As I sit in reflection of our last family workshop gathering at Lake House Academy, I am full of gratitude for the families who traveled to the tiny town of Flat Rock to join us. The workshops are truly only as great as the people who attend. We spoke about a lot of topics, including the Interpersonal Growth Model, challenge, grief and loss, privilege, and of curiosity.
Prior to the seminar, the clinical team explored the podcast, “Therapist Uncensored on Curiosity.” As we began to explore curiosity as a clinical team, we realized that curiosity is far more than just asking questions. Curiosity is an active state of wonderment, where everything is uncertain, and there might not be an answer. Curiosity is a skill and it requires resilience and tolerance of anxiety and discomfort. We recognize that a brilliant therapist is a facilitator of self-discovery and the Sherpa towards uncertainty. This was what we committed to being for the families at this workshop. Not therapists who have the ‘right’ answers, but therapists who guide families to their own self-discoveries, provide courage and safety to sit in the discomfort of the unknown, and to offer empathy for the experience of not knowing.
What we witnessed when we took this approach was a community being formed, vulnerability being born, an increase in the comfort of the unknown and a deep-seated curiosity to learn more and understand deeply.
There was a cultivation of a desire to not know and re-learn. Curiosity is truly the skill that deepens relational connection. We, at Lake House Academy, use curiosity to deepen our understanding of our families and students, but curiosity extends far beyond the professional. How many of us take the time to ask our siblings, partners or parents what it is like to be them? How they experience the world? What is hard for them and why? What they enjoy and why they enjoy it? If we approach things we believe are certain from an uncertain place, how much more could we learn? How much more empathy would exist in the world and would we have nearly as much conflict as we do?
I am not sure of the answer exactly, but my suspicion is that curiosity can change the world. Real, true, curiosity. Remembering that when we are truly curious, we are curious because we want to know and understand and not because we expect an answer. In the spirit of curiosity, find someone, it could even be yourself, whom you feel you are certain you know and approach them from a place of not knowing and experience the deepening connection that is born from curiosity.