What drives me crazy about psychotherapy is the belief that clients need to be labeled and fixed. In fact, no one is broken.
A caterpillar isn’t flawed with a narcissistic personality disorder because it believes it’s going to be a butterfly. A tadpole doesn’t have a pervasive developmental disorder because it’s not yet a frog.
The only thing that is wrong is what we’ve been taught to think and believe about ourselves that stops us from being our true selves.
I remembered a time when my grandmother had a small garden. In one section, she grew gourds. I once placed a growing gourd inside a jelly jar. As it grew, it took on the shape of the jar. I came to realize that we are like gourds placed in a jelly jar of life. We have adapted and accommodated to our life’s circumstances.
In all my years as a therapist, I learned that when I really got to know clients, I understood why they thought and acted the way they did. If I had been placed in their jelly jar of experiences, given the same conditions and genetics, I would have been in the same shape.
Each client taught me something about myself and my own glass walls. I consistently encouraged my clients to follow this message: accept yourself, express yourself, forgive yourself, and, most importantly, love yourself. Those elements have become the critical ingredients for healing in my life and in the lives of my clients.
Psychotherapy can drive you crazy with labels, judgments, and an endless exploration of the past. However, when you embrace acceptance, self-expression, forgiveness, and love, you step on the road to sanity and inner peace.
P.S. Click the link below to listen to a recording of Marie Elisa’s radio show, “Everyday Angels,” where I expose some of the crazy thinking of psychotherapy and offer seven steps toward sanity and inner peace.
Everyday Angels Radio show on 1/13/15