Reflections on Therapy

  1. Reflections on Therapy

Choosing to go to therapy is choosing to make room for oneself. For one’s story, one’s sorrow, one’s voice and one’s hopes and dreams. It is saying: I matter, my life matters, even if the meaning of it all is a bit of a mystery still to be discovered.

Making space for oneself we might discover that the story we’ve believed about ourselves may be one we’ve outgrown or it may be one seeded by others at another time that we never fully investigated for its veracity. The invitation is to, at least for a moment, become spacious around these things and open to what else, perhaps something more authentic, may emerge.

Therapy is not a one-sided experience though; the presence of and interaction with the therapist opens the channels to insights. That is if the therapist isn’t’ too caught up in ego, busy interpreting or being clever. As clients, we feel the quality of the therapist’s attention that’s so central to the transformative potential of therapy. The therapist’s ability to hold the client with ‘evenly suspended attention’ (Freud), with mindful presence, curiosity and possibility is the unspoken invitation to the client to move into a more spacious experience of themselves, one that lends itself to exploration and discovery. As a therapist, I know how exquisite it is to settle into the state of relaxed alertness with the client and marvel time and again at the unanticipated realizations emerging.