Just before I saw Andrea for her third session, I received a call from Andrea’s family physician.
He didn’t think there was an underlying medical condition behind her stomach aches.
“There’s a lot of tests that I could do,” he said. “But I’m reluctant to proceed with further testing—especially invasive testing—until we got find out what’s going on with her emotionally.”
Andrea’s doctor asked me to update him as we worked on her anxiety and to let him know how he might help the family.
I was stunned that a medical professional would consult with me about anything. In truth, I wondered if I was capable of being a good counselor for Andrea.
My supervisor liked the work I was doing but I still felt like a fraud.
“What makes me think I can help Andrea and the other clients I’m seeing?” I wondered.
Today this feeling—common among medical interns, newly licensed registered nurses and counseling interns like myself—is known as the imposter syndrome.
I’d need to get over this feeling before I could help Andrea.