I used to work in Oak Park as a therapist in a community counseling center. When we weren’t with clients we would answer the phones. It was an interesting job because we were doing one of two things generally: scheduling and billing or crisis intervention. Two very different hats to wear at the same time. Sometimes I’d be on the phone with Blue Cross, and sometimes I’d be talking with an Oak Park police officer about a situation in the community that required a therapist to come out.
Needless to say we received some pretty odd calls. One in particular I will never forget. I had the fortune to already be on the phone when Kristen, my coworker, picked up and greeted a girl on the other line. She asked some general questions and I could tell it was someone seeking services. Within a few minutes Kristen started to develop a confused look on her face. This was one of those odd calls.
There was plenty of “Well, I’m not sure” and “I’ll have to check” and “I don’t know if insurance covers that” until finally Kristen put the girl on hold and turned to the rest of us.
“She’s asking if we offer ‘best friends counseling’”
OK – so not your run of the mill question at a counseling center and I can only imagine what customer assistance at her insurance provider would be like. But on the one hand I have to give kudos to the girl for asking. She had a friend that she was close with for years and years. They lived together and the relationship started going south. They had tried to clear things up, but hit an impasse and were looking for some outside help.
My default thoughts about friendships are that they should be fun, light, and easy. It’s easy to pull the ‘drama’ card when things start getting involved, but friendships are just like any long term relationship. Deeper levels of fulfillment require both parties to be vulnerable, and pointing blame at drama keeps me out of being true to myself.
Do you have any friendships that could use a booster? I think we all have someone in our lives we’d like to be in a better place with. Rich Blue, author of Grappling with God presented a live webinar, which we have recorded on this very topic. Check out CLE’s Video archive here for this broadcast and more.