The Impatient Therapist

I am impatient.

I have been told this throughout my life and have endlessly apologized for this part of myself, until now.

If you are reading this letter, you are a friend, colleague or client – some of you are all three. As many of you know, I took a professional hiatus this summer. I originally called it a sabbatical until Trevor, my partner in life, informed me that a sabbatical is a paid leave and he wasn’t about to pay me to sit up north all summer. What many of you don’t know is that it was my impatience that pushed me out of my therapist chair and up north to sit on an island and wrestle with it.

Through my own personal therapy I have come to understand that my impatience has been a protector, it has been working overtime to organize the world around me in a way to ensure that no one and no thing triggered this little darling:

But after many beautiful IFS processes and skillful EMDR work, this little darling was restored to the joyful, spontaneous and delightful young creature she was meant to be.

So at the beginning of 2021, I was confused when impatience re-emerged with intensity. Instead of getting curious towards it, I ignored it. That worked for a time until my impatience became so loud and all-consuming that it started spilling into my work and I found myself apologizing to more than one of you, to my sweet sons and of course, dear Trevor.

In order to quell this impatience, I re-committed to my daily practices of meditation, yoga, vagal nurturing and introspective conversations with wise friends and colleagues. This also worked for a time, and I attributed impatience’s re-emergence to COVID shutdowns and the trials that came with it, like my kids being home for online school while I ran my private practice from my bedroom.

I was grateful to have figured it out so I could go back to sitting in a chair and accompanying you into your inner worlds, the work I love. I felt like I could go back to reading Captain Underpants with my kiddos and sit on the front porch with Trevor and his nightly cigars. And then, impatience was back.

This time, impatience knew to get my attention by partnering with my body. Together the two of them refused to let me sit in the chair. I felt the intense strain in my lower back and noticed the painful pressure on my hip flexors. But my stubbornness refused to give in to my body’s demands and instead I outsmarted the two with several weekly visits to my highly skilled chiropractor and massage therapist. I was able to go back to sitting in my chair, focusing more intently on documenting your inner worlds in my notes and deeply connecting with your experiences.

And then, I got carpal tunnel. It was so severe I had to stop writing all together and rest my forearms on ice packs during our sessions. My stubbornness tried to battle it, but this time I was outwitted as impatience partnered with anger.

I surrendered immediately.

I have learned to listen to anger. I have learned that if I don’t listen to anger I hurt people and I get hurt. I don’t need any further learnings in that department, thank you very much.

I didn’t know what impatience wanted from me, but I knew I immediately had to stop doing what I was doing and get curious. So I closed my practice, referring you, my beloved and brave clients, to capable and committed colleagues. Then I headed up north to sit with impatience and see what it wanted with me. I learned that it is impatient about oh-so-many things:

– It is impatient about a mental health care system that focuses mass resources on fixing and curing instead of following the neuroscience of healing and restoring.

– It is impatient with lazy wellness practitioners and gurus who continue to focus on anxiety, depression and codependence instead of fear, pain and unmet developmental needs.

– It is impatient with clinicians who focus on coping strategies that teach you to live with a traumatized nervous system.

– It is impatient with the pervasive belief that in six to eight weeks of skills-based therapy you will be transformed as a human being instead of staying with the process of awakening and expanding.

– It is impatient with misguided cancel culture warriors who do more harm than good to humanity and the planet with their issues of grave importance.

As impatience ranted, I was grateful to be tucked away on an island without internet so I couldn’t share until I had more Self energy. This allowed me to speak for impatience instead of from it. And even though impatience cataloged its issues with the outer world, the more I listened, the more I learned it was impatient with me:

– It was and is impatient with my fear of doing anything about these issues.

– It is impatient with my fear of sharing my knowledge, my experiences and myself with a wider audience than the safe container of my one-on-one work.

– It is impatient with my trepidation of teaching about the healing properties of psychedelics, metaphysics and spirituality – all modalities and traditions that are essential in healing my own traumatized nervous system to pull myself out of a life of abuse and chaos.

– It is impatient with my belief that as a professional I should not share my own experiences and the path I took to create a life of purpose and joy.

– And finally, it is impatient that I wasn’t using my birth name.

I listened more as it urged me into the next stage of my own expansion and growth.

This letter is an invitation to have you join me in the teachings and musings that impatience leads me to share. I believe my knowledge and experience can support you on your path—the Hero’s Journey—that beckons each and every one of us.

Impatience hasn’t yet revealed what the next stage will look like. For now it will be a weekly letter and once the parts of me that hate technology learn how to use social media, it may extend to that. If these teachings resonate with you and are helpful, wonderful. If they don’t, I trust you know how not to see them.

And as with anything, you are the expert in your own life. Take what works, leave the rest.

Talk soon,

Natasha Senra-Pereira

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