Why not just visit a psychotherapist when you have no problems? When you go to a psychotherapist when there is no problem, you have the space to explore and reflect on your life. The intention would be solely for optimizing your life. It’s like talking to a dietician about how to modify your diet when you don’t have cholesterol or diabetes.
People often seek therapy when they feel powerless in face of difficulties, in order to regain a sense of control. Therapy, however, is also a process of moving towards deep self-awareness. In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato describes how a person who is restrained in a dark cave for his entire life would feel when unchained and let out in the light of the sun for the first time. The counselling process, therefore, is not just as a ‘road to recovery’ but also a ‘path to self-realisation’.
At times, we feel stuck in an endless, predictable cycle of feelings, behaviour patterns and situations. It seems as if we are continuously struggling, but still going farther away from what we truly want. In this article, our team of psychologists give their inputs on how it is likely that we might be struggling with a conflict that is more internal, than external – involving a wish, a fear and a defense.
Each one of us, at some point in our lives, have struggled to discover our own uniqueness, questioned social obligations, taken risks, set out to explore the unknown and felt the urge to try something new. It is the explorer archetype present in us, that enables us to do this. Also known as the seeker, wanderer and pilgrim, the explorer is a character that seeks to escape the boundaries of their average life by traveling the world or discovering its many mysteries.
The shadow is that aspect of our personality or psyche that is hidden from our own selves. It lies in our unconscious mind, safely beyond our awareness. The shadow contains our weaknesses, undesired traits, repressed ideas and desires which we find difficult to accept as part of us. It is like our dark side – therefore the name, Shadow. It is often unexpressed and rejected but surely it is always there, just as other archetypes are.
Death Anxiety is not simply anxiety about dying but anxiety about not living meaningfully. Culturally, we are averse to talking of death. However, awareness of one’s finite time on this planet in this form is probably one of the most important factors for living meaningfully. What “living well” means is unique to you but it requires some deep exploration from your end.
With the busy lives that people lead, everyday routines do not have too much room for spontaneity. In that cramped room of “too many things to do/not enough time”, your natural urge to explore, to try something new or to just have fun hides in a corner, eagerly awaiting its turn. You let your roles and responsibilities limit you and thus, miss out on the rest of you! In this article, read about discovering this seemingly lost idea of “spontaneity”.
Going through pain in life is inevitable.
You know this. Oh yes, you often want to believe you can escape it by being “overly” careful. But deep inside… all of us know, we will go through pain!
An imperfect life scattered with pain, physical and emotional, makes you feel like life and people are unfair. When you are in pain, your mind says, “I deserve happiness, not yet another pain!” You work hard at your happiness, at work and at home. You try your best not to hurt others and to be steadfast and responsible.
Somehow, you still encounter pain and sorrow, sometimes right after a happy event.
You feel angry and dejected. You ask life, ‘why?’
What’s common between a daughter-in-law devastated by her mother-in-laws behaviour, a man who cannot bear the boredom of his work anymore, a parent who is terribly stressed because his child refuses to study, a man who cannot believe he has lost his wife so suddenly, and a woman who is overwhelmed because she has been diagnosed with breast cancer?
As I see it, a few things …
The situation is grave
It has taken the joy out of life
Most of the day and sometimes a good part of the night is spent in thinking about the problem and thinking how to resolve it
A sense of being stuck, and trapped- a feeling that I cannot get out of this…
Do you feel like this about some situation of your life?
Your day starts with a mild stir. A stir nowhere else but in your mind. As you go about your daily chores, you feel like your mind is only partially involved. A simultaneous series of thoughts are on too. Your imagination is rolling and how! You imagine yourself giving a stage performance, that boy you like finally making conversation with you, you topping in class or bagging that coveted project….. you are daydreaming. Why are we discussing this? Isn’t daydreaming one pleasant escapade that is safe? Oh yes, it is! However, there are some of us who daydream excessively, so much so that our schedules are delayed or disrupted or our head begins to feel heavy. We probably end up underachieving or simply being dissatisfied with this almost compulsive tendency…yet, it has its own rewards. Let’s understand this better.