Monday, February 2, 2015

The beginning, the middle, and where is the end?

People tend to start therapy in some sort of crisis of feelings, loss/anxiety,  change in relationship, or when their coping mechanisms start to wobble. A sense of relief from the presenting-issues generally happens within a few sessions if not immediately after the first session. Research tells us that one of the most powerful tangible experiences in therapy comes from experiencing a sense of hope. Talking to someone with basic skills and a grounded, focused empathy should give the client that sense of hope and a sense that their feelings are contained, the crisis will pass, time will do the work, and perhaps a new narrative is formed that one uses to find higher ground under their own power.

The question that immediately comes up.... Is it time to stop therapy or is this just the beginning?  To simplify... Are you here to seek relief or to try and manufacture a deeper change? Both are valid, both are connected by soft tissue, and both can be foreward and reversed engineered into the clinical process. The thing is, you're here, the hood is up, the engine is right there... so why not?

This tends to be an ambigious endeavor for the patient (it should be crystal clear to the psychologist) and is all grist for the mill. That being said, there's nothing wrong with a quick few months or few sessions of talking. The take-home should be a sense of relief, and a language for what is there but not necessarliy on the table.