I’m sure you have had the experience that when engaged in a conversation, you realize something that you had not realized before. Or when conversing with someone else, you have thoughts that you hadn’t quite had before. This is the power of relationship – and it is the essence of psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is about the client and therapist using their minds together to think. A client usually comes in to therapy with distressing problems and a lot of frustration at not being able to adequately address them. In this way he may have done quite a lot of thinking on his own. However, by joining our minds, together the client and I can go further in thought. We can better think about the problems than one person can. And in that way, come up with better solutions.
Of course, thinking is not limited to the intellect. Just as ideas are hatched through relationships, so too does a person gain better access to his feelings. In the process of talking to another human being, feelings become clear and are often more felt. Clients have often said to me that by saying something aloud it becomes real.
To find better solutions for one’s problems, of course, is not easy. And I do not mean to suggest that it is. But each day I am reminded through the conversations I have with my clients of just what potential for new thoughts and feelings there is through relationship.