Do No Harm…

“It was so traumatic!”

The woman was describing to her mentor a situation in which she had ended up in a heated debate with several of her work colleagues.  Although the mentor could see that it had indeed been an upsetting, frustrating, and intense encounter for the client, she did find herself wondering about the use of the word ‘traumatic.’ Was this the mentoree’s actual experience, or just a bit of hyperbole?

The man sat trembling in front of his mentor.  That morning he had visited a member of his congregation in hospital, and had experienced an unexpected and overwhelming sense of  impending disaster. He found himself desperately wanting to get out of there as soon as he possibly could.  He couldn’t quite understand why his physical reaction had been so overwhelming – and why he still felt on high alert. After all, the congregation member was expected to make a full recovery. “I’m just over-reacting… it’s nothing really…”  The mentor wasn’t sure what to think – it certainly did seem like an over-reaction, but looking at the trembling man in front of him, he knew that something serious was going on.

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