The waiting room


Today we are waiting. Some clients never like to wait for therapy. They always arrive late.

Some clients like the quiet time of waiting ahead of sessions.

Some clients book in extra time for transit to make sure they’re not late. They’re willing to wait a bit if logistics go well.

Sometimes we are avoidably late - chatting with someone, doing one last task before leaving and ending up running late. Then our therapist is waiting for us. And something was happening, perhaps unconsciously, to keep us from getting to our appointment on time.

Sometimes there is an emergency that impacts us or our route and we can’t avoid keeping our therapists waiting.

And therapists are sometimes late too of course.

Sometimes waiting or being late has meaning and sometimes it is just hard to find a place to park.

Most people are on their phones while they wait. Therapists and clients alike.

Sometimes a client will talk about something they were doing, thinking, looking at in the waiting room. The session is in their mind and they are beginning the work of bringing themselves to therapy.

In the waiting room. Thinking about what you will talk about. Noticing how you feel - anxious? eager? resentful? Planning your first sentence.

Therapists read last week’s notes, stretch, have a bite to eat.

Clients check in with themselves and perhaps pull out Candy Crush.

Therapists perhaps pull out Candy Crush as well. Waiting for the clock to indicate the time for the session has arrived.

We’re all waiting today.

Nothing’s happening yet perhaps (can’t say for sure).

Something will happen. And we’ll make meaning of it. And that meaning will change over the days, years, decades, and generations.

But for now we wait - doing our thing - checking our phones.

What could we have done differently?

What will be the result?

What do we secretly hope for?

What do we secretly fear?

In what way will you gain if things don’t turn out as you “hope”?

In waiting the unconscious is ripe. We got ourselves here and it is too late to change anything.

We don’t know what will happen next and all the thoughts and feelings and anxieties and phone surfing - it’s all with us waiting to walk into the room and...