A Clients’ point of View of Therapy

A clients’ view of therapy. Whether we know it or not, social exchange is right at the heart of our human concerns. As social creatures, is there more to life than enriching give and take and fulfilling relationships? If we have a rapport with others and with ourselves that is loving and supportive, we feel nourished and alive. If our connections are ailing, we may suffer profoundly as a result. In this era, specific help is available for improving the way we interact with others. By working with skilled facilitators we can reap the rewards of shift made to our understanding and our behaviour, regarding ourselves and beyond. If you think of the many kinds of human relationship and, in relation to them, the many more types of personal difficulties experienced, you can sense the complexity of problems that therapists, worldwide, seek to address. Regardless of differences in symptoms, a critical part of healing relationship predicaments is coming to acknowledge that, as adults, we are now personally responsible for the quality of exchanges in our lives. This fact is both hard to swallow and empowering. A therapist is someone who helps us realise that we can effect change and how we can begin to promote healing. This weekend I attended a two-day workshop created and facilitated by therapist Aisha Ali. Under the banner of her healing project, Living from The Heart, Aisha offers a dynamic and comfortable space to engage with personal hitches we may experience in our relationships. Under her safe intervention we strategically cut to the chase of difficulties and take a driving seat in moving through obstacles. Aisha Ali runs a variety of weekend workshops to assist in making positive transformations in life. The one I attended focused on our own ‘shadow’ self and how that impacts our lives in an everyday way. In the group, there were seven people, plus Aisha. The weekend was held in a room that was enclosing, private and conducive to opening up to the nitty-gritty of honest therapeutic work. I didn’t know anything about the shadow self before we began. I entered the weekend with little clue as to what the work would entail and what scale of effect the weekend might have on me. Aisha led us forward into group activities that rapidly brought us to connect truthfully with ourselves. Using a combination of physical movements we tapped into our physical and energetic body, which is a resource of wisdom, honesty and insight. Through group exercises we also connected with each other in a way that was unself-conscious and supportive to our individual processes. Though we were a group, the issues we brought forward were dealt with in a very personal manner. Without any judgement the obstacles that confronted us were accepted and treated with respect. This level of trust was testimony to the atmosphere of safety and openness generated for the occasion. Though we were delving into our innermost selves, nothing about the facilitation felt jarring, abrupt or superfluous. After the exercises it was remarkable how much more relaxed, alert and focused we all were in preparation for the explorations. There was a very carefully selected range of music that powerfully aided the aims of the weekend. I observed, with some amazement, extensive ground being covered in a short period of time. In fact, I hadn’t anticipated how much unfolding could occur in one single weekend. I observed that under the right conditions, shift happens quite dramatically. The process looking at our shadow selves was a journey we each undertook and what is important is that the workshop was suitable for everyone. It was made clear that each person only delved as deep and as far as they were individually ready and comfortable to do. This is not to say that the process was unchallenging. Through attentive guidance, the right degree of enquiry and discovery was set before us, and the accompanying willing to face this was encouraged. I believe that the proof of a workshop is in the pudding. Having been stimulated in various ways to perceive and to begin to integrate my shadow self I felt an enthusiasm for this process that left me a convert to ‘shadow work’. I noticed that I went out into the world with such a fortified confidence that I marvelled at my own social relaxedness. There is a power to group-work that reaches parts that one-on-one therapy seems not to do. The reflections and the difficulties that others shared were enormously helpful and accelerated my understanding of my own behaviours. There was something mechanical to the weekend that began to fix problems in a rudimentary way. I found the comments of the people who shared this time with me uncanny in their accuracy and pertinence. Though it was a group aimed at helping the individual, it felt clear that the insights discovered, and the shift observed, was a collective group-experience. I heartily recommend Living From The Heart workshops to anyone wishing to improve the quality of their relationships with themselves and others in a down to earth and honest way. A clients’ point view of therapy Participant November 2012