Blog 119. Therapy. Part I: Letting Go And How Therapy Sessions Should End.
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Throughout therapy, clients may grieve what happened or what may never have happened. They may grieve what they received or didn’t receive, what their parents gave them or didn’t give them. Consequently, they may try to find partners who they think will replace what their parents never gave them. This may lead to further disappointment because – no one can, or should be asked to replace or fulfil the role of someone else’s parents. Hoping that someone will play this role either consciously or unconsciously, only puts people on a kind of ‘parental pedestal’, and we know that people on pedestals usually fall off. At some point, this usually also results in many disappointed expectations – but also resentment by anyone asked to play this role.
But also, therapy is about realising that certain behaviour or reactions can come from a place of hurt – and that this can also be internalised and then acted out, often in relationships and sometimes via friends, or via the careers we choose.
Also, when someone is shamed they will find ways of shaming themselves: They can repeat abuse done to them, they can attract destructive relationships, they can have issues with debt, addictions, and so on. This is often due to abandonment, neglect, abuse and their boundaries broken. It is when any inner self-worth or confidence is smashed.
Therapy therefore encourages clients to investigate all the losses and disappointments they may carry, so that they can be worked through, mourned, forgiven and released. This understanding allows projected needs to slowly fall away as the real person emerges more self-assured and able to re-create a new confidence in themselves.
Getting to this place may involve expressing disappointment and sadness via anger, via silence, via words or even via tears. But this should frighten no one, because a therapist should be able to create a trust and a space that makes any emotional expression safe and acceptable. This achievement benefits both therapist and client. The client usually feels relief and the therapist can see the client progressing.
The opposite of holding onto pain can cause misery, and a build up of emotions may even cause us to become ill.
This is NOT applicable in every case. Human beings however are intrinsically healthy beings. When we get ill it is often wise to check whether it is our body’s method of flagging up something we haven’t addressed emotionally. Until we do this, until we address the issues at hand or what we insist on holding onto, whether it’s what we need to communicate or what has made us angry or disappointed and so on – we may find it hard to function. Until things are addressed, usually the situation can get worse. And it is so sad if issues aren’t healed because so much time can be so easily and unnecessarily lost.
This is why it is so important to find a way of letting go of the past or anything which may be holding you back from achieving your goals or what you want. And therapy is one way but their are other ways, depending on where you might live.
However, no matter how long therapy might take, there comes a point when it needs to end. There comes a point when a client needs to also let go of the therapist.
How Therapy Sessions Should End:
However, once the grief and the letting go has been achieved, once understanding is reached and all has been achieved, there comes a moment when both client and therapist agree that enough has been done and no more sessions are required.
In my case, I will have given my clients enough tools and understanding, along with my vast relationship knowledge which I have also shared with you, so that by the time the sessions end – they would be full equipped to face life on their own.
The therapist will usually begin to sense that the sessions are drawing to a close and this would be the time to address what is known as endings. I have under the Section on “Grief” addressed how some people find it difficult to say goodbye.
Together, both client and therapist decide upon an end date. If there are any issues that might make this difficult, it should be discussed and addressed. Either way, a client or couple can always return at a much later date if other issues arise.
This is also why clients and therapist should never become friends as the therapist may again be required at a later date.
As a reminder and what I repeatedly said in so many sessions:
Therapy is not about change. No one can re-install you or give you a new childhood. Rather therapy should be about learning to understand the past, accept what happened, so that you can then make better choices to suit your relationship or career goals.
The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard also said, ‘In life one is condemned to live life forwards and to understand it backwards’. Wisdom indeed, and this is exactly what happens in therapy.
Therapy or any process of self-development is a process I highly recommend – because it will save you time and it will help you get on with your life.
© 2019 Deidré Wallace All rights reserved.
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