As I am getting back from summer vacation, I find myself having a mixture of feelings. It is wonderful to be in the Bay Area (though foggy this week) and to return to a job I love: talking to and helping people. But it’s true that I miss being on vacation: new experiences and no schedule to adhere to.
I find this week that with many of my clients, I am talking about this theme: feeling a mixture of feelings. Sometimes it is feeling attraction and repulsion towards someone. Sometimes it is feeling love and severe anger, even sometimes hatred. Or perhaps an intricate mixture of seemingly incompatible feelings. Together we look at this situation, which can seem mind-boggling (how can these different feelings co-exit) and sometimes present a very difficult situation to bear. Often I am talking about tolerance, feeling all the feelings, not excluding any. And together my clients and I look at how to do that. Hopefully the therapy process, sharing these feelings with someone else (me), helps.
In some sense, this is the gist of psychotherapy: to be able to feel this array of feelings that one may have at any given time. And as I return this week from vacation, I know something about that in a very real way.