Holistic Centre for Body, Mind & Spirit

Through The Other Door


This month, we hand over our feature to a friend of Anam Cara’s. For four years, he has worked with us as a supplier on the business side of things. Then we said ‘You’ve been working with us for four years, observing from the outside. Isn’t it about time you tried a session of therapy yourself?’ He said yes (after a while), and this is what he wrote afterwards...

It took some time to agree to a therapy session. I found the prospect a little daunting. Many of us are well aware of our imperfections and compromises, our dissatisfactions and worries...but somehow it’s a case of the better the devil you know. If life is ok, work is ok, relationships are ok, then isn’t ‘ok’ enough?

So I stepped into the room where Sonia does her therapy sessions. I hadn’t crossed that threshold before, it was the door I always walked past as we went to our meetings. As I sat on the sofa, I realised this was the first time I’d been in the building without knowing what I was talking about.

I’d been running the opening moments over and over in my head in the days before my session with Sonia. How will it start? What should I say? What should we cover?

I’ve always been a better listener than talker. Talking about myself seems impossibly self-indulgent and inward-looking, when all the real problems in the world are ‘out there’ for all to see.

But it was talk or sit in silence for the remaining 118 minutes of our session, so talk I did. Having made a fairly pedestrian stab at an opening, we were soon on to issues entirely unrelated (or so it seemed initially) to what I began talking about. From not knowing what to say, I soon had so many lines of thought crashing around my head that I lost the majority of them, having to pursue the one that was shouting loudest. I wonder if the other ones will come back?

As I spoke, Sonia listened and reflected my thoughts in such a way that connections became clear between apparently discrete and diverse issues. As these connections emerged, they made total sense. In fact, they were not entirely unfamiliar but I’d never previously been able (or perhaps willing) to devote time to these nascent thoughts to allow them to crystallise.

I recalled things I didn’t know were important, things from many years ago. I was able to talk about them with the objectivity of someone who has rationalised them. Remarkably, though, Sonia seemed to be feeling what I must have felt when these things happened all those years ago. She was living the emotions of the experiences as I spoke about them, emotions I had long since consigned to a different compartment in my brain, a compartment with a good, solid ‘Do not enter’ barrier all around it.

I had arrived at Anam Cara that day wanting to know where I was heading and what the result would be – but travelling the road is of more interest to Sonia than the destination. The destination is simply a result of the journey travelled.

Despite a hesitant start, I could see now the clock was ticking towards the end of our two hours. I was disappointed. I threw in a few thoughts that needed to be said but were impossible to explore in a few minutes. My way, perhaps, of saying ‘thanks for doing this with me. Can we do some more?’

Afterwards, thoughts continued to rattle around. Looking ahead made me feel at once nervous, curious, fearful, excited, impatient, relieved, energised. It’s slightly unnerving. I feel the trepidation and the excitement in equal measures. Knowing Anam Cara as I do, however, I think it’ll be ok.

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If you're reading this, you've already taken an important step. You already know that you have questions that need answering, a curiosity to satisfy, difficulties to confront, maybe even a crisis to deal with.
With over 20 years' experience as a psychotherapist, executive business coach and counsellor, Sonia Manning leads a team of holistic therapists who can help you to overcome your difficulties and turn a crisis point into a turning point.