© Nick Brown-Haysom for Auckland Therapy Blog, 01 June 2019
Who comes to psychotherapy? Someone who can run no longer, someone who is forced or bravely chooses to turn towards that which hurts them most.
And the enemy does not retreat, instead it fights for its life. The dilemma, the trick, the seemingly impossible bind is that this foe is also our dear friend; that which has at some point saved us, like (for example) the ‘successful’ workaholic or the lonely social butterfly or the comfortable isolationist. Almost all of my clients come in desperately wanting a particular way to end, but how do we kill our salvation? No wonder it is difficult to change.
It takes such courage to engage, it is an heroic act, but if we can look at our pain long enough a non-dual and new reality can emerge, one where pain and love exist side by side, where killing or being killed are no longer the choices. Where life is inevitable … and on we go.
As per my own experience of being a client, it took someone, kind, knowledgeable and keenly aware to see the source of my pain and help me to understand my own bind; how those conditioned traits and patterns which serve me can also hurt me. In psychotherapy the relief of awareness and self-compassion, once known, cannot be un-known.
As well as my general psychotherapy practice I have a particular interest in gaining an understanding of how the current social and cultural setting interacts with the personal background of depressed and anxious young males (18-35) and working with this group to throw off these shackles in order to survive and thrive.