Why does deep psychotherapy take time?
- Category: Psychotherapy and Recovery Work
Within our psyche we carry the known and unknown about ourselves. This is a tricky statement. What we think we know about ourselves may be influenced by what we don’t know about ourselves. When the unknown reveals itself we may have a different experience of being who we are.
When Bobby Darin learned that his sister was really his mother and his mother was really his grandmother, it was an emotional catastrophe for the singer/actor. Our identity as we understand ourselves may be different than what we believed once we know what has been hidden about who we are.
Look what happens to people when they check their DNA online and find they have a percentage of minority blood. Look what happens when you learn that someone who put you down and bullied you in your childhood fesses up to being jealous of your skills and talents. It takes time and effort to readjust yourself from being (or so you thought) a woman lacking in creativity and initiative to an independent creative successful adult.
An awareness of our identity that differs from what we thought throughout our lives can be disruptive to our sense of being, create emotional shock, release powerful emotions and stimulate actions we never would have considered before. Some of the onsequence can be wonderful in the long run but still can cause pain and throw you off balance in the moment.
Without conscious awareness our psyches strive to avoid this possible eruption. We have formidable resistance to revealing what is unconscious in our psyche. Yet we need that hidden information in order to grow, to evolve, to gain strength, to lead an authentic and fulfilled life and, maybe most important of all, to contribute to the evolution of our species. Personal growth, healing and development requires that we learn the truth about ourselves. But, we can't learn it all at once. We need to pace ourselves in negotiating these deep tensions.
We resolve these tensions by doing our inner work, usually with a depth psychotherapist. This work is can be criticized because it is slow. Yet, after 30 years of practice I've learned that the work must be slow so new awareness reveals itself gradually. You reveal to yourself what you need to know at a pace you can tolerate. Even then, a small glimmer of new awareness from your inner depths can shake up your life and cause anxiety as well as a thrill in discovering the possibility of a new world and new ways of being alive.
From the work I've done on myself with my own depth psychotherapists and from the deep work I do with my own clients I've learned how much joy enters lives when old barriers dissolve at thei correct pace for the psyche and new vistas open to a happier and fulfilling world.
*pix Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay