does it resonate with your own experience?
Einat: Yeah. Yeah. I'm tracking actually, curiously, how is the daily proximity to human suffering? How is it impacting me, and has it changed? You know, what was it like when I was in the more early years of being a therapist? How is it now? Wondering how it's going to continue to be? I find that there's so many other things that impact us just because we are full human beings and we don't just live in the therapy room. I think that when I became a mother that affected much of my sensitivity to suffering, all of a sudden I was more able to see the child in each person, their childhood experiences became real to me because I had real children in my house that I was caring for. I now have elderly parents who thank God are doing well, but they are, they are forced to grapple with all the issues of old age, a lot of loss, a lot of fear, fragility, powerlessness. And so, I am, I find myself being more sensitive to those aspects, you know, to aging people, to that fragility, physical fragility and vulnerability. So, I find that our sensitivities are very much kind of impacted by where we're at in our lives. You know, when I became an empty nester and I was kind of more focused, you know, more sensitive to those issues. But I think that the biggest change that I see for me and it ties into what I said earlier. I know now that I am not responsible for my clients journey. I join them, and I try to bring into whatever space we share, all the qualities that can be beneficial for them. Again, qualities of Self, compassion, curiosity, courage, care, connectedness, calm clarity. I also love the P words. You know, perspective, one of my favorites, and patience, so important. So, I join their journey and I try to bring all these things to our joint space. I am not responsible for their success, whatever success means for them. I am not responsible for their journey to end up being good, successful one. I so rejoice when these good things happen. I marvel and I celebrate, and I feel so deeply and humbly grateful when people feel that they came to a good place in their lives, thanks to therapy, but thanks to other things as well, I'm happy for them, happy for us, but it's not my doing, so it's not my responsibility. It's when we feel responsible for our client's happiness and success, we forget how powerful they are, they have Self inside themselves, they have other resources. There are healing powers in the world for all of us. We, you know, maybe I can channel some, but it's not all up to me. So, when I stopped taking responsibility for everything that went on like that, it made it much easier for me to be really present for the suffering. I think that in the early years, it was hard for me to be present with the suffering because immediately I had parts that say, do something, the person is suffering. They came to you, they sit in your office, you must do something, you must stop it, you must make it better. And I became breathless inside of me. And all these parts that we named need earlier, just rushed into like take responsibility, give some advice, try this, try that. You know, and when I no longer believe that I can and need to change their lives, I can be so much more present with them where they're at. And then together, we find the path, whatever the path is, wherever it goes, that is the path of this person. Sometimes the path takes us a little bit to even a darker place, so we can be together, but then find a track like, you know, that leads us to a lighter place, but just to be with them and walk this path with them, as the path unfold, is the biggest gift we can give people. And it's very empowering when we are not trying to take over, which is or indicates subtext I know better, you don't know enough, you can't do it by yourself. I'm here to save you, help you, tell you. When we don't do that, it's very empowering. It's kind of like saying, you know, Hey, you and I, we’re in this together. And you know what you need to know, and you're going to guide, I'm here with you and we're kind of guiding together in different ways. It's a joining that makes it so it's not all my job. And because it's not all my responsibility I can be present for the suffering in a much more compassionate, open and... I think then helpful...
Aníbal: Sounds like a wonderful relief.
Tisha: I appreciate that so much, especially what you said about when our responsible parts are able to step back, we empower our clients by realizing how much Self they have, how much power they have. I'm curious about some of the systems, some of the underlying systems that made us as a field, so outcome oriented, you know, I think about insurance companies, I think about our graduate school programs. I think about everything that predicated how the world of psychology is shifting a little bit more towards this open IFS model, but, you know, CBT is really about change. Do you perceive any systemic ways of addressing how much outcome focus there is in our field, in our trainings, and in our graduate school?
