Ok, I know this sounds weird but hear me out. When I am in a therapy session, it is not uncommon for me to visualize myself as a conveyor belt worker. My job is to listen to what my clients tell me, look through it and pick out the gems. When I find gems, we examine them together. We try to figure out what they mean. I ask questions like where did this gem come from? Do you want this gem? Do you want to change this gem? What would happen if you radically accepted this gem? It took me a long time to learn how to be a good therapist. Both art and science blended together, therapy takes an incredible amount of skill, attention, and experience. To be a new therapist is like to be placed in front of a conveyor belt but not have clear instructions on what you are supposed to be looking for or how it could be helpful. Through trial and error, I learned that therapy is truly a dance and takes on a life of it's own. My role as a therapist is not to be all-knowing or all-seeing but to simply be able to manage the conveyor belt of information that my clients bring to me. Since I have been providing therapy for over 10 years, I have picked out more gems than I could ever count. I have worked with people on pretty much every human problem under the sun. And although I will never stop growing as a clinician, I have certainly developed a skill of finding gems that change people's lives. One cool thing about being Autistic is that I can recognize patterns easily. This becomes very useful as a therapist looking for gems. I can make connections and see patterns which then informs my decision on which gems to pick out and why. Gems aren't always shiny and beautiful. Gems can be heavy, dark, painful, shameful, unbearable. But sometimes those are the gems that need to be brought into the light.