Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thoughts About Therapy

From Alice Miller's

"The Body Never Lies":


[W]e can give ourselves the attention, respect, the understanding for our emotions, the sorely needed protection, and the unconditional love that our parents withheld from us. . .

If we want to achieve this assistance from a therapist who can accept us for what we are, who can give us the protection, respect, sympathy, and understanding we need in order to realize how we have become what we are. . .

We need such a companion -- what I have called an "enlightened witness" -- if we ourselves are to act as companions for the child within, if we are to understand its "body language," to engage with its needs instead of ignoring them. . . 

In that process one can shed one's symptoms, free oneself of depression, regain joy in life, break out of the state of constant exhaustion, and experience a resurgence of energy, once that energy is no longer required for the repression of one's own truth. 

The point is that the fatigue characteristic of such depression reasserts itself every time we repress strong emotions, play down the memories stored in the body, and refuse them the attention they clamor for.   

Excerpt from
Alice Miller
The Body Never Lies:  
The Lingering Effects of Hurtful Parenting
WW Norton, New York, NY (2004)