Who needs therapy and why we stay away

Years ago, even before I became a therapist, I read a book, I think it was written by Robert Holden in which he said something that made me to raise my eyebrows .

It read: "If you are alive, you need help !" For a long time I wondered why he would write something like that and was that really true.

A few years forward, and I discovered that he was not the only one holding this view and that many renowned professionals talk about generational trauma and life experience in a similar manner...dr Gabor Mate (https://drgabormate.com/ and dr Thomas Hubl (https://thomashuebl.com/) for instance. So, although I now understand what is behind the claim and fully agree with it ,I will not be so bold here and tell you that you should too, firstly because I believe that we all have a freedom to choose what to do with our lives, but also because nothing can be forced, the right time to act naturally presents itself to us... providing that we recognise the moment .

And because of that, because that moment, that time could be easily missed or overlooked, I think that it’s worth having the conversation on this subject.

Why we could all benefit from therapy?

I want to start by pointing out to the state of inertia, that inner feeling of a stale existence, a plato from which seems to be impossible to move forward, the sense of emptiness if you wish, a point when we start giving up on things we once wanted to achieve and which,I believe most of us reach during the lifetime. The only question is when...it greatly depends on our capacity to tolerate unwanted. Humans have an ability to adapt which is a great skill to have, unless, bit by bit we start adapting to and normalising circumstances and situations that we feel resistance towards and which make us unhappy and uncomfortable. And yet, we carry on, keep going without changing anything, while the inner struggles continue and keeps showing up in so many ways as stress, anger, pressure, anxiety, fear, depression etc... That is also semi-normalised.

And to be fair, we attempt to soothe the struggle and practicing mindfulness and meditation are often prescribed as a go to remedy. Unfortunately, many people, especially if they don't get a good guidance on how to handle what happens as a result of their practices, give up very quickly and abandon the practice altogether believing that it actually made them feel worse. And it often really feels like it. That, I can resonate with. It is definitely an obstacles, but with a good amount of understanding the process, it doesn’t have to be a huge one. I didn’t understand it, but didn’t give up either simply because my fear of maintaining the status quo was much bigger that the fear of what might come up(as we will see in future posts, emotions are great motivators).

So, this is what is going on .. When we enter a meditative state, ground ourselves in the present moment and achieve that quiet moment in our mind, we essentially give a signal to our nervous system that we are safe, that all is well in this moment, so it can relax back into a rest and digest mode. What happens next, sometimes just seconds later, is that we get flooded with strong overwhelming emotions. Every single unresolved matter that we pushed away, in this relaxed state feels safe to come out and seeks our attention. It can easily feel like we opened the emotional Pandora's box, but unequipped to handle it, we quickly shut the box down again, essentially choosing to push unresolved emotions even further away, hoping that that way they can not harm us.

In reality, quite the opposite is true.

In reality, if we want more of our lives, if we want to keep moving and progressing, we will have to face those parts which are opposing our desired life. The parts (or beliefs if you prefer) were created in our early years simply to enable us to navigate reality and keep us safe, so for them staying put is a matter of survival and it's all about once made and many times played and proven strategy for survival. It’s a soothing mechanism that takes us away from the original pain. Unfortunately by doing that a different type of problem is created as we keep living our lives constantly in a survival mode which proved to be very difficult and tiresome.

And yet, we opt for it, mainly because we often don't know anything else but how to survive, so we rely upon our past experiences, our early childhood survival mechanisms and forms of attachments to get us through life. No doubt that our early childhood belief system was very useful at the time they were made, but as we grow physically, our mental and emotional faculties should follow that growth. The early, original set can take us only up to the certain point in life, after which every stage in life needs new inner expansion. That happens only partially. In attempt to have a desired life and to keep progressing, we study, learn new skills, we exercise, eat healthy, take courses to "better ourselves", failing to realise that without gaining our emotional freedom from the past experiences, we are not going anywhere, or if we do, we do it with a great deal of struggle.

So, why emotional freedom?

We are emotional beings!

When our thoughts and emotions are not in alignment, all our decisions are emotionally influenced and rationality takes a back seat.....unless we bring an element of awareness and understanding of what is going on. Emotions are messengers of what is holding us back, they are our inner guidance and when seen that way, they have no power over us, they become an invaluable asset instead.

The only step that is needed to get us moving from the status quo is to play this idea in our mind and start testing it.

Share this story