DOES YOUR THERAPIST UNDERSTAND YOU?
Your therapist understands some things about you. There are other things they just don’t get. This is perfect. And normal. Because you are in a relationship.
What is important in this relationship is the process of understanding. Of coming to understand each other.
As Donna Orange writes,
My patient who seems to have everything, including everything that I have never had, but continues to return to a truly abusive partner, one who throws hot soup on her in anger and rages at her in front of friends and family confounds me. Then I remember that understanding is a difficult practice and that there is clearly something we have not understood together yet. (The Suffering Stranger, 2011, Bold mine.)
In our youngest places and our deepest wounds we want to be met without having to speak our needs. We think we should just be met.
When someone can do this for us it is a gift.
But even better is the gift that two people receive when they continue to be present to each other even when they don’t understand. When they commit to each other despite difference and despite distance. The difficult practice of understanding is worth the uphill trek. To be understood in a way that you haven't been understood before is the bedrock of change.
My therapist often does not understand me.
I am glad for that (most days) because finding each other is sweet.
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