PSYCHOTHERAPY :: What exactly is Psychotherapy


More: A Perspective

All of us, at some point in our lives, begin to search for better ways In essence, psychotherapy is the "talking cure"! …A process of finding personal solutions, by giving voice to your deepest feelings, in the presence of a trained practitioner, in a safe, non judgemental, caring environment. Allowing buried fear, rage, sorrow, or any other feeling, to surface, in a guided encounter with your own self…letting go of destructive behavior patterns, & learning the skills required to live in new, authentic, meaningful, joyful ways.

"Psychological" problems emerge from difficulty in grappling with conflict between inner & outer reality. The solution lies in healing the inner landscapes, rather than changing external ones.

Let me explain…

Think back to your childhood…

To some people, it may have been a luminous, magical space, of pure delight.

To others, a time of humiliation, a source of wounds, terrors, abandonment, rejection, punishment…

To most of us, childhood was some mix of these two realities.Around these early experiences, and around the expectations of our parents and the conventions of our culture, we construct a sense of self,[often referred to as the EGO]. This sense of self is invariably erected around the wounds of childhood, as a kind of protective scaffold, as well as a response to our perception of the conventions of our world, & the [stated or secret] expectations of our parents.

So, the sense of self is essentially a false, hybrid, rickety, jittery structure, created by ourselves as a survival strategy in childhood, often before we are six years old!!

On this shaky foundation, replete with cracks & fissures, rests our life. This fragile blueprint contains within it all that we have learned about the world, our place in it, & our mechanisms of survival. This is what continues to determine how we will deal with the circumstances of our life, & the paths that we will choose to travel.

Unfortunately, most of us live out the rest of our lives as victims of this creation of our own panic, & the pressures of our society. It may be unsatisfactory, but in our ignorance of any alternative, we keep struggling to prop it up.

The tragedy of 'society' is that it seems to be designed to keep us trapped, exactly at that pitch of panic & desperation at which we will go on & on struggling to fulfil the demands of the self we have created !!

Psychologists now believe that nervous breakdowns, schizophrenia, paranoia, drug or alcohol addiction, desperate love affairs, panic attacks, rage, depression, asthma, nausea, chronic illness, cancer… are all symptoms of an unacknowledged & hidden hunger to escape from this inner prison, & live an authentic life .

Therapy, therefore, requires a healing of the inner wounded child, & gently leading it into a free space.

When I was seventeen, one of my teachers gifted me a copy of "KNOTS" by the noted psychologist R.D. Laing, & said to me, " The best thing that can happen to you is to have your breakdown when you are young! Slip it in before you are twenty one, keep it until you are forced to search for another reality. Don't wait, like me, for a mid-life crisis…and arthritis"!

I did not understand what she meant, & ignored her words. Until fifteen years later, when the painful contrast between my inner self & external reality, drove me to take a good look at my life, & find ways to transcend the obstacles I had unknowingly placed in my own path.

Psychotherapy is a process that helps to look honestly & clearly, at your own self, & propels a search for solutions.
Helps you to take responsibility for your life, your actions, your feelings, your health, your happiness.

Helps you to get in touch with your deepest feelings, & release the vitriolic effects of repression from your system.

Helps you to re-claim your freedom & true identity, by identifying & changing harmful, destructive behavior patterns.

Equips you with tools for change.

In the beginning, psychotherapy was a process of analysis.
An "armchair" or "couch" process.

In the past twenty years, psychotherapy has moved into HEALING people, rather than CURING symptoms.

Many practitioners have introduced other modalities…
Spiritual practice, meditation, dance, music, body work, massage, exercise, drama, art, writing… support the inner work, making the journey an exciting & rewarding experience.

This is all part of being at Akhaldans!