What’s Soul Got to Do with Psychotherapy?
- Category: Psychotherapy and Recovery Work
Living with an eating disorder or the remnants of an old eating disorder is living a lonely life. You can’t be your true self with anyone in order to create a deep and rich relationship. You don’t even know who you. You feel inadequate. You often feel you are an imposter. You are certain you must please others or take care of them in order to be okay yourself.
Who or what is in you that supports your true self and allows you to be free? Even asking this question can be a revolution in your thinking.
In therapy we create a safe environment based on trust. That takes time, and we both need to be honest and trustworthy to make this happen. Once we achieve this, we can begin to talk daringly about issues right on the edge of secrecy. In time we can go into the secrets themselves and make them known to both of us.
You know about the secrets you protect. You are startled by the secrets you have guarded from your own awareness. And a third secret exists, perhaps the mightiest secret of all, one that is too good to be true and therefore not believed for a long time.
That secret is about the thread of your soul. This is deep yet has access to your every thought, feeling, action and even your body experiences. Your self-doubts and self-criticisms keep this secret well hidden from yourself.
Yet you couldn’t have survived without that thread reverberating within you at just the right time to influence your life. It’s been a complex challenge to your being since you have not been allowed, by others or by your own mind, to know this wise soul thread exists in you. But whether you believe it or not, it’s there. You can deny the existence of the sun, but the sun fills the sky whether you believe in it or not.
In therapy, after a time, the work moves to an increased acceptance and respect for your soul thread. You can grow to appreciate, value and eventually trust a healthy, healing, wise and strong place within yourself that has always been there. You can develop this aspect of your being. Then you are no longer an imposter or slave to the needs of others. You are a shining being with meaning in your life, able to say no to what is harmful to you and embrace with joy the good that comes your way and the joy you now can you create yourself.
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Los Angeles psychotherapist