I love people. I love being present with people in the midst of some of their hardest times. I love watching someone go from a place to despair to a place of hope. I love that I get to play a small part in this journey. It is a privilege, a gift, and an honor that someone would open up to me about things they have told few to no people prior to coming into my office, sitting down next to a “Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.” pillow and weeping, yelling, healing,…
Alex R. Wendel
I’m an old man now, a psychiatrist for over 45 years, and I still feel the same way you described.
I’ve always told people that those of us who work in mental health don’t choose to do; we are called to do it. These professions aren’t choices one makes to get rich other than the richness of human connection.
To be good at work in mental health, it is critical to be able to have “accurate empathy” for our clients/patients. We need to know what that pain feels like, but we also need to believe in the hope that the pain can be relieved.
My main message to my patients through these years has been, “I don’t know all of the answers to help relieve your suffering. What I do know is that there are answers. Hang onto hope.”