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A Special Moment

It’s a special day today, not my birthday but more special because today we have achieved something I wasn’t sure was possible.

I felt I wanted to capture the moment and share it ,if I may.

Nearly a year ago a client arrived at my house referred to me, my visitor couldn’t stay in my room, I have a German Shepherd she was attacked by one as a child and there was a big history  too, all this made this visit quite impossible.. It was free therapy on offer but she didn’t do dogs or houses and  the person who referred her didn’t know any of this.

What to do, I couldn’t let her go…. She needed help and I wanted to help, but I wasn’t sure she would stay. So we left my room and I took her and we sat very quietly on the bench by my house. I wasn’t convinced she would be back but I really hoped she would. 

She came back and it took me a few weeks to realise she wasn’t going anywhere. We met weekly on the bench and we walked and talked in the snow wind and rain never missing a session both committed for as long as it takes.

We gradually progressed and eventually over the months we made into my  house on to the stairs at first then finally to my upstairs therapy room. All sessions arranged for when I had a dog sitter and Max  was safely out of sight and sound.

We then walked and talked through the winter, and as spring arrived my client asked to have Max on walks, they got to know each other in the wide open space of the park. She’s been following his adventures on face book at a safe distance.

My client brought him treats but never gave them to him but know I knew she would one day her courgae is remarkable. 

Almost a year on and today  its pouring with rain and I have no dog sitter so we try the impossible. My client enters my therapy room, with a giant bone for Max. With anxiety levels managed my client watches him eat his treat. We have sat for an hour watching Max eat a bone both reflecting on how far and how long its taken to get to this moment.

It’s such a massive accomplishment for someone who didn’t do room’s dogs, people and certainly not therapy.

My client is convinced I am crazy and I think she is right, but with a tear in my eye as I type. This rather crazy therapist is so very proud of my client, myself & of course beautiful Maxy. We both have travelled so far together a Joyful tearful moment of happiness and pride as I reflect on the process.

These moments are what it is all about for me , I am privileged enough to work doing what I love. It’s not easy some days I don’t know if I will have work or be paid and it would be nice to have a regular salary job with sick pay and holidays but they are few and far between.

Its never been just a job for me how can it be when its someones life we are working with, often vulnerable scared people require someone who is doing far more than just a job.

Therapy works but only when the client and therapist and in this case dog ,learn to trust each other and we know never to rush things. It’s a journey not to be rushed but to  be experienced there has been plenty of tears, laughter, pain sorrow grief despair and today pure Joy!.

Here we believe therapy should fit the client, no matter where they come from or what has happened to them.

We can't see everyone but those we do see, we give them our all, because they deserve no less.

Recovery happens slowly one small breath at a time.

 

Mel Riley

I'm Mel Riley: a specialist counsellor and superviser in WV1, West Midlands. Here to listen and just talk to you, I can help you work your way through whatever problem you're facing.

 

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