Tag Archives: Intimacy

True Connections

By Will

As long as I can remember I have always been searching for true connection with others, and I knew in my heart that something vital was missing. Discovering that most of my relationships were of a dependant nature was quite unsettling. Attachment to others in this way is perpetual, as you never truly have your needs met, and can end up continually eating crumbs. Both parties have their agendas, and both may end up feeling half full much of the time, carried with the need to go back regularly to refill their plates. It is very much like overeating in as much as there is never a particular type of food that satisfies, as the food itself will never fill the empty space inside, and so acts as a substitute.

Again and again I have found that these unfulfilled needs originate during our first special relationships with our parents or guardians. Most of us have to believe that our parents were good parents, as to think otherwise would be terrifying. Parents can be good with their intentions, but if they are not connected with themselves how are children to assimilate connectedness inwardly. A parents love may be intermittent, conditional or possessive which creates a longing in the child for love and recognition. The child will never feel enough.

As a substitute for legitimate connection I choose being noticed externally during my younger years, initially through sports, and then through playing in bands and Djing. Although I may have been playing music in front of thousands of people, and hobnobbing with the so called elite and celebs, I never felt truly connected to others in ways that I desired to be. I would role play and created an externally confident identity. When I entered therapy for the first time in my early twenties I had a glimpse of what true connectedness felt like and it was both scary and exciting at the same time. To share your deepest thoughts, fears and feelings with another in a safe environment was liberating at the same time as being very threatening for the ego self. I began to notice a pattern where during one session I would be intimate and during the next I became aloof and cocky and a general know it all. Hence what followed was a kind of peeling back of the ego defences and an awareness of the darker aspects of my psyche which initially left me even more vulnerable than before.

In the words of Eckhart Tolle “When another recognises you, that recognition draws the dimension of being more fully into this world through both of you.” During my current work with my therapist intimacy has become lighter and almost divine in its form. True connectedness also contains paradox and duality where the painful realities of life can be shared but not judged, like seeing things just as they are. This new awareness feels very much like coming home.

The ego creates separation, and separation creates suffering ~ Eckhart Tolle

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Leaving Therapy

By Will

I will always remember these words from my first therapist “You begin to live when you leave therapy.” I like to think that you can also live when you are in analysis as well, but if you are like me, you may carry your therapist around in your pocket some of the time. So how does that enable you to be free? Having this little thinking and reflecting ‘action man’ with you at all times can be both comforting and irritating. If you have experienced some extremely emotional situations with your therapist, and you have felt comforted by him, you may tend to elevate your analyst to a God like status as they become the Master, the Knower or the Buddha. This can put you in a juxtaposition and in day to day situations you may be influenced by your therapist, and you may judge many of your actions and thoughts with him in mind.

The thought of leaving therapy can be daunting. What will happen to me when I leave? Will I be able to cope? Is our work really finished or is my ego forcing me to end the relationship? Is my therapist trapping me? You may be reluctant to leave therapy as you do not want to hurt your therapists feelings. These are vital issues that require working through and together you both may reach a better understanding. It is almost impossible for both Therapist and Patient to collectively feel that therapy is over simultaneously, so one person as in all relationships, may feel at a loss. When we leave therapy knowing we have not addressed all our problems we may be mindful that we will always have problems and issues to solve as this is part of being human. We can cling to all sorts of illusions and justifications in regards to ending the theraputic relationship but I guess the obvious reason for leaving therapy is that you want to.

We may sometimes loose sight of the fact that therapy is self-centered and your therapy is about what is good for you. After all, your therapist has worked on themselves and should be able to digest the loss and work through it alone or with supervision.

“Intimate knowledge creates vulnerability. Where intimate knowledge is asymmetrical, vulnerability is also. Whoever is known most about is usually the vulnerable one, for multiple reasons. In psychotherapy, this vulnerable one is the client.”

*Quote by ~ http://sleightmind.wordpress.com

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Beyond Words

By Will

Silence is golden in the therapy chair that I have now moved back to. Far beyond the realms of any text book spouting analysis and theory, we sit in silence, engulfed by the nothingness of being. If pins did drop you would certainly be able to hear them dropping like fine rain in this open space. How can I explain how many times lately I have felt the ordinary things so deeply and shed tears “the silent language of grief.” How can I explain the moments of mindfulness having stared at a daisy like I have never seen one before, in awe of it’s transient beauty, the back of the flower just as beautiful as the front. The little moments, the little things, are not little. They are everything.

This is not therapy, this is far more than that word. It is a soulful fire and water life, shared with another human being, cloaked in 21st century attire. It is a meeting of tragedy, realisation, joyfulness and nothingness, and just like the weather, it is everything and nothing at the same time. Whatever it is, my physical body turns up to it twice a week, and often walks out from it swaying with dizziness. My Dad, my Son and my best friend are all losses and painful gains at the same time. The paradox and tragedy of death and life so much alive under the same fine umbrella that we collectively hold.

Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise ~ Surangama Sutra

Inspired by: Karin L Burke.

