Approach

If you are reading this page, it is likely that regarding some aspect of your life, you have encountered something unbearable, something that is impossible to put into words, that seems senseless to others, but that you cannot eliminate. It is often the first resort to think about it all the time, or to try to get a grasp of what is going on by talking to others, but sometimes this has no effect and it is too personal. It is then time to find professional help. In our culture we speak of doing "therapy" or "counselling".

What kind of response can there be from a therapist? The proliferation of different kinds of therapies indicates there is no consensus as to the appropriate standard response. This obliges you to take responsability for yourself and decide what kind of response you are looking for. This is a first step and involves taking a risk, not a reckless risk, but a calculated risk based on a few fundamental questions:

Something doesn't feel normal to you, but what is normal? There are therapists that will try to make you more like what the therapist imagines normal to be, which after all, is no more than the therapists own prejudices. Or they might be referring to a statistical norm, whereas nobody really corresponds with the ideal human being, not even the happiest amongst us and being unique is not necesarily a cause of suffering. What is important is that something appears not normal to you, something is interferring in your life that is beyond your control. Rather than brushing it aside, it is necessary to take into account the particular way this occurs and find out how it functions in you life, whether this be your anxiety, your ups and downs, your difficult love/family relations or your eating behaviour etc. This is always unique to each person and nobody speaks about it in the same way, which is why it cannot be standardised and measured, nor treated in the same way.

Even if we might have common references, cultures, languages, no two people have lived the same life, no two people interpret lived experiences in the same way. Some of these experiences leave traces that make us suffer but this is not necessarily carved in stone. There is something you can do about it, something you can find out about yourself that will allow you to get out of the impass you are in. It is a matter of turning your particular crisis into a discovery of what is necessary in your life and what isn't. Only then might you be able to recognise what you want and act upon it rather than being at the mercy of the influence of others, past or present, therapist included.

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