The New York Times recently published a short but hopeful essay, “Transference? I’ll Take It“, by Michelle Huneven about a successful round of therapy that eventually led her to falling in love and getting married.
As a relationship therapist, I often think about the relationships and experiences that clients bring with them to therapy and how those old expectations, internal messages and experiences are woven into our conversations as we work together toward the client’s goals.
It’s not often, though, that I have been able to read about how this all feels from the client’s perspective. This essay sheds light on how having a different experience in therapy helps you experience yourself differently outside of therapy. It elucidates how being open with yourself with a trusted therapist can help you ultimately trust yourself and explore new avenues of thought and experience. The boundaries of the therapeutic relationship, in which the therapist needs nothing from you except your commitment to the process and willingness to explore yourself, gives you a safe place from which to move forward with your life.
Of all the things that research can tell us so far about why therapy works, the common factor of a good fit with your therapist is one of the most important and one of your most powerful tools for change. I’m thankful to Michelle Huneven for sharing her experience.