Our problems can never be solved they can only be outgrown

How moving on is more about expansion

Go to the profile of Susan Tupling
May 11, 2017
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I came across this quote from Carl Jung today and it really struck me:

"Here and there it happened in my practice that a patient grew beyond himself because of unknown potentialities, and this became an experience of prime importance to me. I had learned in the meanwhile that the greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble. They must be so because they express the necessary polarity inherent in every self-regulating system. They can never be solved, but only outgrown."

When I read it I was reminded of moments in working with someone psychotherapeutically, when I felt powerless. Times when I was watching their unfolding in front of me and I didn't even feel like I was playing a part in that. I remember that my ego did not like it! And I remember feeling incredibly humbled. People 'grow beyond themselves' because they have the resources and intelligence inside them, they have the potential to grow and change.

Sometimes, as psychotherapists or counsellors, we are the facilitators of that change by what we do. Yet most often what is happening is that we are providing a safe, empowering space where the client can access their own 'unknown potential'. This latter is most important to me.

Yet people can come to us expecting us to solve their problems. To fix them or at least do something to make the problem go away. Or we as the therapist can be (consciously or unconsciously) in a habit of 'doing' something (even if that is listening or being attentive). This is what the feeling of powerless or being helpless tells me. I have learnt to see it as a joy and welcome it in when it happens - and it is happening more and more in my work - because it means that the client is growing beyond himself. It means that this space has opened this potential in them.

Problems are 'insoluble' inasmuch as a problem is about 'this' or 'that', or rather 'not this', but 'that'. The problem can be a polarity and polarities aren't solved they are transcended. Dualism is a significant development stage below monism and when we transcend the polarity the problem disappears.

Ultimately, psychotherapy is the expansion of consciousness. Basic needs are met, polarities are outgrown, and awareness is developed. Perhaps a psychotherapist/counsellor can't solve your problems they can only help you outgrow them?

Go to the profile of Susan Tupling

Susan Tupling

I am a UKCP registered clinical psychotherapist, certified yoga teacher and a qualified therapeutic and executive coach. My specialist areas of expertise includes; Neurolinguistic Psychotherapy Pesso Boydon System of Body-Based psychotherapy Neuro linguistic programming Clinical Hypnotherapy Mindfulness and Meditation.
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