From The Therapist's Chair

The therapist who sees that her client has crossed the Threshold encourages time and space for what we might call the process of acclimatization. This process may be thought of as having two aspects. First, integration and second, stabilization. Integration may sound like a repetition of the ultimate step in first stage awakening – the integration that leads to wholeness. So what is different about this integration at the outset of second-stage awakening? Whereas at the end of the first stage your client was completing, owning, and processing shadow aspects of the psyche he is now integrating the transformational shift that has occurred. Physically his body is responding to the new experience of ease and relaxed emptiness. Mentally he experiences less habitual concerns, unnecessary worry, and unresolved turbulence. Emotionally he senses a newness of experience and flow, and the capacity to feel new emotions that are more freeing and expansive than before the Threshold. Energetically he is adjusting to a greater life force, robustness, and openness.

Such a lot is going on that he may hardly be expected to be aware of all the different facets of alteration and fine tuning that are taking place. Thankfully it is unnecessary for him to do so. I suggest that you encourage trust in the natural adjustments that are occurring. There is little need for analyzing the complexities of transformation and the best thing your client can do is to concentrate on relaxing around the gentle integration which will resolve itself in its own time.

He may be less inclined to following habits of distraction. These could be surfing the net, TV and movie watching, taking recreational drugs and alcohol, and other potential over-indulgences. He may find he makes uncharacteristic decisions based on different criteria, as in all he does he is becoming more himself. He may feel less attached to relationships, friendships, partners and lovers, and even experience some distance from them that wasn't there before. This distance is not a retreat from intimacy or relationship, but rather a new alignment to relationships of all kinds. The therapist may need to offer reassurance. The client may experience a greater intensity of engagement with his spiritual path or his faith and a fresh enthusiasm to immerse himself in psycho-spiritual teachings. Whatever the individual expressions these changes constitute an inner deepening and repositioning of soul and spirit. The essence or core self has emerged and the experience of the emergence can be strange, vivifying, and inspiring, and possibly disorientating in turns.

The therapist acts as an anchor of reassurance and a safe, guiding harbor of trust and support. Carefully and skillfully watching the client renegotiating the new relationship to life that the transformation, still so recent, has brought about, he instills confidence and encourages surrender in his client through his own deep trust in the client's inner processes.

Some aspects of your client's life that were overwhelmingly important before may fade into comparative insignificance. Other aspects of life which were neglected may now appear vividly important. Everything in the client's life is gradually being reassessed, reappraised, and revisioned as the new center of the transformed self becomes established.

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