Clients often come to me after or during a therapeutic journey that has seen them make some progress but not all of the progress they’d like. I’ve often wondered why this is, but I can recall my own therapeutic relationships and the dynamics therein. In my experience, while therapy illuminated patterns for me, it could also be a silencing container.
There is an aspect of therapy that hinges on the concept of “permission.” This can be freeing for some people, stifling for others. “Permission” can be permission to look at your life and indict what no longer functions for you. “Permission” can also look like an interaction with an authority figure, which I’ve seen limit the benefit of a therapeutic relationship. Authority, our limiting beliefs, and our perceived restrictions often land us in therapy. Respectability politics hem us in in life and then can get reinforced in clinical settings.
My first therapist was a wonderful therapist and all-around stellar human being; however, she was brought to me via an institution and she reminded me a lot of a mother, sometimes even mine. There were things I wasn’t comfortable disclosing or admitting to, which limited how much I could take from our work. There were thoughts and beliefs I was ashamed of, so I pushed them deeper. This had nothing to do with her; it had everything to do with me and everything to do with “structure.” She was an authority, a doctor, and a mother. These aspects that made me unable to root deeper may be the same aspects that make a patient feel more comfortable with her.
When people come to me, they’re usually ready for total transformation and they’ve never worked with someone like me before. In my work, I take an intuitive approach. I am often able to see what people are too scared to voice. There tends to be a lot of “How did you know that?” Well, I’m not always sure how, but I do. I’m also able to come at things, not as an authority, though yes, as someone learned, but also as someone who has had their own unique healing journey. I’ve tried all the therapies, all the alternative treatments, and all the mindfulness practices. When I learned what worked, I tailored my own routines and practices for optimal health, then I learned to do it for others. With this background, it can feel safe to be angry, to be sad, to be exhausted with me. It also starts to feel exciting to be more active and shift the unconscious mind because you can see it’s possible.
There came a time in my life journey where I realized I was the authority. This applied everywhere, including my healing path. I began to clear out both inherited and experienced noise, old beliefs, and old traumas simply because I knew I could. I am my own authority. This is the truth that I help people internalize and integrate into their conscious and unconscious minds. They begin to know it in their souls. The phenomenon of people in their middle-age beginning to say and do whatever they’d like is this; they know that they are the authority and their opinion is the one that matters.
However you get your healing, please leave respectability at the door. Give yourself room to heal. The voice that matters is yours. The integrity that matters is yours. The respect that matters is yours. You are the authority.