reflections on psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is kind of like a treasure hunt. We come in looking for a solution to a problem or a way to get unstuck or to move through or to be happier or to just not feel so afraid. We think this upsetting thing we are dealing with is our problem. More often than not, our problem is not the problem at all, but a symptom of something else that lies hidden underneath it. Generally, what blocks it from our view is our fear of our own unworthiness. It doesn’t feel like this. It feels like my husband is intimidating or my wife is irresponsible or too demanding. It feels like my boss keeps overlooking me or my kids are disrespectful.
Sometimes we are aware enough to know that the problem is something we are doing - we watch as we bow to our inner critic, when we are too afraid to speak up or when we keep repeating a self-destructive pattern even though we know it hurts us. And all of that is probably true, but the real problem and the only one we can have any real power over is believing in our mistaken assumptions about ourselves. Psychotherapy is a process of self-discovery. It takes us to secret rooms in the psyche. Yes, ones that require deeper levels of personal responsibility, but ultimately it surprises us with a felt-sense-encounter with our true self -- one that turns out to be far wiser and far more loving than the one who came in with the original problem.
Your wisdom will be clear only when you look into your heart... Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.
- Carl Jung