This is a big question that every therapist faces, by a client, a friend or by society in general. Do we need therapy? What will talk therapy do for us? It will not change the outer reality of our lives. Why do we have to pay someone to witness our pain? All very valid questions that we need answered.
We all have a story. We all carry wounds from our history. As children, we learn to make up a story about who we are in the context of these injuries. For example, a young girl abused and untreated by her critical mother throughout her early years and having an absent father who did not protect her, will make the unconscious decision to never risk an attachment again in her life. . or chronically searches for attachments that can compensate for parental neglect. She would feel insecure and not deserve to be loved. If she takes the risk of looking for attachments, she will be wary of the other person and wary of their relevance in the relationship. “Do I matter? Am I worthy to be loved? Are you there for me? ‘
These are all questions that she will stage in her adult relationships, having the fantasy of someone healing their hurtful parenting relationship by offering a loving and stable relationship and testing the relationship over and over again from one place. of deep abandonment anxiety, fearing that it might be like her previous traumatic relationships. The test would make her feel like the new relationship can’t be trusted and is similar to her previous ones.
This adult woman wouldn’t go through all of these unconscious processes from her life story unless she went into therapy. Therapy, contrary to popular belief, is not limited to stories. Of course, history counts in understanding the canvas of a client’s life on which features of a difficult life have been painted. But it is primarily the relationship between a client and a therapist in the present through âenactmentâ that has the greatest potential for transformation and healing.
“It’s the relationship that heals,” writes Irvin Yalom, renowned psychiatrist and existential therapist.
This means that the kind of difficult personal relationships from childhood and adulthood that the client had, he will replay (reenact) them with his therapist in therapy. The therapeutic relationship then becomes the mirror of the client’s other relationships.
In the example above, we can believe that this woman brings all her insecurity and fear of abandonment to therapy. The therapeutic relationship can evoke unmet needs and desires from her childhood that have been suspended. If she starts to feel an attachment to her therapist, which is most likely to happen because her thirst for love is so great, questions like, “Am I too much?” Will you stay Am I relevant to you? ‘ will come again and again. And because a therapist has an understanding of the deeper implicit process, he or she may present the possibility of a transformative experience.
She will stage all of her childhood needs and feelings with her therapist, part of her subconsciously fearing that it is her parent in the room and another part hoping that it is not her parent but a caring caregiver. Therapy will also make her aware of her relationship patterns and how they were learned through her primary relationships.
A therapist re-parents the client’s inner child and offers a new relationship experience to compensate for parental wounds or caused by a traumatic adult relationship. The therapist represents a constant concern for the client to see himself in a new light. It can also change the landscape of the client’s life where once she internalizes that she is worthy of love through her therapeutic relationship, she can open up to the universe and most likely attract different energy and feelings. different relationships in which it can participate in a more secure way in itself.
This is why every therapist insists on the regularity of the therapy; allow the therapeutic relationship to develop and regularity presents stability in the relationship. Many clients occasionally ask a question such as âbut I am paying for this care from my therapistâ. This question is also rooted in the client’s story where perhaps he or she experienced conditional love. For the point is that a therapist is paid for their time and knowledge of these complex psychic processes, but there is a real person sitting across from a client with genuine feelings and commitment and the intention to participate in. the therapeutic relationship.
That’s why we need therapy.