There is a very popular television series, shown on both Irish and UK television, called 'Who DoYou Think You Are?' It's about family history. With the help of archivists and historians in a variety of countries, different celebrities trace back their roots over several generations. The results are often very moving for both the subject and the viewers as stories of personal and family tragedy, triumphs, courage and resilience are uncovered.
What emerges has many similarities with psychotherapy and counselling. Through an exploration resembling an archeological dig, discoveries are made of things which have lain hidden for many years. What is revealed has been there all along but is only just being brought to the surface. People find out more about themselves and where they have come from. They reach a larger and deeper recognition of who they are and begin to make some sense of aspects of their lives and themselves that might have been inaccessible to them before. They are changed by the experience. Something is often touched in them that gives rise to a different relationship to themselves and others.
In psychotherapy and counselling, we offer to accompany people on a similar journey through various layers of their experience, much of which has been buried for a long time. Clients begin to access places within themselves that have been holding unresolved pain and trauma. Their explorations might hark back not only to the family and environment they grew up in but often also to previous generations. Distress and sorrow can often give way to release and joy. With time and trust, a new sense of life and its possibilities can take shape.
When therapy has a spiritual perspective it holds the potential for reaching the very deepest layers of who we are. These layers hold the most buried aspects of our wounding but also contain the richest source of healing. Spiritual teachings from many traditions offer guidance for an enquiry that includes this innermost terrain. Core Process Psychotherapy draws mostly from the Buddhist tradition.