…….You need to be a little off-balance to move ahead…..
If you never have “been to” therapy, let me suggest that you toss out any ideas you might have from “What About Bob” or “The Sopranos” or “One Flew Over the Cuckoos’ Nest” because that isn’t how it looks from my perspective ….lose that uninformed notion that therapy is for crazies or people who are weak and just need to get their lives together … if the answer to the question about your life of “how’s it going?” is anything other than an honest “just the way I want it,” then therapy may be useful to you.
Therapy means at its root, “healing.” It is something like “repair.” The tools that we use in this Great Work of shifting and changing (alchemy) range from talk therapy (yes, it can work as part of the mix) to body-awareness (returning to an awareness of the body can highlight numbness or pains, aches and disabling conditions) to connection with the natural world (ok, yes, tree hugging) and to that which is larger than we are, spiritual – though perhaps not traditionally religious.
Therapy is not something we can predict will take one month or one year or three years. In some definite time, you will know if the work between us is something you feel is useful to you; generally, people know by the end of the second meeting if there is a “fit” between us. Sometimes, the way we are put together as people and the ways in which you have lived your life to this point, come together to make some part of you on-guard around change, even when some other part of you is pretty sure change is needed. This way of protecting can mean some slow-going while trust is built up.
Sometimes, it is easy to get into patterns that put blame on the people or circumstances in your life for the way life is for you. Here’s a hint – if your situation is really ultimately in the hands of someone else (your spouse, your friends, your boss, your parents, your neighbors) then, you will only be able to adapt to what they do – like the tail of the dog. Usually, unless you are actually in a situation where someone is abusing you (physically, mentally, sexually, economically), you can become aware of the power and authority you do have and reclaim your ability to make change happen. If you are being abused now (especially if you are not yet an adult or if you are a frail/ disabled or elderly person), the situation is vastly different – contact me immediately.
If you have been “in therapy” before, it may be a new opening now to do another level of work on yourself, for your relationship, or to prepare for something new. You are not required to “start at the beginning” and retell all of your life’s history – we can work with the current situation and use insights and experiences only when they are really needed for you to move ahead.
Therapy, and the new views that are available from doing this work, applies to your own life circumstances, to you within the family you grew up in, to the pressures and legacies from your own family, your ethnic or national group, being a human on the planet at this time. Elements from all aspects of your life, physical, intellectual (beliefs and judgments), emotional and spiritual are at play and have a stake in any change you make. All parts of you, the parts you like, the parts you don’t like, the parts you don’t know about but other people see, the parts no one knows yet are all invited, needed and welcome.
It may seem strange to do this kind of personal and confidential work by phone or video rather than in person. It is. And, it is doable and effective. What is needed is that we both make a space where there will be no distractions, interruptions and where we can listen well.