The goal from the beginning of therapy is to get clients prepared to leave, similar to healthy parenting.
The therapist and client both know when the work is done. The client is no longer depressed, experiencing panic attacks, or struggling in their relationships, for instance.
The therapist's main goal is to help people who are struggling emotionally due to current and past events.
Those struggles come in the form of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, heartbreak, physical pain, relationship dysfunction, abuse, sexual dysfunction, gender-identity or general life-transitions, to name a few.
Many people are carrying with them a lifetime of unopened baggage.
Clients are often emotionally vulnerable and perhaps cynical, unsure of what they really need besides eliminating their presenting symptoms. They trust that the therapist is a trained professional that will be able to help them gently unpack their emotional baggage.
But no matter how great the presenting issues are, nothing is bigger than the courage it took for them to be there. It is a moving experience, bearing witness to this brave stand they are taking. The yearning for happiness, meaning, and love.
Here they are. It is a sacred moment and an urgent matter.
AS A THERAPIST, HERE are some of my views ON THERAPY
You are not a patient that is broken needing to be cured, you are a client that is wounded needing to be healed. Stop pathologising yourself this way.
As a client, you don't need tips, tricks and techniques to lessen your pain. It's time to open up the hood and repair the damage.
Can people really change? Yes. When you are willing to make an inquiry into the beliefs you carry about yourself, others and the world, and are willing to let go of some of those old beliefs, change is the result.
We are all the same. We have all experienced impactful childhoods to some degree and therefore we carry "baggage" into our adult lives. When we have the courage to unpack our painful past, we can finally become whole.
A therapist who is willing to work with each partner individually provides a huge advantage. Couples need to heal themselves as individuals first, and a healthy partnership is the by-product of the individual work.
- Don't let people tell you that you need to just "get over it". There is no getting over anything, there is only dealing, feeling, and then healing.
- Therapy is costly, so choose a therapist wisely. Not everyone is a great fit. Some therapists will be comfortable giving you direct answers to your problems, and others will turn it back on you to answer your own questions. Choose the approach that works for you.
- Your resigned, cynical self is welcome. If you find yourself returning to therapy once again, it's time to do the transformation work that's never been fully done. Hold your therapist accountable.
- Make sure your therapist walks their talk. Have they done their own personal work? A professional can only take you as far as they have gone themselves.
- You need to tell your therapist whether you're looking for insight therapy, deep transformational work, or a bit of both. You must take responsibility for your journey and educate yourself and your therapist.
- When you're clear on your intentions and you communicate them with your therapist, you're laying out your expectations for moving forward and working together.