I often tell my patients that when they make an appointment with me, they are really schedulling time to meet themselves and deal with their lives. There is an old Zen saying: "How you do one thing is how you do everything."
How do you approach being in therapy ? What is your commitment ? Do you feel pressured in some way or by someone ? Do you feel motivated, desperate, resentful ?
Prioritizing your weekly therapy appointment is among the most important factors in contributing to its success.
Many of my patients have some level of difficulty in managing their lives. They often complain about busyness to the point of feeling overwhelmed, stressed or chaotic. Certainly in today's world there are numerous things to capture our attention and make demands upon us: relationships, marriages, parenting tasks, work deadlines, financial demands, etc. At the same time, we need to be open to the possibility that we are perhaps using busyness as a form of escape or avoidance. We may be unconsciously avoiding ourselves and our deeper spirit. We spend way too much time on social media, on-line, on our smart phones. We have become a chronically overstimulated, distractable, ADHD society. We have become alienated from others and ourselves.
Our chronic and unhealthy busyness may create a scenario where we are truly out of touch with our selves, our bodies, our feelings, our connections and create a modern shamanic form of "soul loss". The importance of our therapy appointment may be minimized and lose some of its importance. Sure, life can be overwhelming at times, but make no mistake, there is a part of all of us that wants to run away, that wishes to avoid seeing and knowing, that does not want to go into the depths. Reich called this the big "NO" of humanity. We "don't want to go there."
If we are at the point that we are interested in this meeting with our selves, what might we do to help ensure the success of our therapy? I would stress the need for the patient to attend sessions regularly and consistently (rather than as an emergency prn which tends to reinforce chaos and crisis functioning), and be prepared to self-examine and process and really meet yourself. Give yourself the gift of presence. If this feels like too much of a burden and beyond your scope, then you are probably not ready to commit to this. It might be valuable to ask yourself why this is.
Are you living the life you value and desire ? Are you giving and receiving to yourself and the world optimally? You can conceivably come first rather than one hundreth on the list! How much of a prioroty is your life ? The sage Hillel the Elder said two thousand years ago, "Eem ein ani li, mi li? Ukh shay ani li-atzmi, mah ani? V'eem lo achshav, ey matai?", which translate as, "If I'm not for myself, who will be? If I'm only for myself, what am I. and if not now, when?"