Einat: This is such a big notion because I think the Western world is all about outcome. Now, how we define success and failure, you know, how people chart the course of their lives, you know, they want to achieve this and then this, and then that. So, it's, you know, I think that systems, the education systems that are involved with therapy and psychology aren't different in that way. They are just kind of reflecting the spirit of our society or Western world. I think IFS, IFS took a long time before it was as known and as welcomed as it is today, because I think it that’s exactly what is was going against, that it wasn't outcome oriented in this way. I mean, obviously I don't want it to sound like we don't care about our clients feeling better. Of course, we do. That's, why we're there. We're there to help reduce suffering and bring more, you know, wellbeing to our clients, but the route to get there and how you define change is so limiting and again, as I said, oppressive, unless you leave this real open exploration with the client, each session. And that also, you know, I know that when I was a beginner therapist, it was important to my parts that the client will leave the session, each session feeling a little better than they walked in. You know, how they would walk in really cloudy or sad or depressed or worried or angry. And it was so gratifying for my parts when they left and they would say, you know, with the hand on the door handle, I feel so much better. This was so helpful. I feel better, or I feel even a little better. I was like, oh, good, you feel better. I helped them. And truly, I mean, it's lovely. It's great. But truly in the big picture, do they feel better because we did something that is tangible that we can say, oh, we solved the problem. We found the way we cracked, you know, the enigma or because I was just there with them in a human way and they felt really seen, sensed, heard, felt. They were given safe space to explore themselves with, again, compassion, curiosity, rather than judgment or fear. What made them feel better? And, more interestingly, when they don't feel better, is it bad? Where have we gone? You know, why don't they feel better? Is it again because I failed to be there or because we actually went to some very meaningful places where you don't necessarily feel better, but you are so on your way to where you need to go. You're on your way to an exile that has been waiting for decades for you to come and heal. And you don't feel better because you already sense the pain that is in that place. But once you get there, you can heal that exile and you can be in such a different place inside yourself. So, is it good or bad that you don't feel better at the end of the session? Maybe is really good because we are really going somewhere so important. So, it's so hard to be outcome oriented, you know, in this field with this concept. I would love people, more and more people to have IFS available to them in their teaching, just to allow the focus on relationship, which is not an outcome. It's a process. It's an experience rather than, you know, necessarily achieve this, achieve that and anything else.
Also, I want to share that I'm now involved in this project of, we call it like IFS in everyday life, which I'm doing with people who do IFS in Korea. And it just to allow people again, everyday people, not therapists, to start looking at their lives at their relationships, careers, everything, not through the lens of the outcome that they need to achieve, but through their experience in the process and the joining. That is a huge shift for people, that is a huge change, you know. Here I'm using the word change in a way that is soft, just to allow people to shift from being so outcome focused and outcome oriented, to being much more process, joining, and relationship oriented.
Tisha: I just have a brief example to share about earlier this week. I have a client who I worked with for many years, wonderful with the IFS model, but they, they just, they had a conversation with their anxiety part that they had never, they'd never gotten to that conversation before with the depth and just kind of the truth and authenticity that happened this week. And it was, it was just beautiful to witness. Here's my connection to this part of me that, that I otherwise would have wanted to get rid of. It's important as I can somehow live with it and be with it now, knowing it better. You know, it's just a simple example, but it makes, makes life more acceptable to say, oh, I can have this part that feels so uncomfortable sometimes.
Einat: Yes. And it's, so these things are really transformational. That's before you go into exile, unburdening and trauma resolution, it's just, just, you know, creating this relationship. I want to also maybe name another pitfall of people who are new to IFS maybe. And I see it a lot in the level one trainings, and I speak about it a lot. How the, again, the outcome-oriented tendencies go into the IFS model, because what I see happen many times is, you know, people learn, you know, in level one, people learn about parts and Self and they realize just how magnificent Self is and we want Self to be the leader and all that. Then starts, I call it the race for Self. People start to be constantly worried about am I in Self? Is this Self? Is this Self like? Is this enough Self? Is this not enough Self? Are you in Self? Am I more in Self? Am I less in Self? So, Self becomes an outcome. You know, achieving Self becomes, you know, an outcome that we start to, you know, try to reach for. And the pursuit of Self is done by parts. The more you pursue Self, the more parts are engaged in the race for Self. The more it becomes an outcome, something to achieve, to arrive at. The more is that, the less Self it is because the pursuit of Self is done by parts. And if Self is an outcome that you think you need to achieve, you are not there. It's really a sense of, you know, it's there for you, just be with your parts, just be your parts, be with your parts. If you can be with your parts, you know, again, with curiosity, compassion, acceptance, you know, you are in Self here, you have achieved it. You don't have to work at it. But it's really something to constantly remind people. Don't worry about Self. It's not a goal. It's not an assignment. It's not something to accomplish. It's just be with your parts, Self Is there.
Aníbal: Einat, Mariel Pastor created an unburden Mandala for us. Could we also create an unburdened therapist map helping us to become more balanced and accepting then outcome oriented?
Einat: Oh, wouldn't that be great? All right. I'm going to think of it.
Aníbal: What are your recommendations, Einat, for a balanced, accepting, non-outcome-oriented therapist?
