I have been a psychotherapist for 40 years and have done energy work for most of that time. Now, as a Holy Fire III Reiki Master, I am letting the Madison community know that I enjoy combining Reiki healing work with psychotherapy for many of my clients who are open and interested in both.
Usually people are happy to put forth “to my highest good” as their intention in their energy work, and therefore the energy work expands on the psychotherapy they are presently involved in and enhances their growth. Because the source of the information that is made available is beyond what I or my clients consciously are aware of, these sessions can be especially provocative and useful.
I have also been helpful for people have difficulties with illnesses, injuries and ongoing health problems. I am happy to accept clients who are only looking for energy healing and not interested in taking on a course of psychotherapy.
When you are ready to go it on your own, and you don’t want to keep going to see your therapist. You don’t have to be ‘completely done ‘ with growing and changing, or with therapy, you will learn and grow living your life without therapy too, and it is often very useful to do therapy in “chunks.” By that I mean , do a “chunk’ of time with a therapist and then leave and live on your own,. Then, when a need arises that is obvious to you, go back and do another “ chunk.”
I often suggest a few options to people that aren’t sure they are ready to leave : they can space out a few appointments to get a feel for what that is like, they can make an appointment a month or two into the future, knowing they could always call and get back in if needed, or they can say good bye for now, and know I will be there and they can always call. Often leaving therapy feels a bit like leaving home, and it’s important to know you can always come back, stop in for a little visit ( and support) or whatever feels right to you.
I think it is everyone’s job, everyone’s spiritual job, to clean up the human mess your parents left you and not spread any more dysfunctional hurt around to any other people. So I think it is your job to do your own personal therapy so you don’t continue the mistakes your parents made with you – and I mean this not only with your own children, but first and primarily with your own children. Then with everyone you have contact with in your life.
Another way of saying the same thing is that I think it is everyone’s spiritual job to be the best version of themselves that they can be. I don’t (at all ) mean doing this at every minute of every day, with a perfectionist pressure, but rather to become the best person you can be. That creates another very competent, moral, high functioning person (in whatever way that is for you), so that you are making your personal best contribution to the world around you. You might then be the best man in a construction crew – doing very good construction work and being a good human being, kind, honest and decent, to those around you. Or perhaps you are a lawyer and could be unscrupulous and out to make the most money you can, or you could be touching people’s lives, or a corporation’s life, with integrity that profits everyone involved. The world and all the people in it, need those of us who are in the lucky enough position of having the money and time to indulge ourselves in personal growth – to do it.
I realize that doesn’t have to take the form of psychotherapy. But it is one path.
Taking your most recent fight to your couple therapist is probably one of the least likely ways to get much of anything from couple therapy. The therapist is not there to be a judge and decide who is right in your struggles. The therapist is there to teach you new skills so you can both get the relationship you want.
You need to set goals for what you want your relationship to be and learn the skills to get it there. So many people come in to a couple session and want the therapist to “fix” their partner. In fact, you need to look at what needs changing in yourself, and if both partners will do this, real growth and change can occur. You need to be willing to look at yourself and what you learned about relationships and love from your family of origin and see how that is getting in your way in your current love relationship. All of this takes time, dedication, a willingness to take risks, and often, frankly, a touch of humility.
If you are up for all of this, you could really improve your relationship. There are very specific skills involved in improving an intimate relationship, and for some people they aren’t easy to learn. You will grow personally in couple therapy much as you would if you were in individual therapy. If you are interested in how you contribute to the struggles you have with your partner, you could gain a lot and grow a lot and have a much more loving , close and satisfying relationship – through couple therapy.
Because you are in transference with this therapist. That means, you experience the therapist as if he or she is a parent to you, and all of us want our parents to love and approve of us. Your therapist is a stand in parent to you.
In fact, “working in the transference” means to a savvy therapist , that giving their support, approval , validation, etc, is very healing to their clients. Therapists should know this and do this. I keenly remember how much it meant to me to have my therapist value and like me. I have said that her words were “mainlined directly to the two year old in me.” That was so very healing, and I never forgot it, so I do the same for my clients. I work in the transference, meaning everything I say and do with my clients is with the awareness that I am a stand in parent and have the opportunity to re-parent, to heal, the child within the grown up who is my client.
So what you are asking about is pretty much true for all psychotherapy clients, and the stronger the transference, normally, the stronger the need for a loving parent to give the child within the adult client the esteem building care they needed and can still profit from. I hope your therapist understands this. It is why so many people say that in therapy “ the relationship heals.”
