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Meeting with a Depth Psychotherapist: What to Expect

February 9th, 2014 · No Comments · psychotherapist

So, if I find a good depth psychotherapist, and I meet with him or her, what can I expect?

psychotherapist

It’s a common question!  Many people wonder just what it would be like to embark on work with a depth psychotherapist.  They may be both attracted to such work, and a little apprehensive.  Just what does occur in such a meeting?

No Judgment

A central characteristic of depth psychotherapy in the Jungian tradition, is that the person who is coming for therapy / counselling (“analysis” as Jungians say) will not be judged or slotted in ways that distort or obscure his or her individual nature.

This means no moral judgment.  Intelligent individuals differ widely about morality.  It’s highly inappropriate for a depth psychotherapist to impose his or her morals , whether in open, explicit ways, or more hidden way. Avoiding the latter , particularly, is a key skill that a good psychotherapist must hone and develop.

But other key forms of judgement must also be avoided. It’s very important that the psychotherapist not impose his or her version of “common sense” on the client, either.  Again:  what is common sense to one intelligent individual is just the opposite to another.

Above all, the therapist must work to enable the client to be free of the collective judgement of “society” or “respectable people”. Often clients are already far too sensitive on this count, and, above all, need to experience an environment where they are free to express their deepest unique selves.

No “Cookie Cutter” Answers

So, almost needless to say, good depth psychotherapy must necessarily avoid “cookie cutter” or “ready made” answers to the dilemmas in an individual’s life.

The depth psychotherapist works with the individual to determine his or her own authentic response to the unique issues that she or he confronts.  This is often requires substantial support , for many of us are deeply wounded when it comes to the expression of our authentic selves.

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Some forms of therapy see the therapeutic goal as helping the individual to become “well adjusted” to society, the community, their work, etc.  A Jungian depth psychotherapist aims to help an individual to become fully who he or she fundamentally is.

Lots of Attention to my Individual Life and Story

A depth psychotherapist emphasizes the unique aspects of your story, and what it is that fundamentally makes you, you.

Often, it can vital for a person to relate their own story, the story of his or her life, and to have it met with genuine, close listening to by someone who is intensely interested in it.  This is not something that individuals get to do nearly often enough.

To look at my story intently, with discernment and compassion, with an ally who is firmly on my side — can lead to enormous growth of awareness of my fundamental identity.

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The “Undiscovered You” Will Get Taken Seriously…

So, you may well become aware of many aspects of yourself of which you were not aware.  This may happen as you examine your reactions to situations, your motivations, and your dreams. (Neuroscientists such as Profs. Solms and Turnbull are increasingly showing us that dreams are far from meaningless regurgitation of debris from the previous day.)

…and Welcomed

To experience these hitherto unknown aspects of myself, in a climate of accepting support from another, can be incredibly grounding and liberating.

I invite you to consider whether working with a depth psychotherapist might be an experience of healing for you, and an important part of your journey to wholeness.

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© 2013 Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)