As I engage more and more with the therapy process and try and learn from what it has to teach me, I find myself thinking back to pivotal points in my past relationship with my therapist. It’s both an encouragement to see how much our relationship has developed and my trust has increased, and also a reminder of the fact that therapy can’t be ‘scripted’. It may feel aimless at times or as if I’m groping in the dark; and I still can’t even imagine what ‘the end point’ looks like for me. But I’m quietly amazed when I look back at the twists and turns of our therapeutic journey, and realise how much all those different stages (including the dreaded ‘therapy breaks’) have had to teach me -not always straight away or at the time, but cumulatively, and in retrospect.
Here then, is the post that signalled a real change for me, in how I saw and related to my therapist. This is where our real work began.
After months and months of grieving the loss of my ex-therapist and hoping that I might return into therapy with her, it finally became clear that that was no longer a possibility, and I could ‘hold out’ on my therapist no longer. I could no longer see her (albeit subconsciously) as a ‘stop-gap’ – I either had to start to emotionally commit to her, or decide that she wasn’t the right therapist for me, and try and find someone else. I’m so glad I listened to the ‘gut instinct’ that had drawn me to her, and that I chose the former.
As for the image of therapy as a ‘house’ or a ‘home’ – that still very much continues for me. The image has become a fundamental and frequent part of my dream life, and it develops and evolves. Where, as a child, my dreams were dominated by flying, these days they are dominated either by ‘houses’ or by ‘journeys’ – and I feel strongly that both images are very much connected with the therapy process. One of my most poignant dreams was of a journey ‘through’ a house -moving from room to room. The rooms started off completely bare, but as I walked through they started to fill with furniture, and became more and more warm and comfortable and homely. The last room was at the back of the house, and looking out, I saw a wonderful view over a beautiful and gently sloping garden. I was overcome with emotion at what was ‘out there’ for me to enjoy. Perhaps that ‘end-point’ of therapy, that I cannot even imagine – will feel something like gazing out at the view of that garden.
February 2, 2015 at 8:21 pm
I have learned so much from your blog about the client-Therapist relationship and probably wouldn’t be talking to my Therapist about connection so soon if we hadn’t shared comments. My focus now is on that relationship and I’m very aware how it reflects personal relationships. I do not know how I will ever be able to connect and trust the T. I do connect on a certain level, but not in trust.
As for dreams and interpretations… I think we know when an interpretation feels right. I used to have the flying ones, but now it is more to do with trying to escape…mmm… no prizes for guessing what that’s all about.
Once again, great post
Oh and, I’m enjoying, ‘Love’s executioner..’
February 21, 2015 at 8:37 pm
Glad you’re enjoying ‘Love’s executioner’ 🙂 Thank you so much, and I’m glad you liked the post 🙂
Most of my flying dreams were all about being chased as well…..and trying to figure out ways to escape. That’s where lucid dreaming was helpful because a few times I got into a sticky situation and thought to myself while I was dreaming ‘I’ve been here before, and I remember what I did last time’, and managed to escape…..
Trust – one of the many things that I’ve realised, as I’ve been blogging, that I’ve been defining far too narrowly. I used to think I trusted my therapist just because I knew she wouldn’t betray my confidence and tell anyone the things I had told her. But I was completely missing out on the elements of trust to do with vulnerability, and validation, and acceptance. It’s such a hard thing to cling onto – and as with many aspects of therapy, I think it’s probably a question of trusting the process to help deliver these things in time, even if it seems incredible that it will be and we cannot for the life of us see how….
I am so glad and humbled to know that I have contributed to your own journey -as I mentioned in a comment on one of your own posts, that knowledge has been not only constantly encouraging, but in a very dark day, it was the only light that I could see when I believed that my life added nothing to anyone. I’m so looking forward to hearing more about how that relationship unfolds, and how it impacts relationships outside therapy. I’m so privileged to be able to share your journey Cat 🙂
February 22, 2015 at 3:28 pm
It sounds like we have a similar “professional trust” for our T’s. However, I do feel the relationship is improving. I have realised that trust never did come easy. I don’t know how I will be able to change that perspective, but the relationship between T and I sounds like a good place to start