My name is Howard Milkman and I am a Pastoral Counselor and Staff Therapist at Samaritan Interfaith Counseling Center where we help people through counseling, education and consulting.
But, let me tell you why I do what I do. I am here because Samaritan Interfaith has the highest ethical and professional standards and the most generative and collegial staff. I am here because of the Access Program which allows us to treat poor and rich alike. I am here because of the emphasis on faith, religion and spirituality, and our organic connection to churches, synagogues, mosques and other religious organizations.
I believe that I love the therapy world much better than I love the Other World. I love the therapists, the place where we do therapy and especially the clients. Rarely in public and not often out loud, I call myself an intimacy freak. I love people without their skin on. Human beings are the best kind of people there are. In a world that shames humanity, cheapens and sells it like new a Toyota, I love the therapy place. In a world where people are taught that the highest goals are sexual and material, I love the therapy place. In a world which portrays life as sordid and defines what it is to be human by the lowest common denominator, I love the therapy place. In this world there needs to be a place which affirms and exalts humanity.
I love the clients who have taught me so much about courage, resiliency and the passion to be sacrificially and purely loving. I am grateful to clients for helping me to develop parts of myself I would have never known. I am grateful to clients for intimacy, trust and their tremendous courage in taking responsibility for their own lives.
With Carl Whittaker and other male therapists, I have always been jealous of women’s ability to give birth. But in a much less mess but also less painful way, I love therapy in the moment that clients change before your eyes. I love when they evolve, grow and become someone who they always were but never imagined. I love the birthing moments, the tenderness, the awesome respect, and exquisite care. I love the therapy world in the moments it makes me feel as if I was in heaven because I realize that the difference between all people is only skin deep. I especially love the silences in therapy which deepen the process to make it so much more than mere words.
I love the therapy world. Let’s make a world, you and I, and then maybe a universe.