Welcoming the unknown

Clients often come into therapy after a period of trying really hard to solve the problems they are experiencing. They may have a detailed explanation of what is happening, describing how their uncomfortable feelings and thoughts developed, and how they affect them now.

The trouble is, this explanation is often not helping the client to change. Sometimes, the client frequently repeating their thoughts to themselves and others may even be exacerbating their discomfort, entrenching ideas that can be limiting and have a negative effect on well-being.

"As soon as there are names, it is time to stop" - Chan.

Therapy is an exploration of the unknown. What you already know and can explain is unlikely to hold the way forward that you seek, if it did you would already have taken that path and found a way through your difficulties. The role of therapy is to help you discover that which is not known, that which is beyond your current awareness.

This exploration allows new insights to come to the fore. The process of uncovering them may at times be uncomfortable, yet the benefits can be great. Gently enquiring of our gestures of sensations in our body, of emotions and of thoughts can reveal connections that we were not aware of, and offer new ways of experiencing which meet our needs in this moment and beyond.  

It is perhaps counter-cultural to welcome the knowledge that we 'don't know.' The prevailing idea that knowledge is power can leave us deeply uncomfortable with expressing uncertainty, or not knowing. This is a barrier that needs to be overcome when we are intent on growing, it is at the edge of our existing knowledge that new learning occurs.

When I hear a client say 'I don't know' it gives me a sense of new possibilities. They do not know, yet. They may be standing on the brink of fresh discoveries. When a client does not know, my role as a therapist is to enable them to find out by exploring within at their own pace, in line with their own goals and desires.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Darlington, County Durham, DL2

Written by Fe Robinson

Darlington, County Durham, DL2

Fe Robinson is a Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor working in Durham on Mondays, Wednesdays snd Fridays. Her mission is to enable clients to find peace and contentment, whatever their life circumstances. Fe is UKCP accredited and BACP registered, offers EMDR, and holds a Diploma in Supervision.

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