My timing was off today during my sessions. Normally, I time my bathroom breaks for every 50 minutes. But my extra cup of warm water this morning meant I had to go pee smack dab in the middle of my 10am session.
I debated whether to try and hold it, knowing that very little my client said was actually going to be heard as I did the internal pee-pee dance. So, I picked a moment that was, hopefully, the least disruptive, and shared with my client my personal predicament, and asked to be excused for 2 minutes. Truth be told, even if they didn’t excuse me, I was going to the bathroom no matter what.
When I came back (feeling much better) my client shared with me how helpful it is when the therapeutic wall of professionalism breaks down and I just show up as a human being, small bladder and everything. It gives my client permission to not be so perfect—to be more accepting of their small imperfections or social missteps. And, ironically, it builds trust. My client trusts that I will say what needs to be said (and boy did it need to be said) instead of just doing the cold, calculated, clinical head nod and empathetic grunt every once in a while.
And it gives me permission to be human as well, which makes this job a little bit easier overall.