The Fifty Minute Hour

Thoughts on therapy and life

Nap or Therapy?

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So, the Sunday night showdown between Downtown Abbey and Homeland is on.

Personally I’m Homeland all the way; I like watching something where I’m not entirely sure of what’s going on, and I love how Carrie Mathison cries in an ugly and soul baring way that is completely devoid of any vanity.

Clare Danes herself leaves the bi polar diagnosis on set and is happily married with a young baby, but in a recent interview she’s quoted as saying that as an American she has had “years of therapy” and loves it. But that being married to an Englishman (stiff upper lip) she has also realised that sometimes all she needs is a nap.

National stereotypes aside; I have to say I think she’s right.

Obviously I’m pro-therapy, I’m a therapist! But I don’t think there is a need to pathologise everything. Clients come to therapy when life has stopped making sense at some level. Often they are holding down a job and functioning in a relationship, but at the same time are aware that something is missing, or perhaps is adversely affecting the way they feel. Sometimes it’s obvious what the problem, is, frequently they have no idea. Deciding to call a therapist is a leap of faith, it means admitting something is wrong, which can be a pretty big deal in itself.

It’s not unusual for clients ask me how long I think it will take until they feel better and I can’t ever answer that. It’s (cliché alert) a journey, and the length of it doesn’t begin to be known until we are towards the end. And somewhere on that journey is the realisation that therapy doesn’t offer a total cure, but rather leaves you managing a chronic disease. By which I mean, there is no cure for life, the best we can hope for is to ride out the storms and enjoy the calms. For me, a good therapy ends when my client ventures out of port feeling strong enough to weather the storms ahead. This is the client who will know when things get difficult, whether they need a nap or more therapy


Author: Johanna Sartori BA MBACP Accred.

Finding my way through life, and travelling with those on the same journey

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