Life in a Bind – BPD and me

Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and my therapy journey. Listed in Top Ten Resources for BPD in 2016 by goodtherapy.org. I write for welldoing.org and for Muse Magazine Australia, under the name Clara Bridges.

Laughter in therapy

8 Comments

laughter in therapy

Therapy is not a matter of milestones, but of moments*. Those moments can be: awkward; intense; heart-warming; painful; shocking; surprising; happy; exhausting; revelatory; uncomfortable; thought-provoking; mundane; interesting; angry; fearful; beautiful.

But there is nothing so lovely in therapy, I think, as moments of laughter. Particularly where that laughter is at an ‘in-joke’- amusing to the two of you by virtue of the intimate work you share in.

I told my therapist that I had asked one of my children how he felt about a particular situation. He told me, and then said “was that the right answer?”. I replied that there was no right or wrong answer.

As I related this story, I caught my therapist’s eye and we both burst out laughing, a split second apart. The irony hit me, as it hit her, and there was no need for either of us to explain what we found so amusing. My answer to my son was precisely the answer my therapist gives to me every time I worry that I am ‘not doing therapy right’. It was amusing for both of us to see me play her role, and pass on a wisdom I found it so difficult to apply to myself.

There are so many intense, moving, and powerful moments in therapy, where we make ourselves vulnerable and feel ourselves drawn closer to our therapist. But shared laughter has a special kind of bonding quality. For that moment, you are precisely attuned; on the same wavelength. Your laughing together is only possible because of a shared emotional and intellectual state. So much of therapy is ‘unequal’, in the sense that you reveal a great deal of yourself, whereas the therapist reveals comparatively little. But shared laughter has a unique kind of mutuality.

There is an added benefit to laughing with my therapist. I spend so much of my sessions avoiding eye contact – but when I laugh with her, I look at her. And that too, is another form of bonding and connection. That too, shortens the distance between us. Therapy is a matter of moments  – and laughing together are amongst the moments that matter the most. 

 

* This is a twist on a quote by Rose Kennedy: “Life is not a matter of milestones, but of moments”.

 

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Laughter in therapy

  1. When I was reading this post, I thought, ‘wait a minute, isn’t that the answer the Therapist gives?’ I think we hold the answers within to many of our dilemma’s and if Psychotherapy unlocks the unconscious, then it’s hardly surprising we will experience these ‘slip of the tongue’ moments. I also find eye contact difficult with the T, but sharing laughter does break down that barrier.

    Like

  2. LOVE this . . . . my therapist and I laugh a lot on therapy . . . . it really helps break up the hard energy in the room sometimes .. sometimes laughter is the best medicine …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Life in a Bind – BPD and me and commented:

    In relationships, therapy included, laughter can be an incredibly bonding and connecting experience…

    Like

  4. Beautiful, and so true. Laughing with my therapist, and all those other tender intimate moments make all the hard, painful work worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s