Therapists are no Magician…yet magic happensRashi Bhargava
How often do we approach thinking, our Therapist to have a magic wand straight out of Harry Potter to solve our challenges/issues and make everything go back to normal. We live in the world where everything is instant, so gratification also needs to be instant
When the magic doesn’t happen frustrations, disappointments and doubts creep in. We start doubting the competence of the Therapist. In my initial sessions I too had this notion in mind that the therapist will give me some magic pill and my headache, anxiety issues will disappear. Human beings are by nature complex, even science has not been able to figure out everything, so how do we expect therapists to understand and have answers to everything with instant solutions to our problems?
In the first session my therapist had recommended usage of meditation app headspace. I tried once or twice and just could not understand how this app and the music was going to help my anxiety and sleep issues. Deep inside I kind of scoffed at it. For my complex problems I was expecting complex solutions you see and of course when I was paying an exorbitant fee to my therapist, so it’s my birth right to expect quick fixes and something complex which I could share with my friends and gloat. Instead of saying that I have viral fever I would like to use complex medical jargon to convey the same but in a way saying to the world that I have some complex health issue
Therapist sadly does not have a magic wand per se, so how does the magic happen? Therapists based on their expertise on psychology suggest measures and try to make things better or at least help us to manage uncertainty and personal discomfort better. They empower us with tools to deal with life situations better. The magic wand we are seeking outside is actually within us. Therapist is just a facilitator and is there to show us the path and give directions. Therapy is a process, a relationship, and a conversation. Therapy develops and supports you in self-awareness, self-discovery, personal accountability and learning how to accept … all your feelings peacefully and more completely, feel your feelings however painful they are.
Therapy explores you, your story, your supporting cast. You are the star of this movie. It is not about a director telling you what to do and how to do it. It’s a conversation, a dance that reveals to you the unique beauty, magic and your hidden potential within you by examining the themes of your experiences and relationships. Week after week, session after session, therapy opens you to yourself more completely which in turn opens your life to new possibilities outside of the therapy sessions. My killer assignments given to me by my therapist took me on a roller coaster ride of reliving my past, re-discovering myself and unleashing my hidden potential. My emotional baggage of years started tumbling out while doing these assignments.
If therapy was a magic wand, it would rob us of the best adventure of our life journey; intimately and lovingly connected to us. If therapy was a magic we wouldn’t discover how capable, competent and confident we are when we accept us, as we are with all our shortcomings and imperfections. That self-awareness and those experiences are the magic of the therapy process.
Doing the work to change your life, and allowing therapy to support you, is not easy. When I made all the efforts to follow the process and completely gave in to my therapist the magic unfolded. You need to trust the process and your therapist.
Therapy is a process, a journey you alone travel with your therapist. That journey can never be smooth just the way our life journey can never be smooth. There would be bumps, roadblocks. You will hate your therapist; you will curse her for making you go through the pain. You will stumble, you will be pushed. And when you feel it’s all over, magic will unfold. For me the magic was re-discovering myself, lifting my brain fog, becoming sharp, focused, clear and agile. My relationships with people in my environment deepened.
Therapists may not have a magic wand to make everything better all of the time, the way we expect , but they can create psychologically informed pockets of magic through their willingness to understand and work with complexity that can have a positive impact in our lives. To see the magic in therapy we need to look at therapy with a different lens and be willing to take the risk and go on that roller coaster ride of lifetime.