Last week I was approached by many potential new clients and I found some legit questions were coming to the fore: frequency (is it weekly?), duration (how long will it take to get where I want?)
It is easy to assume that someone who is in the chair of a therapist or a counsellor or any professional for that matter holds all the answers. As human beings, we have our limitations – even the “experts”. To the best of my knowledge (and I do try to keep myself at the top of my field), I can answer some questions but not all questions when it comes to a unique individual I see for the first time. I do know that weekly therapy (according to the Gestalt approach) works best especially in the beginning (which might be a few months or more) and that therapy can take a long time – therapy is not and is not supposed to be a quick fix.
Upon further reflection, I found myself in need of asking the I Ching for some advice. I think the wisdom contained therein is simply amazing and quite profound. So (for anyone who might be familiar with the book), I came across Hexagram 32 – Durability.
Endurance is the key to success in this situation.
However, durability is not synonymous with stone-like rigidity.
True resilience requires a flexibility that allows adaptation to any adverse condition, while still remaining true to the core.
Can you maintain your integrity under any circumstance?
Can you influence the situation without giving opposing forces anything to resist?
Then you will endure to reach your goal.
Indeed, in therapy we need to be able to endure the process because it is not an easy one. We get to confront some of our most difficult truths about our selves. We might come to realise that we are not (surprise surprise) perfect. And even worse, we might never be. And even worse, actually trying to be perfect is what stops us from being real. And even worse…
…You get the picture.
So then the I Ching continues to line 4 to point that:
Persistence in search is not enough. What is not sought in the right way is not found.
And this brings me to an important point: one of the ways to look for therapy in the wrong way, is “looking for a quick fix because I am annoying someone else”. That almost invalidates the quest.
I need to make clear what my intention as a client in therapy (or coaching) is and how I can get that. And then to be sure that by going through such a process, I might make changes as a human being that will make others uncomfortable. And I might realise what I really want from my life is actually dangerous as it will undoubtedly create upheaval in my environment (and to my regular everyday life).
Am I ready for that?
I might not need that for the time being – sometimes the safety of a prison is quite sweet… and safe… and…