Why I Am Grateful to You

By: Amy Maricle


Hands Gratittude

Dear You:


There are times that I find myself sliding into complaining, kvetching, and finding faults. It’s an unhappy and unfriendly place, so when I wake up and realize where I am, I don’t feel proud. So I refocus.  I focus on what everyone is doing right, seek out  beauty all around me, and pause to appreciate these things instead of looking for what’s wrong. There’s an old saying that  we find what we are looking for, and I know this to be true.


Having just hit the “reset button,” it seemed the perfect time to express my gratitude for you. Here on the blog, I have a platform to tell you things we don’t always have time for in the office.


I know how blessed I am to be a therapist and art therapist. Not everyone gets to do work that is so meaningful and real. I know that this is a privilege. Everyday you remind me of the power of humanity.  You rise up and change right in front of me. You allow me to be a part of, and then witness to, your transformation. Because of you, I see how amazing people can be. There’s never a struggle for me to find the beauty in that.


What I admire most about you is your courage. You are courageous beyond your own estimation. Your willingness to take risks is astounding.  What a gift you give me every time you step through the door.  You show up. You come willing to try things you have never done before. Whether it’s a visualization to help you see how to stand up to your bossy coworker, role-playing ways to tell your boyfriend you’re leaving him, or picking up a paintbrush to express how you are feeling, I am awed by your ability to step into the unknown.


You create.

You cut things out that don’t belong.

You explore the darkness.

You learn to like your art even though you thought there was nothing about you to like.

You tell me things you never dared admit before.

You cry.

You laugh.

You learn to take yourself more seriously, and not seriously at all.

You find ways to let go.

You trust me, and follow me over the ledge onto an invisible bridge, and we don’t fall.

You share. You take risks. You try. You learn.

And you transform.


Every day I have the honor of sitting across from you, pondering with you, and collaborating with you. Your life is better because of our work, but so is mine. I only hope that you know how courageous and powerful you really are. Thank you.






What are you grateful for? Do you find yourself lured by the seductive nature of complaining and fault finding at times? Tell us about it in the comments.



  1. claudia trevithick

    Hi Amy, I just wrote a comment on Tamara’s google, thinking your post was hers, and that it was only the art, no writing. Now that I found this, I love what you have said.

    You made it about them, not about you.

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Claudia:

      Welcome to the Maricle Counseling blog! Thanks for stopping by. Tamara Suttle is wonderful, isn’t she? I’m so heartened to know that you connected with what I said. I noticed that you do some work with vision boards and did a post on it. I wondered if you do that every year and if you find that works really well?

  2. Marina Strauss

    Amy: It so true that this work of being an art therapist is something to be grateful for. I get up and know I can make a difference in someone else’s life: by listening intently, by offering art as a way of processing our emotions and even as a distraction when pain is so much. I am also grateful for the reminders and learnings I receive from my patients. Right now I am learning about how boundaries can be empowering: When I say NO to something (or someone) I am saying YES to something ( or someone ) else; about the depth of small gestures within a therapeutic relationship and outside of therapy; about the simple act of pausing and how it can make a tremendous change: to learn that pause, which can be a creative one or not, pause before we talk and respond from a reactive place, pause to check in with ourselves what parts of ourselves are active and how to activate the parts that we want: the compassionate and creative ability that we all have.
    Thanks for this invitation to pause and be grateful for the learnings I am receiving in my practice.
    Loved our time making art !!! Hoping for more soon!

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Marina:

      It’s great how you frame saying no as a way of saying yes! I really connected with your writing about the importance of pausing as well. The pause for making art together is so important! Thank you!

  3. Shazia

    Amy, thank you so much for this post! As someone who worked with a therapist for years, I felt your post gave me a glimpse into what it might have been like for my therapist for all those years! How heartening to hear, feel your gratitude through your letter. Your clients are very lucky to have your attention, as it is clearly a loving, warm place you have created.

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Shazia:

      It’s great to have your voice here again. Having been on both sides of the room at various points, it’s interesting for me to reflect on my experiences as a client too. In the end, we are all human, and it is a job about feeling, isn’t it? As you know, and I talked about in my post on finding a therapist, a good match means everything for success.

  4. Rachel

    I’m a therapist-in-training, and was deeply touched by this. I’ve written a similar letter to my own clients on my blog, crediting you, and hope that’s ok! If not, please let me know and I’ll take it down.

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Rachel:

      Welcome to the Maricle Counseling blog! I am so pleased to hear that my letter touched you, especially given that you are a therapist in training. I found my connections with therapists who really loved what they were doing fed me so much in grad school. (And still do!) I see that you are using trauma sensitive yoga and trained with Dave at the Trauma Center? They do great work.

      All the best to you!



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