Secrets and lies
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Gavin Williams, MA, MPhil.
26th February, 20140 Comments
Secrets and lies
What place do secrets have in our lives? Are we good at keeping secrets? Do we need secrets? Do we keep secrets better as we get older? Do you write your secrets down? Do you keep your secrets in mind? Do you have a secret place? Do you have a secret love?
Secrets can be understood as a form of defence, and may perhaps be associated with shame. If we are proud of an achievement we want everyone to know, and we may shout it out loud, but keeping a dark secret quiet takes another type of energy.
There may be family secrets: of abuse, of incest, of sexual orientation, an extramarital affair, an impending divorce, male aggression and violence, rivalry, murderous rage, forced marriage, childless couple, or not wishing to marry. Gossiping secrets… 'did you know about so-and-so…', perhaps we cannot keep a secret because the truth will come out eventually.
The father's pride in his virgin daughter dressed in white, symbolising an ideal, and the daughters' pride in being a virgin bride on her wedding day, can be something that family and friends celebrate. The father can give his daughter away in a rite of passage, in a public ceremony, with pride where there are no secrets.
Secrets, often associated with sex, may involve, sexual orientation or sexual behaviour that is not approved of by the family. So the individual may fear that the only way is to leave the family group. Thus the individual may feel ostracised for not conforming to what is believed to be acceptable behaviour.
Lies may appear to cover over secrets that the individual would rather not disclose. Secrets and lies involve a compromise.
In counselling or psychotherapy, painful secrets and lies may be spoken about within a confidential setting. Where congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathy promote personal growth and change.
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