Relationships (PART 2)
Dr. Thomas Downey -B.SC., M.B.B.S., M.MED. (PSYCHOTHERAPY), F.A.C.PSYCH.MED. Get in Contact — 0418 747 741
Indulge me a little as I wear my doctor hat for the analogy I will use is medical:
When a patient first presents I need to take a thorough history and sometimes do appropriate investigation to allow for a provisional diagnosis. Without the correct diagnosis how do you effective treat and, preferably, cure the condition? Once diagnosed a treatment regime can be implemented and together we can be curious the response and predict a the prognosis.
But nothing is guaranteed.
Like a patient with an aliment, each individual in the couple will be asked to take self responsibility; specifically for their actions and speech. Any discussion which occurs in couples therapy is based on mutual respect for the other’s point of view — even if it’s counter to your own. The aim of couple’s counselling is to create a dialogue. Most couple’s who attend therapy have a history of either talking AT each other or NOT talking at all.
Dialogue is the only way forward. The idea is to remain attentive and curious. You are asked to put aside this notion of needing to be right, needing to win. There are no winners in a bad relationship.
Being curious, open and willing to attend to the other’s words (and therefore their worldview) will lead all on a journey … possibly to a place of more understanding, empathy, better self assessment and a happier more joyful life. Alternatively, people come to learn how to respectfully dissolve the relationship without dissolving themselves.
If I may be so bold, many people who start couple counselling can get a rude surprise.
Some talk of “love” and yet there is no evidence of “self” love – they don’t treat themselves with any compassion, kindness nor forgiveness. They are marinated in a deep sense of self loathing. My question to them is “How can you transmit a feeling to others that is not embodied with yourself?”
For some, it becomes immediately clear that they need adjunctive personal therapy to undo this pervasive wiring of self hatred for nothing will truly change for the better whilst they self belittle and belittle others. A sad but true fact.