Review the work of yesterday
Client talked about fluctuating energy levels and difficulties in relationship with significant person in her current life. Therapist elicited a little of the history and it emerged that there was unresolved grief for father who died when client was eleven years old. Second half of the session revolved around exploring these feelings of grief.
Matters arising (discussion continued after lunch)
- This session can be seen as having three stages. 1. The presenting problem which concerned energy levels in presence situations. 2. A search into origins of present constellation starting from "Why did you become a nun?" 3. Dealing with feelings relating to death of father when client was age eleven.
- The presenting problem may be simply a way in. One is not obliged to solve the presenting problem.
- The client will give you what you need. In this case the client's mention of father's death was initially presented as seemingly only a piece of incidental information. The fact that the therapist showed willingness to hear more about it was the permission necessary to trigger the third stage.
- One notices "act hunger" - the client's inner need to say things unsaid. One also notices the conditions that inhibited them in the original situation. In this case the client had been unable to express her grief in part because of the attitudes of people around her and in part because of the anger she felt about father dying. This anger had also been unexpressable.
- Therapist expressed understanding in ways that normalised the client's grief process.
- In this session transference issues were in the backgroud.
- Te process of grief takes time. It cannot be dealt with in a single therapy session. It may take six or twelve months. If the therapy session gets a process started and makes it possible that will be enough.
- Anger is a comon and natural part of grief. In this case the client had been so angry that she had destroyed all mementos of her father.
- Monastics have the advantage of additional opportunities for reflecting upon their lives, but the human processes that they go through are the same as everybody else.
Reflecting upon the matters discussed.
Reviewing personal issues
Final meetings one to one with the teacher.