The whole subject of therapists and therapy can get pretty convoluted if you ask me. While I'm pretty sure we're all on the same page that therapy should be a healing thing, I'm think we all have different ideas about how that should be accomplished.
I also think we all have different ideas about what a therapist should do for us as well. Should a therapist be doing what we think or is there a set role they are supposed to play in healing. Personally I think the later is the case and that understanding that and what that role is can be helpful in finding the right therapist or making the choice to stay with a therapist we may already have.
So exactly what is a therapist's job? A therapist is not equipped to "fix" us although that's what most of us think. We are the only ones who can do that. All changes that lead to healing must come from within. Any outside fixes are nothing more than band aids from what I can tell.
I think the job of a therapist is to be a facilitator. Simply put to help us find our way through our feelings, to explore how they have affected us and to see if they really fit for us today.
Therapy is quite simply about changing our perceptions. While that can be simply stated it is not so simply done. Perceptions are pervasive and sneaky, if you ask me. I look back at my former view of myself and it now seems so foreign. There is no way anyone could make me wear that mantle again.
My perception of myself was so darn heavy, so destructive, so inhuman. Yet I bought it hook, line and sinker. I wore it with the same zeal and passion that I live my life today. My thoroughness nearly killed me in the process.
I had no idea when I first walked into therapy that what I was going to do there was to learn to look at myself differently. The therapist listened to what I had to say. She helped me explore those feelings to the fullest extent and she guided me to the source, my perceptions. Once there, she provided me with the tools to challenge my perceptions.
She never pushed her values or her perceptions upon me. She helped me to see that I was living my life by a double standard. There was one set of rules for others and a much harsher set of rules for me. She helped me to see that others had something to gain by keeping me knocked down under those harsh rules.
I don't remember her ever specifically saying I could or couldn't do something. I don't even remember her saying that anything that happened to me was particularly terrible. What I do remember is questions, lots of questions. Those questions helped me to find my way through the maze of my psyche.
So I started off in therapy believing that I was a horrible person and that I didn't deserve to be alive. I believed that if people could see who I was they would run from me in horror. So it was better to keep my distance to avoid rejection. I believed that I was fat and ugly, oh and stupid also comes to mind.
My therapist helped me to see that all of those labels I had learned from the offenders in my life. I had woven them into quite a garment that I wore always. Allowing my feelings to the surface and exploring them helped me to see the root of all those labels.
Seeing the offenders in a true light instead of the way they had insisted I see them, helped me to question the validity of their labels for me. I came out the other end believing that I am a good person and that I have a lot to offer the world. I did that with the help of a therapist who supported me with her questions. Questions that I thought were to help her understand when they were really questions to help me to understand.
multiple personality disorder MPD dissociative Identity disorder did therapy