Authentic Self – Are you the work you or the outside of work you?


Quick Summary – Perhaps to increase your happiness in all areas of your life it is best to be as authentic or honest as possible. We suffer when we resist a part of ourselves. To have your ideal vocational environment perhaps it is best to find a place where you can displays all sides of yourself… ultimately this should be to the benefit to all those you serve.

I was reading a great book the other day about marketing my private therapy practice and the author had me visualize my ideal practice. The process brought up a very interesting question for me being … will the fact that I am a musician turn off some potential therapy clients? Is there a stereotype or at least a held construct about what a therapist should be which does not include musical expression? The question encouraged me to look at the various stereotypes about being a musician and contrast them with the stereotypes surrounding being a ‘good’ therapist. In honesty I was at a loss… I could not decide if it would be ‘best’ for me to remove all information and mediums from the web that labeled me as a musician.

            Walking down the hall of one of my old schools I bumped into and started a conversation with a very wise classmate (who is also a therapist) that I have immense respect for… I relayed the dilemma and she responded that it was perhaps most important that I be authentic. I then arrived at this answer to my question…

I could resist a part of myself in order to be more congruent with a social construct surrounding what an ideal therapist is, but the truth is that that would not be authentic, it would lead me to create a practice that was not ideal, and the resistance would have been based on assimilating to an objectivity that likely doesn’t exist as everyone’s definition of ‘good’ is infinitely different. Therefore I choose to be authentic and say that I am a good therapist and I am a musician.

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