I like it when an idea comes together. This post has its roots in two separate writings that are far apart but that I did just happen to read at about the same time. They worked as a catalyst for each other and bingo!! I ended up with this.
My delay in writing this is because it comes from a Parent ego state contract given to me by Kahless - yes it’s all her fault!
She wrote about her teenage years (see here) and then said that I had to because she did. She says that her teenage years were a bit boring. Well I must admit, from what she wrote one could conclude that but I suspect there were bits that she deleted or didn’t elaborate on that could have spiced it up a bit.
So I thought about my teenage years and what I could write. As I did this I also read a brief article written by a psychologist about what in essence amounts to a meditation and relaxation approach to therapy. It stated that when ever one had a negative emotion (she actually used that phrase) like anger or sadness or fear then one can basically meditate it away, and she describes how that is done.
This disturbed me and made me question what I do as a therapist.
My teenage years weren’t boring, like some others may have been. It was charged with a lot of highs and a lot of lows (and a few mediums as well). There were not a lot of dull moments and there was plenty of action both physically and emotionally. The good times were great and the low times were sometimes very low.
Then I thought, well if I successfully did the meditative therapy as suggested by this woman then there would be very few low times. I would of only had highs and mediums in my teenage years.
OMG!! Is that what I am doing with my clients? I hope not.
But then I was left with another conundrum. As I reflected on my teenage years I felt good about them because there were highs and also because there were lows. I wouldn’t want a life where I only had highs and mediums so I felt good about the lows as well. It made me feel like I had lived that part of my life such that it had texture and varied experience which is what I want in my life. It gave me a feeling that my life at least at that time had some depth and was full flavoured. I liked that.
But then came the conundrum. The low times gave my life some depth and also it allowed me a more fuller and complete understanding of the highs and the mediums. If I had never had any lows then my understanding of the highs and mediums would be limited and one dimensional.
Upon reflection I was glad that I had had the lows but at the time of the lows I was not glad at all and wanted the lows to go away. If I had successfully done the mediative therapy then I would have achieved that but then on later reflection my life would only have highs and mediums and thus be one dimensional and boring.
So are the lows a good thing or a bad thing?
As a therapist am I stopping clients having lows so their lives are more one dimensional, lack a depth and rich texture?