Why Am I Telling You This
And Other Poems From Psychotherapy
by Brad Sachs, Ph.D.
“Since first undertaking the on-going endeavor of composing poetry as part of my clinical documentation, I have often asked myself this question and the most comprehensive answer I have been able to come up with is…I’m not absolutely sure. However, I do have some ideas as to what prompted me to begin taking notes, and “taking note”, in poetic fashion.
My work as a therapist is rewarding work, and I feel blessed every day that I am able to do it, but gratifying as it may be, it is frightfully hard work. What makes it hard is that I am forced, like it or not, session after session, to confront the grim, impossible truths of the human condition—that our most precious dreams and desires will never be entirely fulfilled, that no one can ever rescue or protect us from anguish and loss, that we have entered and will depart the world alone, that there are limits to the powers of love, care, and kindness, that we will forever be held hostage by terrors and longings, appetites and regrets, over which we have distressingly little control, and that the world somehow existed before us and will go on without us.
Rare is the encounter with a patient when I don’t feel a wrench deep in my chest—anything from loneliness to rage, from sorrow to wanting—and my heart becomes drenched, if not absolutely flooded, with an overflow of uncommandable feelings that seem to have no limit, no end.
Of course, it is my job—better, my duty—at these times not just to collapse in the face of this emotional intensity, or to desperately attempt to ward it off or shake loose from it. Instead I endeavor to welcome and explore it, to embark with the patient on a conjoint, steadfast search for the seeds of wholeness, wisdom, and redemption that lie, reluctantly but eagerly, beneath pain’s forbidding surface, and to patiently nurture those seeds into fruition. These poems come out of that job and duty.” — Dr. Brad Sachs
Published August 1, 2015
Paperback | $20.00 USD