Human beings are impatient beings. And more often than not short-sighted, both metaphorically and literally. This reflects in the context of therapeutical work, too. Patients are often anything but..... patient. Formed by our Zeitgeist´s restless imprint, terapeutees (my term for people in terapeutic processes) often hope for instant gratification. Or maybe: instant grace- i-fication. A heaven-send therapeutic-pill that cures the psychological headaches within half an hour. Been there
(therapy), done that. On with the show. It could seem that psychiatry with in inflationary use of anti-depressants bases its work on such implicit premisses.
Unfortunately and fortunately, inner work that truly transforms the content (not just the form) of the individual´s internal software takes its time. How long that times takes in chronological time measurement, nobody can possibly know nor say. It´s part of the mystery of working with the soul. It´s a little bit like Slow Food. Really good food often takes time (and the consciousness that goes along with it) to prepare. Which does not mean that all good therapy necessarily needs to be snail-slow. Many tools exist today that can greatly accellerate the therapeutic prosess, in comparision to old school psychoanalysis- where a normal analysis lasted something like 6 years with three sessions per week. Much sharper and to the point tools exist today and we need to use them if we want to be able to deal with the tsunami waves of psychological challenges that the individual and collective soul face in our time and space. My sense is that their primary function is to set in motion the transformative process, the jump-starting impuls. A bit like shooting the white billard ball in an expert way into the other balls. Things start rolling. Balls start bouncing into each other. The whole former order of the field rearranges itself. But when does the first ball fall into a hole (the «whole») ? Who can say ?
Another analogy that seems to hit the spot and can inform us about the prosess of internal transformation is what I call the ice-cube analogy. Think about a bunch of ice-cubes at minus 6 degrees. Slowly the temperature is raised by one degree: -5, -4, -3, -2, -1. Until you reach 0 degrees nothing seems to have changed. They seem like the same old, frozen ice-cubes. Only when you reach the critical temperature, the freezing/melting point, a dramatic change takes place: The crystalline structure of the ice-cubes dissolves and the water molecules start floating freely in all directions. If one would only stare at the phenomenlogy, that is: what is visible on the surface, one would conclude that nothing has changed before you hit 0 degrees. All the way down from – 6 nada happened! But that is not true. To get to the critical point where «everything changes» one needs to go the process of -5, -4, -3, -2, -1. Otherwise it would be possible to get there and nothing could happen then.
The same applies for the therapeutic transformational process. Often one may not see the immeditate change one hopes for (still being stuck in the instant gratication paradigm). But that is not because nothing has happened. The happening in the psyche often happens step by step, degree by degree in the invisible. Until suddenly -one day- it goes boom ! This can happen both ways of course. In the therapeutic context most hopefully as positive eureka, where old outdated inner ice finally melts and the waters of the soul get flowing again, watering the former internal desert soils.
But in order to see the whole picture one also has to consider the inverse scenario, the negative version of it: something can built up in the darkness of the unconscious over time and at at some critical point, something goes boom – a relationship, a bodily function, a part of the soul that collapses.
Life has it all. Individual consciousness decides where things turn.
Prefab Sprout: The Ice Maiden