Clients often come for help when their sense of self is compromised by an observing ego, or by significant others in their lives. The dysphoria is often palpable, and the attendant emotional pain is disorienting. They feel like an outlier — a person differing from all others in their peer group.
Who has not experienced the perceived need for caution that outliers feel when interacting with those who are among the mean of a distribution? The energy expended in hiding one's outlier status — and the fear of that status being discovered — can suck the life out of enterprise.
As humans we need to feel connected, and being an outlier feels antithetical to that feeling of connection. To have someone from the majority respect the perspective of the outlier is soothing for an outlier. As a culture we seem to be moving increasingly toward awareness of those outliers who occupy a smaller percent of the general population; this I think of as human growth.
Once again, the monthly IE-CAMFT training/CEU opportunities makes learning the perspectives of those in outlier groups of all sorts easier. This can only serve to make our culture more inclusive. Featured speakers may give context to the perspectives of outliers; allowing them to become resources from whom to learn more in the future. Check for more info and to RSVP for our future events: www.ie-camft.org
The effort, if successful, increases the chance we can hear the pain of more and more diverse populations, responding to them with genuine respect. The look of relief on a client's face when he/she, them/they feels heard is the best treat ever!
I love being part of IE-CAMFT. I'm so glad to be a part of a bigger picture. It keeps me hopeful.
Paul Velen, MS, LMFT
Nothing done for another is wasted