Are you up for a deep encounter?
Here's a reflection on why psychotherapy goes beyond the surface, and how you can prepare for this.
I often blog about self-help techniques and approaches those interested can use to support their well-being and emotional health. I like people to have as many tools as they need in their hands, to give choice, and to recognise that one size does not fit all, each situation and person is different after all.
Techniques and approaches are important, in the therapy room just as in self-help blogging. Therapists need to know how to help a client make sense of their experience, uncovering the structure of what is happening and moving past the narrative details of the client story. We also need to have a range of tools and ways of working available, so that our approach and interventions fit the structure the client uncovers. If you only have a hammer, you might go about seeking nails to knock, but really you wouldn’t dream of doing all your DIY jobs with just one tool!
Therapy is so much more than just techniques, however. Clients sometimes come asking for one approach, say EMDR or NLP. Tempting as it might be to jump straight into this preference, coming deeply into rapport to nurture our relationship and an intuitive connection is important. It may well be that the approach asked for is the right fit, and it may also be that there are choices or better fits. The key thing is to understand the outcomes sought, and the unique person seeking them, and to work from there.
Psychotherapy is a deeply relational space. It is a space where two people have repeated encounters with nothing barred, with an intimacy of connection that can be healing. It’s an unusual relationship for sure, after all the therapist is revealing nothing biographical and it’s all about the client. While in one way the therapist is unknown, in others they are very deeply present, and utterly open to experiencing with the client what it is that is ready for change.
If you’re entering therapy, ask yourself, how am I experiencing this therapist? How do I feel about them? What do I think? Will I in time be able to lean in and reveal myself emotionally? Do I want to explore with them? Is this a relationship in which I can try new things and learn new ways, rather than repeat the relational patterns I am trying to move past?
If you want to explore deeply, and find a therapeutic connection that is meaningful, get in touch.