by Dr. Kendra A. O’Hora, LCMFT
Hi there – thanks for stopping by! I sure hope you’ve been following along because we’ve been really busy on here lately!
I would like to introduce to you a new series and one of my most favorite writing projects, ever. An inside look at what I see when sitting with clients every day.
Years ago I started working at a group practice and quickly realized that I wanted to open my own private practice. As I was pulling all things business together I started to use writing poems as a creative outlet to take a step back from the business side of things and explore the pain, joy, suffering, confusion, and variety of other emotions and experiences clients brought to my office.
These poems became an avenue for me to express my own understanding of what I was seeing and experiencing, as well as explore the process of what it actually means to be a therapist. And so, the poem series that I now call In That Chair began.
As you’ll soon learn, In That Chair, is the most honest way I can describe what I see and who I am as a therapist.
Of course, the identities and stories presented in the poems have been drastically altered to protect the clients and narratives I serve. My clients and the preciousness of their stories will always be my number one priority.
I also want to draw attention to the sensitivity of these poems.
I work with clients from a variety of backgrounds, coming to me with failing marriages, deep confusion and loss, and extensive trauma. The poems contain stories that are both intense and vulnerable, I ask that you use discernment in determining whether this series is appropriate for where you are in your own growth journey.
If you find yourself triggered and/or need support/help processing, please do not hesitate to reach out to a friend, family member, or professional.
In that chair,
you tell me how she took from you.
She took from you every chance she got,
she took your hair when she ripped it out when you were only seven,
she took your innocence when she sold you to that man,
in that hotel
for drugs on your sixteenth birthday.
She took your name,
…so I am waiting on pins and needles to share them all! Here’s one more just to get this series really rolling! As you’ll see in this poem, the series is not just about what clients experience but also what I experience.
Therapists are not in a vacuum, they experience their own pain and suffering, joy and victory – often setting aside their own experiences for the love of their clients. This next poem was an especially meaningful one to me.
In that chair,
you told me your cousin died yesterday,
a young life, taken too soon,
you didn’t know that on that day
that day you came in to process your grief,
thirty minutes before,
my cousin died, too.
Thanks for sharing in the depths of therapy with me and getting an inside look at the vulnerability that exist within the four walls of my office. Sign up for our mailing list below and you’ll become part of our loyal following – see the latest poems, upcoming workshops, and the best part – a FREE E-Guide for couples!