Nattan Hollander, LMFT
My grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and it seems that psychopathology has been a companion from before I drew my first breath. It’s striking that I didn’t enter therapy until I was mandated as part of my studies for my graduate program. I think I just assumed that pain was to be borne in silence. And there was shame too. Certain things you just don’t talk about.
It’s tough to explain how I decided to pursue the path of becoming a psychotherapist. I see this profession as a calling, and I think we often follow the call to care for soul long before we know we are doing so. This is absolutely true for me. When I look back at my life I can trace watershed moments on this path, like a trail of breadcrumbs. Some painful, some exhilarating.
One of those pivotal moment was in the last year of my undergraduate art education in which I presented my graduation show. I wanted to share my passion for Zen meditation with the school, and decided to turn the gallery into a meditation room for a week. For me this was a form of creative expression. It was incredibly vulnerable and turned out to be one of the most gratifying experiences of my life at the time. Students and faculty came in during that week and I gave meditation instruction, sometimes to a group, sometimes one on one. I loved it – making a space for care for the soul. The way I sit with clients today is not different than how I hosted the meditation space: with caring attention, curiosity, and an open heart. Doing that every day, that would be a life I feel good about.
For more information about Nattan’s psychotherapy practice, visit www.nattanhollander.com