I was musing, today, on the difference(s) between doctors and therapists. One of the most rewarding things about working at SHA Wellness is the amazing colleagues I interact with on a daily basis. Once you listen to a therapist and ask “how did you get here?”, you get the most beautiful stories of redemption.

Many patients arrive at therapy after a long trail through the halls of medical science. Many, many people finally find holistic therapy only once they have exhausted all other avenues. It is that state of knowing “something” is wrong, but no one seems able to tell them what. All tests come back ok, but the pain continues. The frustration is palpable, you see their shoulders loaded with tension, their short breath, their exhaustion. You long to tell them that it will be ok, that there is a way out. You do it, you reassure them, you hold space for them, then you listen. You listen so intently, so fixedly, that they feel like they have finally been heard, and the healing journey begins.

Why are therapists able to listen, to hold space for another person in pain? Because most of us have been there. That is the difference between therapists and doctors.

Think about the profile of each group. Doctors are usually high achievers who find their way to medical science because they are intellectually bright, or because they have a doctor in the family, or because they have money. A small percentage arrive at medical studies late, or as a second degree, or because they have hit rock bottom and climbed their way out.

Therapists, on the other hand, are usually people who have chosen their path after healing themselves. Therapists have often overcome pain, digestive problems, mental illness or spiritual angst. Therapists are often second-careerists. I know therapists who have been entrepreneurs, artists, information scientists, athletes. All share a common trait: they have overcome. They have pushed through. They have sought the light. And now, they are earning a meager living transmitting this knowledge to you.

The open secret in the yoga and therapy world is that most of us were fucked at one time or another. Most of us were fucked for a very long time. But, we pulled through, healed, and came back to help other people know that they, too, can heal.

That is the difference between a doctor and a therapist. I am not saying that doctors haven’t struggled. Not at all. But almost all therapists have struggled and almost all of us have overcome.

Sometimes, I wish I could tell you my story. But, I am too busy listening to you. I wish you well, I wish you health, I wish you healing. Got to that doctor for the tests, but trust your therapist for all that cannot be quantified, scanned or computed. There is more to all this than medical science can diagnose . The Russian word for “spiritual angst” is “Tocka”. English lacks such a word, but the concept is there.

Om, love is all around, it is an inexhaustible force and as strong as nuclear force. Om namo namaste namaha.