Denial and The Use Of Therapeutic Labels: – Whenever some of my clients felt they needed a label to explain their problems this often brought an end to (my) therapy process.
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A very good essay by David Whyte called ‘Denial’ sums up the process of therapy superbly well: ‘’When in a process of healing we often pass through a stage in which we need to claim and own our past experience in order to engage consciously with it, accept its presence in our life and then, with healing intent, begin to work through the constrictions it has placed around and within us.
This stage can be absolutely vital to our future healing and wholeness, especially when working through issues that have caused us deep shame and humiliation.
We must fully acknowledge the past in order to focus our energies upon healing in the present and creating a more positive and life-affirming future. But it is equally vital that we know when this stage has passed: when we can let go of identities rooted in past trauma and pain, in order to shift from surviving to thriving and from healing into wholeness.
Whilst the majority of us would claim to want freedom from suffering and liberation from painful conditions in our lives, our behavior often gives the opposite impression!
Despite our protestations to the contrary we may actually be very comfortable in our little world of victimhood or self-denigration, in which other people or past events are blamed for our pain or we live marinating in guilt and self-loathing, seeing ourselves as forever struggling against conditions that we can neither influence nor eradicate. In a strange kind of way our wound gives our life meaning. We identify with it so completely that it becomes the core of who we are, defining our world, dictating our life path and casting its shadow upon every possibility of change. It becomes our reason for being who we are, and who we are is someone with a wound, always trying to heal but never quite getting there…’’
I found this excellent article because through my own work I noticed that society is only too happy to hand out labels to describe certain issues. Whenever some of my clients felt they needed a label to explain their problems this often brought an end to (my) the therapy process. Giving people a label is often an easy excuse not to dig deeper or to then move forward. As a result many remain stuck in the label they get given without really looking at why that habit started in the first place. It’s an easy option. It can stop the hard work of understanding how that habit started and why it’s become debilitating and not useful. However as the above article says, many people find it safer to hang on to a label especially when someone says: I AM for example whatever. At this point my work with a client would stop, as any further work would prove futile.
Note: © 2014 Information Copyright Deidré Wallace
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