Psychotherapy & Counselling
Starting this process can seem frightening. It calls on a certain courage in us, something that is difficult when we are frightened. It also calls on us to risk that another person might be able to help us. This can be difficult if our past carries relationships where trust was broken.
In psychotherapy / counselling a safe, contained space is offered and we are free to explore these exact issues - why is it difficult for me to trust? Why am I frightened? How does this affect my life? What does it stop me doing?
Through the therapeutic dialogue we develop courage and are encouraged, trust comes slowly and naturally and we begin to see and understand how we are. This brings real and lasting change from within and then our life on the outside changes with it.
We are like the rings of a tree, each year of our life is embedded in us and is still alive. The past is ever-present in us. Each ring, or year of our life, has a relationship with the past one and influences the quality of the ring that will be formed in the coming year. Very importantly, the quality of the rings is heavily influenced by the relationships we have in our lives - both with ourselves and with others. Relationality can feed us to the root and we can grow into a blooming and healthy tree. Relationality can also damage us deeply, mostly in ways we don't understand.
When a tree is damaged it is clear where the trauma happened. The tree changes its direction of growth and a large knot forms around the wound, distorting and hampering the growth of the tree. Similarly, if we go through a troubling phase or relationships in our lives we can lose direction or become 'frozen', or stuck. We can't move beyond the 'knot' as we are still living the aftermath of it and it can be too overwhelming to process. This leads to a depressed state. We literally press it down. Depression is not something we are but something we do. And anything that makes us come close to what we cannot process makes us very anxious. So we avoid it and develop what can be a debilitating rigidity in our lives, cutting off any part of life that might trigger what we need to process. We cut off ourselves and others and in the end we pay a high price. This depression, anxiety and rigidity is the 'knot' and stops us growing or makes us grow in an unnatural and unsatisfying way.
I am trained to listen, to hear the 'knot' and how it protects itself. In the relationality of the therapeutic space, we slowly negotiate the 'knot' and its various strands. It doesn't break apart violently, we gently disentangle it strand by strand. As we understand the strands, the 'knot' dissolves and the ‘tree’ of our life is free to grow more naturally and fully. Our inner ‘rings’ become integrated or whole and a fluidity replaces the rigidity. We re-access the deeper aspects of ourselves - instinct, intuition and the natural 'orienting response' in us. This inner change brings the external changes we have always wanted. We embody our potential - the point of life.
In a paragraph…
Most of our difficulties in life are relational. They are activated when with others and the early roots of this in our past. Integrative Psychotherapy/Counselling offers a safe and contained space to explore the relational patterns we have developed through our lives. This helps us work through those patterns that stop us functioning at and feeling our best to allow a more satisfying way of being and relating which emerges naturally from within.