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You (yes, YOU) Have Superpowers

I was asked a great question recently:

“What do you wish your clients knew about themselves?”

The first thing that came to mind: That they have superpowers. And most of the time, they don’t know that.

Before you start wondering how much sci-fi and fantasy I’m absorbing, let me clarify my definition:

A superpower is a unique strength you have that comes from adverse childhood experiences you went through earlier in life.

Did you have a sibling with a developmental disability, and you automatically know how to interact with other folks who have developmental disabilities, while everyone around you gets jittery and nervous?


Did you move a lot as a kid, and are pretty good at adjusting to new environments, finding your way around and making pals in the process?


Did you grow up with an explosive family member, and do you have a tendency to observe and thus pick up on small cues that someone in the vicinity is about to lose their shit?


There’s a reason superhero movies are such an enormous success: Children of all ages want to believe that adversity can lead to astounding success – that what makes you “weak and strange” can turn out to be the very thing that makes you a rock star later.

Of course, in real life, childhood adversity often leads to things such as depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship problems. Which is a lot of what brings awesome, brave people to therapy. They want to feel better, and they hope therapy can help with that.

And also of course, superpowers can really help us… but then sometimes get us into trouble. If you’re really good at being nice to people who act like jerks most of the time, you are prone to put up with jerks for way too long, and possibly, oh, I don’t know, marry them. (Ahem.) Which could really drain your battery and leave you unable to care for yourself.

Which is pretty important.

So naturally we all want to use our superpowers for (our) good, not for (our) bad.


Okay, think for a minute: What might your superpower be? Where did it come from? Does it deplete or invigorate you?

Do you remember the earliest time you used it? How about the latest?

Does it ever get you into trouble? Or, is it a gift that keeps on giving?

If not, how might you be able to reign in that superpower a bit, so you’re only using it when you absolutely need to?

I’d love to hear your about your superpower! E-mail me* and tell me all about it! If I have your permission to use it in a future blog post, let me know (I’ll keep you anonymous, natch)!

*Please keep in mind that e-mail communications to me are NOT encrypted and thus can’t be guaranteed to be strictly confidential. System administrators can access email accounts. Thus, I cannot 100% guarantee your complete and total privacy if you choose to e-mail me. Other legal phrasing here to cover my butt. Watch the movie Citizen Four to learn more about e-mail and privacy. Nice shirt!

October 16, 2015