An Open Letter to My Clients...

Working with people is messy. Working with people is important. Working with people is, well, everything.

I’m adding some things to my plate. Expanding my private practice to include teaching, training, writing, public speaking is only possible because you have been courageous in our work together. Now, I’m sharing the lessons you’ve taught me with as many people as I can get to listen. Though some still buy into the lie seeking mental help is a sign of weakness, each one of you is proof therapy takes immeasurable courage. Sharing truths (and lies) you’ve likely kept hidden, even from loved ones and friends, with a stranger, is anything but weak. We have to get the word out!

Many clients seek out therapy believing they will gain some elusive wisdom or ready-made solutions to problems. The evolution of your ability to find these in yourself might just be your greatest achievement during our work together. You showed up in my office week after week, knowing how hard the next 50 minutes might be (and it is hard sometimes – really, really hard!). But you just kept showing up anyway. I hope you know how valuable it has been to me to witness your determination when I am facing my own hard stuff. And I do. And it is. Your good example makes more of a difference than you can imagine. For that, I am grateful.

I am humbled you chose to share your sense of humor, your joy, your pain, your fears, your dreams, and the simple essence of you, with me. I know you didn’t have to. Thank you for choosing to trust me. Please know, I am deeply grateful to have partnered with you through your growth and healing. Though we walked a path together only briefly (relatively speaking!), I will carry the benefit of my experience with you forever. For that, I am grateful.

This therapeutic relationship we’ve shared has been an excellent learning opportunity. Your patience has helped me be a better clinician. That was so generous of you. Your commitment to this process has inspired mine. My job allows me to bear witness to growth, healing, coping, learning, recovery, and so much more – every day. What could be more meaningful? For that, I am forever grateful to each and every one of you.

You remain an inspiration. Thank you.


Brandee Smith