Occasionally a client will come to see me after having seen a number of therapists over the years. They will often start the session by listing their ‘issues.’ Sometimes it is an issue with commitment or intimacy or organization. I will suggest that we might call these ‘excuses’ in the sense that they are listing reasons why they can’t function the way they would like to in their lives. It is also clear that they have the idea that by being able to name these issues, they are ahead of the game or somehow better off. My experience has been that ‘knowing why is the booby prize.’ No matter how much they understand or analyze the ‘issue’, it still manages to hold them in its grip.
The resolution of these ‘issues’ is an inside job. Learning to listen compassionately to one’s inner world, the parts of us that are in conflict and the parts that have been exiled from our conscious mind is the first step to freeing ourselves from historical trauma and fears. The process of going inside is relatively simple. The greatest barrier to doing it is that we keep ourselves distracted out of the fear of what we will find.