Colleague and NYU psychoanalytic scholar, Michael Eigen writes in his book Under the Totem, "Are you ready for a therapy journey? . . . We are a repository of age-old trauma, catastrophic happenings and fears. Good feeling competes with bad, a balance that shifts and sometimes places us in jeopardy. One thing therapy can do, depending on luck, circumstance, and skill, is shift the balance for the better. Even a little can go a long way" (p.27).
In between patients, I often pick up a volume in depth psychology and read an excerpt. Today it was this passage that nourished me. It struck me that depth therapy is truly a journey into the unknown. Of course, as a seasoned therapist of over thirty-five years, I know this. But today, its reality became clearer and more vibrant. Life is journey and, for many of us, deep therapy helps along the way.
Dr. Eigen comments on luck, circumstance and skill as vital in shifting the balance in life for the better. I would add, the chemistry between patient and therapist to this mix. There is a mysterious healing force activated between a therapist and patient who are in sink. The patient feels understood, that things are moving along and being worked through. They couldn't have done it alone. The therapeutic relationship is the catalyst for healing and growth.
To be ready for the therapy journey is no small thing. It requires knowing that good is competing with bad. It requires admitting that we are in jeopardy. It requires trusting that the balance can potentially shift for the better, and that even a little can go a long way.