Sometimes there are moments in life where we get to see glimpses of who we might have been, or could yet be, before the humdrum of day to day life, or ill health takes over and consumes our time, focus and energy.
More and more people with chronic health issues are turning towards alternative healing modalities when orthodox medicine fails to provide the cure they are longing to find. Would you agree that there are many illnesses that just do not respond to pharmaceutical and surgical intervention?
It is somewhat ironic, then, that never before in human history has it been as possible or as important to nurture and heal ourselves, along with healing toxic and painful patterns from our ancestors.
Never before in history have we had the freedom of choice, or the ability to seek answers for ourselves from all corners of the world through an inexhaustible collection of information called the internet.
What if we dared to allow ourselves to expand those glimpses to see what possibilities lie beyond?
It is absolutely possible, through the process of counselling.
But first, I want to dispel some misperceptions about the psychotherapy process in order to be able to show you why this is possible.
Dispelling Psychotherapy Misperceptions
Having talked to a lot of people, there still seems to be a lot of misunderstanding that psychotherapy is solely a talk-based therapy process. Now I’m not dismissing the importance of healing through talking as that is a crucial factor in communication, self-expression and being heard.
In fact, psychotherapy and counselling provide a sacred safe space, a capsule to contain your thoughts, and allows you the freedom to express yourself without fear of being judged, criticised or appear or feel like you’re going crazy. It’s a space of allowing anything to be discussed and worked through.
However, there seems to be a misperception that psychotherapy is for bringing up and rehashing all the painful events and emotions in one’s life. People can spend (and have spent) years going over and replaying old wounds without ever feeling any better or seeing any positive changes in their lives. This is dangerous – ethically, morally and professionally.
There are many techniques available these days that assist clients to work through trapped and blocked experiences and emotions quickly. It should be rare for clients to be still in regular therapy for years. However, I need to point out that maintenance therapy for emotional and mental wellbeing is an exception to this.
Psychotherapy As A Paradigm Health Shift
So what does psychotherapy have to do with physical symptoms that we would normally see a doctor for? In a mindbodygreen podcast with mystic physician Lissa Rankin, she explains that many of her patients have experienced profound healing and changes in their health after asking them a series of questions that completely turns the tables on the doctor/healer/counsellor being the ‘oracle’ and having the answers. **
Basically, what she is talking about is a complete paradigm shift in the way we approach dis-ease and illness. That is, showing the way for patients and clients to heal themselves through their inner knowing.
This by no means is the easy way out because it allows a spotlight to be shone on areas of our lives that we are disconnected from, are denying, or are too scared to look at, but that our bodies are trying to call attention to. This process creates a kind of a portal into our own power, or our internal navigation system that has infinite wisdom, higher guidance and deeper knowing, rather than trying to rationalise our choices and decisions in life by analysing them, guessing and hoping for the best.
Our inner guidance holds a knowing that helps us to recognise opportunities and possibilities, without necessarily knowing how we will get there, but trusting that the Universe will guide us on that journey.
This may not be a particular goal in therapy, but one that may naturally evolve in the process of unearthing our authenticity.
False Self vs Authentic Self
To this end, therapy can also create awareness of a false self you have been carrying around for years.
To some extent we all carry a false self in order to comply with societal expectations, rules and regulations. However, the type of false self I’m referring to is one that totally depletes you on a soul level because it is based in fear.
These show up as behaviours such as being the pleaser (fearing abandonment), insecurity, jealousy, guilt/shame, believing the critical inner voice, worry, feeling inadequate or lacking.
I believe the false self is a split or fragmentation of the self in early childhood as a survival mechanism when we perceive that we lack approval and emotional regulation from our caregivers. These masks may become so entrenched in our identities that we still wear them as adults and believe them as an absolute part of who we are.
In shining a light on the false self, we may discover the authentic self lying within. The authentic self operates from a place of love, feels secure and fulfilled, has a clear conscience, and has a sense of calm in the body. It also comes from a place of knowing, which links back to our inner guidance.
A skilled therapist will facilitate a deeper knowing of yourself, greater self-awareness and may unearth aspects of yourself you never knew existed and discover other parts of yourself that no longer serve your highest good.
We spend a lot of time and energy avoiding, denying, and moving away from pain and discomfort. What if, instead, we became curious about the fear and the pain and moved toward it? I wonder what you would find on the other side of it.
**also available with free sign up through Stitcher if iTunes isn’t available
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