Thoughts on Therapy
TO BUILD ON MY BELIEF that what works for one person in therapy might not work for another, we can bring in additional dimensions to the work.
First, we have bodies. I know that is obvious, but therapy has traditionally sidestepped the impact of our body’s many systems on wellbeing.
Second, and this fact is a tad less evidence-based, but I nevertheless find it compelling: the soul. I believe that spiritual questions matter, and affect how we do what we do in the work.
The body and the brain are connected, communicating through the nervous system. Additionally, our minds spring from a brain which has a left and right side and a limbic system. We can work from an understanding that within our Self, we each have multiplicity of parts. When we are “in flow,” those parts are balanced and strongly linked. When our systems are not in balance, we can either experience too much flow — which may feel like anxiety — or too little, which gives us depression-like experiences.
These dynamics are expressed through our bodies every day. And while we don’t have to deal with the body in therapy, when we do include it, the work will fundamentally shift. Think of the difference between an actor reading a scene and performing it, or an athlete talking about their strategy vs. actually getting on the field and doing it.
Finally, as for the soul. To keep it brief, when this part is allowed into the work, we open ourselves to what a most unlikely guru, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, said so well: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”