A snap shot of what therapy actually looks like
By Alisha Stobbe
Therapy tends to conjure up specific images for people. Pop culture often depicts therapy with an older gentleman, a wool suit, an indifferent gaze, and a pad of paper in hand. Probably the most common picture of classical therapy (no thanks to Freud) is of a client lying on a couch sweating bullets while the therapist stares out the window unproductively linking dreams to one’s mother.
But the image of therapy that comes to my mind has nothing to do with couches or chairs or the type of clothes I am wearing. From my perspective therapy is an opportunity. It gives space to encounter oneself in a new way. In the time that I share with my clients we tend to explore the impacts of life’s events, unspoken family rules, and the meanings we make. Generally, I think of therapy as a time to un-muddle oneself and bring clarity to our lives in order to make new decisions.
In many cases this un-muddling of one’s life involves other individuals, whether they are close friends, parents, children or family members. People often choose to attend therapy with one or more key individuals in order to change the way the relationship functions, to support one person in reaching their goals, or repair relationship wounds. In my experience these joint sessions are very productive and often lead to efficiently reaching the goals set forth in therapy. For this reason, I welcome seeing multiple individuals at once.
So whether you prefer to sit, lie down or do jumping jacks in the corner of the room is irrelevant to me. Success is marked by people achieving their goals, gaining clarity and stability, and feeling empowered to transfer these skills into all areas of their life. Essentially, my goal is to work myself out of a job because my clients are empowered and equipped to take on their unique life circumstances.