What was the first thought you had about your partner this morning? For instance, was it
I so feel happy?
Wow, I can’t’ wait to spend the rest of the day with him?
I feel safe and secure in this relationship?
On the other hand, was it annoyance with the snoring, fed up because they haven’t brought you your morning cup of tea…again, cross about his messy pile of clothes on the floor or perhaps irritable following an argument the night before?
Have you ever found yourself in a relationship thinking that you are always cast in the role of the ‘bad one’? Or perhaps you feel that your partner doesn’t take responsibility, waits for something to happen and then complains when it does.
As I sit here trying to figure out what to say, coming to mind are the complicated feelings connected with doing something new for the first time; beginnings.
For many, it’s half way through the school summer holidays which leads me to think about the new beginnings that will follow. Children embarking into adolescence at secondary school, adolescents exploring newfound independence at university or in the workplace. And similarly, but in a different way, parents releasing their five-year-olds into the world for the first time to begin primary school.
There is excitement, anticipation, hope and pleasure. But what lies not too far away, on the opposite side of the coin is fear, anxiety, disappointment, sadness, confusion and muddle.
What did you dream about last night? Can you remember? Somehow the incredibly vivid images that we remember when we first wake seem to disappear by the time we have eaten breakfast.
Ever since I was a small child I have always been fascinated with my dreams. I can remember sharing the stories with classmates in the playground who actually weren’t that interested as they just wanted to play. And actually, like play, dreams are just another way that we engage with the imagination.
Tragically, the subject of loss has been very present in the collective consciousness this week. When we think of loss we usually do think of death and the loss of a loved one. It can have an overwhelming and painful effect on our lives. But, loss is an inevitable and recurring part of life and it happens in so many different ways. Loss is not just about death and separation.
Sometimes love is difficult to understand. You only know it when you feel it and then you recognise it. When you fall in love you feel bewitched, excited and you see the world differently, it feels full of new possibilities. When you fall out of love you feel abandoned, hurt, and miserable; your heart aches.
This is often the point when you find yourself in couples or marriage counselling.
Whether you call if The Dark Night of the Soul, The Wild Moods or The Black Dog, depression is something that casts a dark shadow over life.
A shadow that maddeningly conceals a vibrancy and aliveness that now alludes you. There’s are sense that you’re a shadow of your former self; the good times have all past, there’s nothing left for the present and you can’t envision a future.
And you’re not alone.
When I work with couples many want to know what they can do in between sessions to deepen the impact of counselling. For others, because things feel so strained, it’s difficult to even contemplate doing that. Sometimes, only the counselling room with the support of counsellor feels safe.
So, I usually see clients for 60 minutes a week; but then what?