In Counselling Therapy there are moments of joy where clients know on deep levels that they are really understood, they are truly unique and that their feelings are not going to hurt them, not going to overwhelm them because in the space with the therapist they can be integrated gently.
Working with ‘feelings’ is not natural for many people and can be difficult to even begin to think about it and it is for exactly this reason that many don’t get the help they need but feel happier just coping and getting on with their daily life. The problem with this is that sooner or later the original sensations and difficult experiences return and the person loses their energy, their sparkle, their confidence.
Perhaps you are reading this knowing that you are unable to lift yourself out of that depression that has gotten hold of you, or confusion and difficult feelings that seem to follow you around wherever you go; or childhood traumas and having problems in relationships.
Perhaps you have a diagnosis of autism and feel that speaking to someone will help you to navigate this busy world. Maybe, you just want to explore working with a therapist as part of your self-care regime because you know that it can deepen your connection to yourself, others and the world.
For couples being in tune enough to know that there has been a break in the connection of the relationship for example and then as John Gottman says in The Seven Keys to Successful Marriage:
“Initiating and /or receiving repair attempts to restore the connection in a more harmonious way is 80 percent of what gives relationships sustainability over long periods of time”
Being able to repair is an art and when couples practice this it is necessary to do this through the feeling and emotional senses, it is necessary to work with the heart muscle and to be informed by its intelligence. When we discover and explore the difficulties we carry within us from childhood we are freer and more available to the present and we can stop watching the same movie built from the past that we continue to project onto our lives.
For individuals the right level of therapeutic encounter can be the ‘corrective relational experience’ that is needed to be able to move beyond the feeling of being totally alone and towards a sense that there is somebody who knows who they are and as Mearns. D. and Cooper. M. write:
“While this is just one person, the difference between feeling entirely alone and feeling one other person beside them can be immense. What is more, even if the contact with the therapist is for only one hour a week, it is something that can carry the client the through the rest of their week, a little torch burning inside of them that reminds them that they are not totally alone in the world”
This human connectedness is what puts the person back in the human soup of kindness. From here it is possible for people to begin to establish more meaningful and intimate relationships with others.
If you are reading this and some part of you is expecting to continue your life in this hopeless and despairing way feeling in some way useless because you are unable to, alone, get yourself to feeling better, then why not be curious about these moment s of joy, validation, kindness and love in therapy.
I like what Martha Graham Legendary choreographer said that captures the importance of your life force, your uniqueness that can be freed, can learn to live again through therapy because no matter how lost you are you can find the energy of ‘you’ again.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it”
There is only one of you and as you find your ground again in Counselling either with yourself or in your couple you will not regret it. It may be challenging because it is easier to just go along with the status quo rather than allow your beautiful internal fire to warm your life and the lives of those around you.
Happy New Year