I have other blogs about transference. You might be interested in this phenomena since it effects everyone in therapy.
Good luck to you. I hope you are getting what you deserve.
It is clear to me almost the first session which couples are going to get what they want out of couple therapy relatively quickly and who is going to be coming for a long time. It has to do with a willingness to be open to new ideas, a willingness to make changes and to learn new things, and a willingness to make the effort to have this happen.
Another huge piece is to stop blaming your partner and for what’s wrong in the relationship and look to yourself to see what you can do differently.
It takes a certain amount of strength in self, ego strength some people call it, to be able to do this without collapsing on the one hand or blowing up on the other. Good couple therapists know this and provide vehicles for the couple to build personal strength so that they can grow, as partners, in their communication and caring for one another.
Snakes live in the forest. Every day they travel over rough ground – pebbles, rocks, fallen trees with uneven bark. Every Spring they get a new skin, and it happens this way: the old skin stretches and loosens. It eventually detaches, over time, from the snakes body, and the new skin shows up underneath.
The old skin never falls off until the new skin has had the time to toughen up and manage the rough terrain the snake goes through. When It first appears, the new skin is delicate and pink, but by the time it is ready to protect the snake from it’s daily environment, it has become brown and strong.
It’s never the therapist’s job to pull he skin off a snake.
I’ve been asked how much therapists really ‘get it’ about how much they effect their clients’ daily lives with what they say and do. I say it depends on the quality of the therapist. It doesn’t hurt if the therapist has been in therapy themselves and experienced the power of transference.
Good therapists know very well how significant they are to their clients, certainly want to avoid their clients’ losing them, and pay attention to what they say and do. Good therapists put themselves into a “good parent mode” when they are working, and are careful about balancing nurturing and challenging interventions that are intended to promote growth. Even the way a phrase is delivered can make an important impression. It’s part of the therapist’s job not to be overly tired, and certainly not irritable, from their own life.
I often feel as it I have the ‘client’s life in my hands’ knowing full well how powerful my words and actions can be for them. Doing therapy is not a casual business. That’s why therapists are tired after a day of sessions. They have been working hard, mentally and emotionally, to give each client their best.
I have been asked by clients what to do with their feelings of attraction to their therapist, past or present.
It’s an uncomfortable feeling usually, and often makes a client feel one down – because an ethical therapist won’t reciprocate and the client feels alone in their attraction. The therapeutic relationship is a natural place for clients to sometimes develop romantic feelings for the therapist. After all, the client is being listened to deeply, possibly understood more fully than ever before, and hopefully truly helped.
The informed therapist doesn’t take the client’s feelings personally, and is most concerned with treating the client respectfully about their feelings, and also reassure the client that the relationship will always remain therapist/ client. It’s important for the client to know that the therapist will never take advantage of the client’s feelings and allow any other kind of relationship to develop, besides therapeutic, in session, either during therapy or afterward.
Feeling attracted to your therapist is often a part of positive transference.
The beginning of good relationships is all about finding out how similar you are and being inside each other’s pockets, or wanting to be, all the time. That’s the passion that cements you as a couple, and it’s usually a wonderful, falling in love time.
But it doesn’t last, not for any couple, and trying to hold onto it when you need to be growing to the next natural stage in couple love development only causes upset. Of course, it can feel scary and anxiety provoking: What’s changing here? Why is anything changing? We were great, and now you want to spend time with your old friends? You disagree with me… about what??
This second , natural stage of development for couples includes recognizing that you are two different people, with different interests and even emotional reactions. Often it includes wanting to be on your own more of the time. It’s a time of redefining your self-dom and when it is working well, it comes with the delight of having your partner see you as yourself, the uniques you who is not just a mirror of your partner. It includes being able to speak your different opinions describing your differing feelings and being heard and accepted as yourself. Essential too is being able to hear your partner as being different from you – listening to their perspective and their feelings and working out what needs to be agreed on, which isn’t everything.
This second stage of couple growth can be difficult to navigate particularly when one person is ready to step forward into it, and the other is not. The person who is not ready can easily feel abandoned, frightened, and try to prevent their partner from what feels like moving apart from them. This is when many people come to couple therapy, and the right therapist can be a lot of help.
Rather than being afraid, I urge you to see this as a growth step that will lead to a much deeper and closer intimacy for you and your partner.