Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Psychotherapy Is Hard

I did eventually manage to get to sleep at about 3am this morning. I woke when the alarm went off at 9am; I had set it just in case I did get to sleep to make sure that I got up in plenty of time to get to the bus stop to catch the bus to the hospital for today's psychotherapy session.

Psychotherapy is not for the faint-hearted. In order to help one to make progress you have to commit to it wholeheartedly and invariably this means you will enter territory that you would rather avoid. This is not a new experience for me having undertaken a year of psychodynamic psychotherapy from May 2008 to May 2009. I learnt a lot about myself during that year and I had to delve back into my early life to find the triggers that had made me the person that I was and helped to explain why, having become so depressed, I was finding it so difficult to return to a normal happy life.

A more CBT approach is being taken with the psychotherapy that I am currently undergoing. the main aim of this therapy is to get me to stop the self-destructive pattern of anger suppression that I developed as a young child, with the aim that I learn to express my anger in a normal manner rather than turning it in on myself.

Deliberately trying to invoke a feeling of anger in someone cannot be easy, yet that is what my therapist has been doing over recent weeks. Today, he managed to bring about such anger in me that it was a physically painful experience for me. For the first time I realised just how much I had been turning that anger back in on myself and the the harm it has done. For the first time I realised how much it had affected my emotions over the years and how much and how often I had given way even when I knew I was in the right because I didn't want to get angry.

Anger is a normal emotion. There will always be thing that make us angry and we should learn how to deal with that anger when we are young. For some, anger is used as an excuse to be violent towards others. For others, anger causes raised voices and sometimes hurtful exchanges. For me, anger has become something which I am so afraid of that I strive not to show anger to others resulting in me turning it in on myself.

It's not easy to change things that have been part of me for 50 years. But I am working to make that change and that is why I can say

Psychotherapy is hard.

2 comments:

~*sappho*~ said...

Such an interesting read, considering I have just returned from my psychotherapy session where I was discussing having the same issues with anger as you do. It sounds like you're further down the road than me, so I'd be interested to hear more about where you go with this.

Thank you :)

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