Transparency and the World of Therapy

As a therapist, I face many challenges that force me to learn more about the psyche and how it lives in each of us. Lately, I have been struggling with the idea of transparency. This is a concept in the world of therapy that relates to how I interact and share myself with my clients and how my clients interact and show themselves to me in the sacredness of the therapy room. It also means how we show ourselves, expose ourselves in the relationships we have with ourselves and with others.

How do we describe the ability to be seen? To allow others to know your truth means that you know your own truth. Knowing the self is hard. The unmasked self must peek out of hiding, unveiling the beauty of our foibles, the darkness of our fears and the child-like laughter that may, at times, seem inappropriate, yet urges to come out and play.

As I struggle with what degree of transparency I must have with my clients because as you know, the therapist is there to create an environment that feels safe for the client and the time is for that client. I cannot share who I am outside of those walls, yet who I am walks into that room everyday and in every way with my clients.

The dichotomy of being seen by my clients, yet understanding the role of the therapist, helps me to understand how my clients need to hide, demand to hide, and when they continue to be in hiding, their pain insists in a persistent manner to hang on. It is only through exposure, that the pain can ultimately subside. Showing the parts of us that we do not like. Showing, to ourselves, the parts of us that we do not like, is hard and often avoided. Going into the darkness, the mud of emotions, the quick sand that seems never ending in order to get to that inner peace is what it is all about.

Getting out of the quick sand is no easy task. What we know about quick sand is that the more you fight it the harder it is to get out. In the act of resistance, the fear of losing control and power come into play. It is curious that when you stop fighting- when you simply stop- take a pause- assess and hear your own heart beat- that is when you begin to be with the self that you have been hiding from-

That is when transparency to the self begins its relationship with you.

Are there parts of you that you avoid delving into and why?

Do you feel as if you are hiding behind a mask even with your therapist?





  1. I have a very hard time delving into parts of my past. While on the outside it looked like I had a wonderful childhood, on the inside I had a hard time trusting people because of circumstances that I could not control. I still carry those same trust issues with me today.

    I have been to a few therapists but I was only comfortable with one and she ended up moving to another state. I stopped trying after that.

  2. Kim Edmonds says:

    Yes Edy, I certainly do. Though I’m seeing a therapist at this time, though I need to, I find mysef doing just that on a daily basis. I hate that I wear that mask but the fear of exposure is even greater. I wish so much you were here in CA so I could be one of your clients. Alas, I must resort to your website and hope that for now that will suffice. Blessed be….

  3. I love the piece that you wrote. It brought tears to my eyes, especially those last two paragraphs.

    As I sit here writing this, I feel like I’ve just taken a plunge further into the quicksand.
    It’s hard to see a way out when you don’t feel like you have anything solid to hold on to. At that point surrending seems really scary because you just don’t know how deep the bottom is.

    And you walk through each day putting your best face on hoping no one can see the struggle and the loneliness and the sadness behind your fake smile.

    I wonder what its like for all the people who don’t live with the struggle every day of their lives? How nice that would be.

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