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Jan 8, 2024

Thanks for the "we"

Rachel McCrickard, LMFT

CEO and Co-Founder

_"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack."

  • Rudyard Kipling-_

Hi friends,

I love watching depressing-yet-heartwarming movies. Don't you?

They are my second favorite movie type after any sort of true-crime documentary about a cult, a murder, or intricate Ponzi scheme.

One of my favorite depressing-yet-heartwarming movies is Stepmom. Have you seen it?

It follows the story of a divorced couple, Jackie, played by Susan Sarandon, Luke, played by Ed Harris, and Luke's new girlfriend, Isabel, played by Julia Roberts.

During the movie, Jackie navigates her feelings about her ex-husband's new girlfriend, particularly what it's like to witness another woman bonding with her two young children. As Jackie makes room for Isabel in her kid's lives, there are a lot of difficult emotions and understandable responses.

However, the story has a heartbreaking complexity. In an early scene, Jackie and Luke go out to dinner and Jackie shares some sobering news - she has cancer, and the prognosis isn't good.

Luke's response is beautiful. He reaches out to hold his ex-wife's hand and says, "We'll beat it."

Jackie responds with a long, deep breath and a nod and then says, "Thanks for the we."

I haven't seen the movie in many years, but I can still picture that scene clear as day. I love this two sentence exchange.

Luke saying, "We'll beat it." conveys the message - "You are not alone. We will fight this together."

And Jackie's response, "Thanks for the we." acknowledges the help, support, and solidarity Luke is offering.

Any time I think about this scene, I reflect on what it's like to be a therapist.

As therapists, we have the incredible opportunity to be the "we" on someone's journey. We are able to convey the help, support, and solidarity that can allow another person to feel less alone.

Our clients bravely step into our office and trust us with their deepest pains and wounds. They share their stories, their fears, their hopes and dreams.

And, we, have the sacred opportunity of symbolically reaching out our hand and saying, "We'll navigate this together."

Wow - what an absolute privilege.

Here are a few statements that I think conveys this sense of "we":

  • "I want you to know that I'm here for you, and you don't have to face this alone."
  • "Your feelings are valid, and I'm here to navigate this with you."
  • "We can make decisions together about the best next step."
  • "We are a team, and your well-being is our shared goal."
  • "How do you think we can approach this issue in a way that feels right for you?"
  • "I've seen your resilience and strengths, and we can build on those to face what's ahead."

Of course, this is an opportunity that extends beyond the work of therapists and their clients. Any one of us can incorporate this "we" mentality into the messages we send to our partners, our children, and our friends.

I wish you a good week.


Rachel McCrickard, LMFT
CEO/Co-Founder, Motivo

Each Monday, I’ll share my perspective on topics that mean a lot to me: growth, resilience, relationships, and leadership.

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