Einat: Okay. The first thing that came to my mind is really to recommend for all therapists to be in therapy. It's just, just because I think we too need this relationship, this therapeutic relationship. It really is a relationship focused on the relationship, the relationship being, being the thing, rather than a certain outcome in mind. If we can be with another therapist in this kind of a relationship, then we are continuing to get to know ourselves and to establish this magical Self to part relationship with many parts in our system as possible. When we can do that, then we can offer a similar thing to our clients. So, when we do that, when we do our work and, again, some people do it, you know, with a therapist, but of course, you know, some people do it with peers that they exchange, you know, just work with each other in a way that is wonderful and very productive. So, I think as long as we have a way of doing it, just continuing to work with our systems and always paying attention to the parts that kind of get triggered with in therapy, like wanting to save and problem solve and provide change. And, you know, and it's an ongoing thing. I mean, I am not, of course in any way, shape or form beyond that, you know. When clients sit in our office and says, I've been here for six months and nothing's happening for me, nothing is changing. I don't see any change. I feel stuck. That's very triggering for us. That's difficult for us. This is when I would really try to not get triggered and activated into defending, apologizing, explaining, doing, yes, but yes. Just to really try to connect and understand the parts who say that because it's never true. I found it to be never true. If someone is in therapy for six months and they have a relationship, building a relationship with a therapist, it's not true that nothing happened and everything’s stuck, some parts that had certain agendas and they already thought that in six months I would have been, you know, already enrolled in school on my way to get my degree and outside of my parents' home and renting my own place. And they had a whole plan. Those parts may think, oh, well, I'm not there, but if you look in other realms in other dimension of this person being, you will see the changes that have occurred during these six months. So, I'm always curious, what are the parts that say, nothing has happened? I'm stuck, we're stuck. And what were they wanting to see? What aren't they seeing and then to try and look at the relationship that have been or created. So, I think if we can maintain our curiosity, and as I said, we do our own work and we constantly bring to supervision or to therapy the clients that trigger us, the parts of clients that pull us into this this way. And again, our parts are constantly on board with this. You know, when you ask, I do a lot of supervision for therapists, so, when I listen to them and I hear the clients that trigger them, you know, clients [inaudible] in many different ways, but one of the most common things is the clients who trigger us are clients who don't show change, they don't get better. We love the clients that we can totally see the impact of our therapy on them. The clients that tell us, oh my gosh, so much in my life has changed and improved since I'm with you. We love those clients. We don't often bring those too...
Aníbal: We also feel powerful.
Einat: Exactly. Powerful, impactful. It gives us a sense of meaning, success. You know, this is what we came to this career for. We wanted to have that impact on others and in the world. And because we so want that we have many parts that are busy at work to achieve that. And these are the parts that I am, you know, the change focus parts that I'm talking about. So just for us to constantly have our hand on our pulse is to constantly be working with our own systems is so very, very important. And also, to kind of try and go into the place of humility because we really, we have no power. We don't have the power that we think we have or that we think we ought to have, or that our clients think we have. We don't have that really. Life is so much more powerful. So many other things happen. You know, for years I've observed this. I used to work with single people who were really looking for relationships and we work with all kinds of things and questions and anxieties, and then they would fall in love and they would fall in love and everything would magically be different. And I'm thinking, you know, a year of therapy, couldn't do what, like a week of really good dates, you know, do for people, you know, like a month of falling in love what it does for people, it's better than, you know, so I'm humbled by life. Life is, you know, and again, we can do wonderful work and then something terrible happens to them and everything breaks because we're just fragile like this. And so, for me to keep, you know, my humility helps me not think that I need to take this responsibility that I can. And many, many times the path to this kind of humility goes through more spiritual practice of sorts, just to take on that understanding that there are bigger powers than us, so much bigger, we're so small, we're small and we're just small. And we can just be small together with our clients. We don’t have to be big and grand and mighty change agents, we can just be humans, two humans in a human experience.
Tisha: Bravo. Oh, thank you.
Aníbal: Einat, as we are running out of time, is there something you'd like to say as a closing?
Einat: Yes. I have this little bitty poem that I absolutely love, and I feel that it's, it captures everything I said. And it's also kind of an inspiration for me. So, with your permission, I will read it. It's called A Medicine Woman's Prayer. It’s by Sheree Bliss Tilsley:
I will not rescue you, for you are not powerless.
I will not fix you, for you are not broken.
I will not heal you for I see you in your wholeness.
I will walk with you through the darkness
as you remember your light.
Tisha: Lovely. Yeah, really beautiful.
Aníbal: So, Einat, thank you so much for this amazing conversation. It was a joy to be here with you and Tisha, and we hope we can keep meeting and sharing this model, our work and our lives. Thank you so much.
Einat: Thank you so much to both of you. Really appreciate.
Tisha: Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
Carolina Abreu, certified Psychotherapist, L3 Trained,
and experienced Program Assistant for the official IFS-InstituteTrainings.