Does therapy really help people to change or is it only a placebo, a substitute relationship, providing comfort for those who are unable to form relationships on an equal basis in the outer world?
Therapy can permit and empower people to change. But we must be aware that there are many pitfalls, echoes of illusion and can not concentrate and many seductions on the inner journey. So we must be sure that change is change and not merely imagined.
So, how can we be sure? The first rule is you cannot do it by yourself. You must have someone you trust — a therapist or a counselor — who acts as a guide and who you allow to know you in an authentic way. Your therapist must become familiar with your quirks and particularly the ways in which you avoid difficulties, hide secrets, sabotage your own growth and positive or negative attributes. Essentially the therapist must know who you are beneath your character.
How is a therapist able to do that when we might not know who we are underneath our character ourselves? Character is communicated in various ways, just as the basic self is expressed in a variety of ways. It is the job of the therapist to “listen” in a whole body, psychic, intuitive, instinctive, and extremely sensitive and considerate way to the client. The client may have no idea of what is being communicated to the therapist unconsciously.
Some people have tried to change by therapy and counseling and become disillusioned. The practice of psycho-spiritual psychotherapy by a competent practitioner is the specialized, focused approach for people to unprotected to lasting, personal change and transformation. There is a great body of knowledge, philosophy, research, and, of course, psychology which supports the practice of psychotherapy. Although clearly some practitioners are more competent than others for a variety of reasons and though sometimes a person may wish for change while being unaware that another part of themselves is resisting change, and winning, we can no more throw the baby out with the bathwater in the therapy field than we should throw the toolbox away simply because some of us don’t know how to use it.
But therapy that proffers hope is not really enough for someone who wants change and is motivated to succeed, or who is depressed and seeking a way out, or suicidal and desperately seeking an answer to their angst. The first aspect of therapy we should understand is that therapy is not a commodity. You don’t buy it like you go to the chemists, the grocers or the 7-Eleven. It is essentially a relationship and it is the relationship that makes it work.
The second aspect of therapy that we need to understand is that it is crucial to continue focus. The therapist should keep you on your path and the client needs to be able to ascertain the applicable material and be prepared to work on it.
The relationship is crucial, because it is in early, formative relationships that we have become protected and defended. by our relationship to the world we have learned to hide ourselves and restrict our creativity, joy and pleasure in life, in addition as the realization of our possible. It follows that a healthy relationship, one that is supportive and nurturing, expansive and challenging, is the way forward to change and personal transformation. The therapy journey is a course of action that unfolds over time. With the right guidance, quality of relationship and mutual respect for the inner journey, transformation is possible, and indeed probable.