Sunday, October 14, 2007

From the other side of the table

Writing about psychotherapy is indeed a difficult task, especially when one is engaged in it and is still learning about it, from multiple perspectives and also having different experiences about the same phenomena. But, one thing is consistently present, it is one of the most intimate relations, where one (obviously the client) is oneself and is allowed and even expected to talk about self in the most open and transparent ways.
Therapists themselves are expected to undergo therapy as per many schools of thoughts. I too believe, it is important for a therapist to be aware of one's own subjective inner world. Recently I have started it and found my therapist a wonderful person (? transference), an opinion shared by my friends and his other clients or colleagues too.
Talking about long sidelined issues was like I am connecting to another soul after a long long time. It felt home! Especially, when i felt understood and so very validated about my being, my beliefs and strongly held convictions that i could see some tears on both side.
Sometimes, I too have held back my tears, about the life stories my own clients have brought to the therapy room.

And then the intellectual academic part of me was wondering, how often different schools of thoughts co-exist and carry on with in the same therapy. The presence of two people with their complete commitment in the therapy room, is in itself so very existential. No matter if it is an existential therapy or not. The change always happens in here and now, the 'Kairos' moment comes in the 'now'. But also thoughts and influences from other therapy schools can also be picked up from the same therapy.....like looking for dynamics of childhood experiences, disrupted attachment patterns, corrective emotional experience etc. It seems therefore researchers haven't found much difference in the effectiveness of different kinds of therapy and much of the therapy gains are clubbed in the account of Unspecified therapy factors.

I am reminded of a quote which seems to sum up the process and final moments in therapy or its goals...
"God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference"
Its all about acceptance and change...and that wisdom gained in the process of therapy!

My last session ended with lot of laughter and a whole lot of optimism. One comment of my therapist continued back with me - " I have been to most parts of the world, but I have never seen a perfect weather".
God! did I ask for wisdom???

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Introspection about Relationships

I usually believed what few researches too have shown, women many times face additional stress, when in relationships. I would often meet women friends who are having difficult or unfulfiling relationships.
But recently I happened to meet many men too, who are unhappy or feel their relationships are unfulfiling for them. Many of then unknowingly or knowingly are in search of THAT perfect relationship.

It almost seems like every one is in a masked dance party. When the music stops, every one hold the hand of the person nearest....... and when the lights are full and the mask is off, they realise this person is not 'that perfect one' for whom they came to the celebration. Again the lights dim and the music starts, with masks on, and the story is repeated....

All this makes me gradually convinced that relationships are about learning. And As Eckhart Tolle says, they are not here to make us happy they are here to raise our consciousness. So search for that 'perfect/dream' relationship is a futile effort. every relationship brings us face to face with our own self, our own weaknesses like a mirror.

a very apt mail on this matter was send to me by a wise and much loved senior and friend...

The 6 phases of a relationship.....
" phase one is of building up the illusion...

Phase two is that one takes each other for granted. Life is still good, not as exciting, but alright.

In phase three reality dawns: one realises that the other is as narrow-minded and egoistic as everybody else in this world. If one is wise, then that's all and love or at least comradeship remains, but if not phase four starts.

In phase four one begins, whether openly or only inwardly in oneself, to make demands of which one knows that the other cannot fulfill them as they are simply not in the other's character. In the beginning hope & good will still prevail, and such setbacks are taken in one's stride, but slowly resentment builds up. Again if one is wise one laughs at one's own folly, resigns oneself to fate, and the show can go on, but if not...

In phase five resentment becomes too strong to remain hidden, and one or both parties begin, again openly or indirectly, to do things that are not really loving any more. If at least one of the two is wise, all is well, if not ...

..phase six starts: Hurt and resentment now build up further and further, and then one bad day one of the two does something to the other that really hurts, not in his or her own eyes of course, but in the eyes of the recipient enough to reciprocate. The basic faith is shaken. For a while habit still lingers, but there is no real basis anymore to stay together....If at least one is wise...., but if not ....

All through there remains the dream of someone, somewhere who is, as a prospective friend once said of herself, "high value, low maintenance": always happy, inspired, loving, never demanding you to be different than you are, accepting your foibles with good humour, highly appreciative of whatever little good you have or do, present when needed, never intrusive or possessive when not, desirable, good-looking, sporty, intelligent, and so on and on.

Why such a god or goddess would ever love someone like you ... the story doesn't tell, but then ... if your partner had been only a little more like this dream, would you not easily have become more perfect in due time?

Life is terribly straight forward I think. As long as we are not perfect, we don't deserve company that is perfect: semi-precious stones are polished by putting them together in one big bag with streaming water so that they rub each other again and again till all imperfections are worn off. Then and then only they shine....

....and so the story goes on... "

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A warning to visitors!

I have been adding lot many things on my blog recently. May be it shows what i am having in my mind, it may seem to be lot of interesting or even inspiring things or it can look like clutter. I just wanted to warn visitors to enter at u r own risk and if u feel u are not comfortable u are free to leave.
For I understand, it is difficult to be a host and it is also difficult to be a guest....

Monday, October 1, 2007

There are some interesting web sites with some interesting stories and poems..may be when one is free and lots of time in hand one can go thru them.
http://www.storybin.com/lists.html
http://www.ntu.edu.sg/home/hblim/tmind.html