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The Guessing Game

By Will

Orthodox confession is the only relationship that I can think of that mirrors therapy in as much as we have no concrete evidence regarding our analysts or our priests personal life. Are they married, are they straight, do they have children? Even your thoughts about their life are projections from the self waiting to be interpreted. It is both peculiar and familiar that after 3 years I still, very occasionally, ask a direct question. The questions I ask are hinged with sarcasm and knowing as I may say “Well I have worked out that you are straight by now.” These feeble attempts always bring a wry smile to my therapists face and the enjoyment for me is studying my analyst and watching him trying to hide any evidence. It feels very child like but I think he enjoys it just as much as I do. It’s as though we both secretly and humbly get the gig.

So all we are left with is our own projections regarding our therapists life. This in itself is so crucial and the lesson can be applied to so many relational situations we encounter every day. The example that leaps out at me is “I can’t believe he/she has done that”. “I” being full of  preconceived notions of how things should be done. “Can’t believe” My beliefs are fixed and different from yours. Taken to an extreme we can be continuously surprised and angry at how others behave, think or even feel.

When this lesson has been understood we can then apply this concept to the different parts of our own psyche which may enable us to be more kind to ourselves. “I can understand why that part of me would feel threatened by this or that situation” or “I am not surprised I have kicked myself in over this”. This kind of empathy shown to oneself can be simply put as learning to laugh at yourself but I think that it is more complex than that. It’s being able to laugh, cry or be anxious at yourself. The important thing is that you are there for yourself.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense ~ Buddha

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My Therapeutic Introduction

Jade

By Jade

Training to be a therapist is a hard job, especially when your as young as I am. Being 19, carefree and a rebellious teenager is alot of hard work. Training to help people in worse situations is even harder. Having to think and act like an adult sometimes has its advantages, you get taken seriously and people see you for you and not some silly little kid. I found out from my course that I have to have 40 hours of therapy. I immediatley felt sick, what on earth can I take to therapy, I dont want to talk to a stranger about my problems. Then I sat back and laughed at myself, how can I expect clients to come and talk to me if I cant even take myself to a therapist.

I booked myself an appointment the next day for the following week. Every day went by so quick and before I knew it the day was here. All day I thought about what I could say and remembered to try and act “normal”. I walked up to the building (it looked normal enough), the sign was small so no one knew I was going in for therapy and I didnt even get a chance to knock on the door when I was greeted by a small plump lady with big rosey cheeks. I felt the colour come back into my face.

We walked up the stairs and into a cosey beige room with a big red sofa. I plonked myself down and tried to get comfortable. The therapist was called Helen, she looked like such a lovely person, even sounded like one. She sat down on the other sofa and got a book out of her pocket, this was for taking notes. Next thing I knew I was getting bombarded with questions.

Age, date of birth, sleep patterns, eating, sex drive, health problems, family health, mental health, suicide, self harm, drugs, what i’d have on my grave stone ect. This felt like way too much for a first session. I noticed that I zoned out of the room and ended up going back to having counselling in secondary school with a women who would constantly ask me questions and then judge me. Helen clicked her fingers and I came back into the room, I apparently zoned out for about 5 minutes staring at a painting. I explained to her about my past history with counselling sessions that werent even real, how it felt, how it’s impacted on me now ect. It was really strange being there and I felt very uncomfrtable after that.

My OCD kicked in with the room once I got agitated and I cut the session short and left. I havent been back to her since. It wasnt that she was a bad therapist, I just felt that it was too much too soon, she did ask quite alot of me.
I have now found myself a new therapist whom I know as she was my tutor in university. I trust her 100% and i’m sure I will be able to write something interesting from her therapy. Im quite excited about this journey with her… I shall let you know.

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Intimacy – Moments On The Couch

By Will

There are crucial moments during therapy that somehow transform the relationship between the patient and the analyst. For me, this relational aspect of therapy is the most important factor in helping the patient familiarise themselves with the lighter and darker aspects of their psyche. Uncovering your true nature is a never ending long drawn out process but sometimes the fast forward button is engaged and we both seem to leap forward. These moments are seldom planned and just seem to happen naturally in their own time and space.

I was talking away on the couch, just like any other session, when my therapist interrupted me politely and told me that he needed to use the bathroom. He apologised and told me that in 30 years as a therapist he had never done so before and how it was very unorthodox of him. Left on my own in the room for the first time I began to project. Am I literally ‘dumping’ all my problems on him? Gosh, I feel honoured that he felt comfortable enough to leave the room to use the bathroom! Is he using the toilet as an excuse to simply get away from me?

When he re-entered the room again we began to discuss my previous projections and we laughed and joked together about them. It did not pain me to laugh at myself and where my mind liked to run. I felt special, and joined in union with my talking buddy. We had reached a new level of closeness and I was deeply touched by this event.

Sometimes you can walk into therapy with a bunch of issues that you want to discuss, and then, something happens during the session, and words and theories are left behind. They vanish completely, and in the silent space, a new dawn is created and hope shines forth like a diamond.

We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we too, like the infant left alone, would cease to grow, cease to develop, choose madness and even death ~ Leo Buscaglia

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