Shadows of the mind. Light and darkness. Active and passive. More in our depths that we can develop and use than we know.
People usually come to psychotherapy for the first time because they are in pain, bewildered and because everything they knew about problem solving no longer works for them. Going inside their psyches seems like the last option. Even then, they do not know what to expect. At first, they want to know how long it will take to fix their lives.
This is a normal response when a person is plunged into an unrecognizable
world where their well-honed talents and skills do not bring desired results. They feel angry, lost, frustrated and afraid.
Despite the pain, for an individual in this situation the outlook for success is optimistic. It was the person’s own defense system that fell apart, leaving them flailing. Their own psyche pushed them to seek help outside themselves.
Somewhere in the unconscious these people learned, without knowing it, that they had to rally themselves and grow in a new way. They were ready to develop beyond their previous limitations. They do not know how.
And so, in depth psychotherapy begins. They are on the road to discovering aspects of themselves they did not know existed like new courage, strength, new perspectives, new resilience, new curiosity and new priorities plus the energy and will to move forward.
Some of the early work is withstanding the collapse. But even during the collapse treasures are in the rubble. And with the absence of the old structure, the original ground has room and light for new life to come forth.
The psyche decided that it is time for that new life to emerge. So people contact a psychotherapist and make an appointment. It may feel like an act of desperation, but it is the first step to a new life fulfillment and adventure.
Joanna Poppink, MFT, private practice psychotherapist, E-mail for free telephone consultation.
Book: Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder