I started therapy recently with a lovely therapist who uses ACT (that's Acceptance and Commitment Therapy --yes, I had to look it up) and Attachment Theory. It is amazing to me that I can talk about it. Back in the day, this meant there was something seriously Wrong with me, with a capital W; nowadays, I think it is viewed by more and more people as a positive thing --more importantly, I view it as a positive thing, and I'm not hurting anyone by doing it. I am dealing with what I carry around inside, whereas in the old days, I would have been expected to reach for Mother's Little Helper and soldier on.
So my lovely therapist asked me if there was anything that bothered me about our interactions so far.
"Um ...," I wracked my brain trying to think of something, "You haven't told me what to do? I mean, I know that's not what therapy is supposed to be about, but you asked me for something and that's all I could come up with!"
"That's good!" she said, being very lovely and accepting.
"I mean ...," I continued, because once the flood gates open, they tend not to close again very easily, "Actually, everything's been very nice, but I know that part of my issue is that I tend to be indecisive, and then people who know what they want make decisions in the interim, and I go along with it because it really matters to them and it doesn't matter as much to me, but then on reflection, it really does matter to me, and I would have chosen something different, or maybe something the same, but I essentially abdicated my responsibility for making my own choices because I am not quick in my decision making ..."
At that point, I had to stop to breathe.
If you have never been to therapy, that is how I see therapy. She says very little, and most of that 'very little' is questions, with the rest being acknowledgment of what I said. I fill in what would otherwise be large gaps of silence with what likely sounds like gibberish, but it does answer the questions to the best of my ability. The exchange leaves me feeling simultaneously stupid and better.
I don't believe that therapy will solve anything for me --that's what I've figured out. Then why do it, the pragmatists in the audience may be asking now?
It's not because my therapist is lovely (although that helps). I think it allows me address the things that I try to ignore. Historically, I do not address things that bother me directly --I feel like I haven't tried hard enough to see the other person's perspective and I'm being selfish, and then, I take that out on myself. I let things go, and yet, they haven't truly gone at times. If I haven't let things go, even though I've tried to let them go, then what is that?
Maybe therapy isn't supposed to be about solutions. Maybe it's about getting to know yourself, because in a lot of ways, we are taught to ignore parts of ourselves that don't fit with the world's grand plan (or others' grand plans, if we're being truly honest). Maybe it's about dealing with things and then life goes on, or it doesn't go on and then everything falls apart and then life goes on again. Maybe I'm being too selfless, or too selfish, or something in between, or some combination thereof, all situation dependent. Who knows?
All I know is, therapy's okay --doesn't solve anything, but it's okay.
If anyone has questions about therapy, please let me know --I'm happy to share my limited experience. It doesn't solve anything, but it certainly doesn't hurt anything, either.