Friday, November 27, 2009

Highs, lows & life

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?



  1. As a therapist, I would think you are helping clients/patients handle the current lows in their life - I'm suspecting not many come in because they are feeling great - and hopefully, by examination, they can manage future lows.

    I guess I am at the point in my therapy where I trust my therapist enough to tell her what I think, even if it might reflect "badly" (in my mind) on me.

    And don't you think that the meditation - or insert any other type of coping mechanism - doesn't make the lows go away, but more helps the individual deal with it?


  2. Graffiti,

    Are you going senile?

    I quote you from a comment you wrote on one of your posts below

    "Hi Kahless,
    Your comment sounds impressive but I am not too sure what it means.

    Write a post about your teenage years. When I run workshops on teenagers sometimes I ask the participants in the beginning to recount what their teenage years were like.

    If you wirite a post about yours I will worte a post about mine.


    So actually you lumbered me with the Parent ego state contract and hence it took me a while to get around to a boring post!!!

    So your post is a bloody cop-out!

    Oh and you are my only blogger friend that would agree with me that it is boring lol!

    As for your question, are you really stopping clients having lows? Or rather helping them to work through them.

  3. Hello OLJ,

    Good to hear that you trust your therpist in the way you do. Some times I am surprised at what clients say about things which they find very difficult to talk about. Such that it may reflect badly on them. When they actually tell you it is something quite tame indeed but they obviously find it a very serious matter. I am not necessarily suggesting this is so in your case.

    Your comments seems sound about therapy and dealing with the low times in life


  4. Am I going senile Kahless?

    I can't remember.

    And after reading your comment, I would ask, have you been drinking? It is Friday night and all.

    I haven't copped out, there maybe a part two to this post if you were just a little less frisky my friend.

    I deny saying what you quoted me as saying,


  5. Highs and Lows are perhaps like "compressions" in the weather. Being affected by the highs and lows in life depends on many factors. Some like it hot and in the fast lane.

    One could always use environmental therapy or seek the opposite in life by moving to locations with different weather patterns. I like living in moderate climates such as Perth Australia.


  6. That is a good metaphor Kenoath,

    the weather man metaphor.


  7. I forgot to tell you that I got a copy of "I'm OK You're OK" from the library. Unfortunately the copy I got is an old tattered paperback with yellow pages. Not a pleasurable reading experience. I've not made it far yet - I will need to be fully awake to digest the material.:)


  8. That book should give you the basic theory OLJ. It is contraversial in one respect however and mainstream theory now rejects the point it makes about the life position at birth


  9. Tony,
    I'm posting way down here under the pile because 1. it suits this topic and 2. because i can!

    I feel crap. Not just a little bitty bit of stinky stuff that you walk into the house with after getting some on the soul of your shoe... no. This is like the fully blown crappiest crappy CRAP in the whole wide world and way beyond space and time and beyond time! Like way WAY beyond!

    Grrrr! I feel so angry and annoyed, sad and frustrated! I want the worst things that could ever happen to happen but i can't say it incase it does happen but then atleast i'd have a reason to feel so bad and silly and dumb and angry and scared and hurty and tired and sore!! Crap!

    I have my periods. *Sobs*
    I feel bad.

    So glad this doesn't happen to me every month. I don't think nature could handle it.

    Be well Mr Graffiti...

  10. Roses,
    I hope you feel better soon.

    Just think positive - now you will be really angry!!
    As I say on my facebook I have negative blood so I know what negativity is all about


  11. Tony -
    Had to smile at your reply - so therapist like :) At times, we patients/clients don't remember that our therapists are human and also have their "negative" moments.

    Hope you are well,

  12. Hello OLJ,

    Yes I have my negative moments but generally I am fairly optimistic.

    Merry christmas to you and may all your christmases come at once


  13. Negative moments Tony? Yeah - i guess so. But you seem to be a cheery friend so.. thank you. I really do appreciate the you that i've come to know (if that's possible).

    Was that a 'therapist like' answer? Every one i know would have answered my whining in the same way as Tony. And only my very closest friends (and sometimes my hubby) would i whine to at all. And yes, i suppose that most or all of the people i allow close to me have had therapy training in one way or another. Thank you for pointint that out to me OLJ. I'd not noticed that before.
    Tony on the other hand is the only person who is allowed to hear me being angry though - no one else will let me or handle it. I have, since meeting him, been able to express my self (in anger) to others if they give me good reason to. He's a good teacher.

    And i second Tony's sentiments - that all your christmases come at once!

    Tony - you're a good teacher.

  14. Roses/Tony -
    Sorry - no offense intended by the comment. Perhaps too much tongue in cheek. Hope you are feeling better Roses.

    Not familiar with the phrase "all your christmases come at once".

    Take care,

  15. OLJ,
    No offence was taken by me. I like tongue in cheek! Unless of cause unless i'm chewing at the time.

    My interperatation of "all your christmases come at ones" means that every good thing you've ever hoped or wished for happens for you.

    Happy day to you...

  16. Hello OLJ,

    not offended at all and I agree with Roses interpretation of the term all your christmases at once.

    All the best