What to Expect

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“Support before movement.” Bonnie  Bainbridge-Cohen

Psychotherapy is a specific type of conversation. It gives you a chance to talk about what is distressing you and causing difficulties in your life.

The therapist is present to listen deeply, to devote their attention, skill and experience to the person who arrives in their office and is suffering. This can provide a temporary refuge from your daily roles and responsibilities.

The nitty-gritty of therapy involves bringing problematic issues into the room and allowing yourself the freedom to express what arises. The therapeutic alliance between client and therapist offers a relational home for the work—coming to trust enough to remember and mourn what has been lost, try out new behaviours, heal old wounds.

Together, we can become curious—to notice—and to pay attention to what shows up.

Insight and awareness can herald the beginning of change. Once recognized, self-defeating automatic habits can be faced. The process of change partly entails going against the grain of those habits and learning to choose yourself again.

Through this process, as you would begin to come out of the fog of not quite knowing what’s what, you can get to know yourself better. You could rediscover your own desires versus those that others may have had for you. What do you want more of? What do you want less of? Releasing and dropping away from your idealized self (nobody’s perfect!), down through your false self (the facade you’ve been socialized into) in the direction of your real self, you would find yourself living more authentically and feeling more connected and alive.

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There can never be a generic plan or method for therapy. You are the only you that there is, was, or ever will be. However, it is my experience that, whatever the problem, when someone can begin to relax in the company of a non-judgmental and compassionate therapist, they can start to recover the wholeness of what it is to be human (R.D. Laing), participate more fully in their relationships, and engage with greater courage and imagination in the world.