When one begins psychotherapy, she is invited to an incredible journey. A journey in which the reality of what happens in the therapist's office becomes relevant in unpredictable ways. During our contemporary era of quick fixes and short-term solutions, little attention is given to the relationship between therapist and patient. Obviously held by clear and defined boundaries, the therapeutic relationship unfolds to a somewhat surprising territory of old fears, desires and losses.
Amazing is to realize that once they start a therapeutic process, patients are invariably faced with dilemmas of how they relate to others, including how they relate to the therapist - in the office, outside the office, in their dreams and throughout their conversations. Through this almost fake-created reality, they start to realize that their reality lands over, and they starts to just interact with the characters of their dreams in the therapist office in a similar and yet painful repetition of some of most deep dilemmas of their interpersonal life.
The therapeutic relationship actually matters. As the therapy enfolds, patients realize that they have thoughts, ideas, feelings and reactions towards their therapists. Any psychotherapy will necessarily lead to that - the difference relies on how the therapist decides to approach such phenomena. It is actually extremely interesting to realize how those reactions became a meaningful and unique way in which communication between therapist and patient may happen. If therapist is open to explore those, patients come to realize that there are powerful similarities between how patient experiences the therapist and how patient experiences her interpersonal relationships outside the therapy. As this happens, patients gain increased awareness on their emotional life, including becoming more able to negotiate relationships in general.
On another note, patients are also necessarily faced with a myriad ways in which they expect the therapist to just always be - the same, there, without interruption, without intrusion, without exclusion. And then, how dare therapist introduce something new? a new element, a thought, some change, some yet unexpected presence in the patient's play, creating an unbalance that looks for further understanding?
Disruption is what moves life and also what moves the therapeutic process. It is because we are disrupted in our repeated ways of relating that we realize there must be something new, something waiting to be created or simply found. Psychotherapy is about being disrupted, being shaken and awaken, being in touch with pregnant silences of the mind only to find new ways to connect with others. Only then, the therapeutic relationship becomes the meaningful space of imprinting old brushstrokes in the hope of finding the uniqueness of a new painting.