On feeling more connected
by Fe Robinson
When clients arrive in psychotherapy there is often a sense of disconnection. It may be that the client feels disconnected from themselves, as if they are not feeling themselves fully, or that they feel divided up inside into conflicting parts.
It may also be that clients feel disconnected from those they love, this is a common issue in both individual and couples work. There may be a yearning to love and feel loved, to find honesty and intimacy in relationships. There may be a dissatisfaction with current relationships and a desire to learn to relate differently.
It may be that a client feels disconnected both inside, and in relationships too.
Psychotherapy works well when a good connection can be established in the room. That takes a therapist willing and able to be fully present, to be available and receptive to their client. It takes a willingness to get into a meaningful, rich therapeutic relationship.
It also calls for a client to take the risk to experiment and do things differently. It may mean exploring issues not yet voiced. It may be venturing to relate with the therapist in ways that feel a challenge - for example being more direct and honest than is the case in other relationships they have.
Psychotherapy, when working well, is about connection. It is about you and your therapist both showing up, both being prepared to be changed by the experience, both seeking to connect. This may mean staying with discomfort, staying in relationship when it feels hard, and exploring old patterns as and when they recur in the therapy room.
When we go to psychotherapy, we are ourselves. We can not be other. We will play out our old patterns, the question is whether we can stay with this and dare to be different, knowing there is enough trust and goodwill available to see us through.
It can be tough to experience yourself through the mirror of psychotherapy. It is not always enjoyable, or easy. Most often though, it is insightful, and it generates new possibilities and choices.
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