I would like to share my thoughts on psychotherapy from a therapist’s perspective.
In a theraputic setting, it is possible to live a whole life-time in an hour or have a marriage and a divorce in fifteen minutes. Sometimes therapy can be intense!
Here is a fictitious case example of a couple struggling with issues:
Jack and Lisa have been married for 4 years and have an 11 month old baby. Jack is cool, thoughtful and logical. Lisa is animated, emotional and spontaneous. They remember being adoring, affectionate and each other’s soul-mate.
Now, almost daily there is bickering and escalated aggressive arguing about who is the more competent parent, to the point that they are contemplating ending the marriage . He is becoming angry and threatening; she is fearful and almost defeated. The child shows his suffering from the emotionally charged atmosphere by constantly fussing and needing a parent beside him at all times.
As the story unfolds, I am looking for the presence of that one moment which offers the possibility of a real and true connection. Now, when it shows itself, we can begin the building of trust and bring into view the bridge to transformation.
We discover that Jack was 9 months old when his mother was diagnosed with severe Personality Disorder and he has never felt that he was heard or that he mattered. Lisa was the eldest of 6 children and was always made to feel responsible and to take charge. Lisa realizes that when she takes control in the home and with their son as she was brought up to do, Jack again starts to feel insignificant and invisible and reacts by becoming domineering and rageful . Jack then understands how his anger contributes to Lisa’s loss of confidence and self-esteem.
As the couple accept that they are being triggered by old wounds from the unmet needs of their childhood and that they are engaged in an age-old power struggle, they begin to feel compassion rather than alienation; and openness to participating in making change.
Wisdom – Balance – Courage
I believe a good therapist brings to the relationship nothing less than the wholeness of his or her being. Like a well-tuned instrument s/he resonates with the deepest and most unconscious, unspoken thoughts and feelings of the client.
While providing a safe and accepting space, the therapist can actively become a catalyst for the healing process. I envision with insight and imagination the direction in which growth may best be achieved in concert with the client’s expression of their own individual needs.
It is a complex and beautiful dance; and what a thrill it is to witness the unfolding of spirit!