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.