Most people visiting my office for an initial session seek an immediate relief of their emotional suffering. They see in the therapist the magician who would transform their pain once they see him, just like Dorothy and her friends in the Wizard of Oz expected all their problems to be resolved once they find the wonderful wizard of Oz. The frustration and disappointment are obvious in Dorothy and her friends once they realise that the wizard is not who they expected him to be. Dorothy realises then that, after all, all the magic is within.
In psychoanalysis, like in any other form of psychotherapy, things don’t turn out so convenient in such short time, as it happened with Dorothy. The person showing up at the psychoanalyst’s office with an unconscious, infantile expectation that with a movement of his magic wand the therapist will perform his magic and sadness be transformed to happiness, is up for a big disappointment. And that’s ok, that is the feeling to have under the circumstances. It’s not so much about the intensity of the feeling but what to do with that feeling. Sometimes the potential client will never return after the first session. Other times, though, he will be back and then slowly work can start.
It’s ok to have a strong need and desire to feel better. It’s ok to feel angry, frustrated, depressed, abandoned, disappointed, in pain, when those needs and desires are not met. The best place to work them through is in the room with the therapist.
My experience has shown me that the best results come to those who endure all the pain.
So, respect to the people who stayed with all the pain, didn’t run away from it, and in the long run, the pain set them free.
“Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over… she began to fly”