Skip to content

The Enablers

February 16, 2020

Who inspires you? What ignites, propels and supports you? What enables you to reach your optimal in any given moment; to do your utmost, to feel grounded and whole in your self?

I first came across the notion of what enables, as opposed to what hinders, through Gestalt psychotherapy training. The aim of Gestalt therapy, as I imagine with most forms of psychotherapy, is to enable the client to feel alive, creative and to act spontaneously, utilising the present moment, rather than allowing past patterns and calcified ways of being to dictate her way-of-being-in-the-world.

These would fundamentally begin with increasing the client’s awareness of himself, and ultimately to allow him greater choice in how he can change to gain more from his life or be satisfied in knowing how he is being and doing. Both would build towards enabling him to take full responsibility for himself, rather than give this over to others. If not, then he may blame others for his feelings, actions, life situation etc, and inevitably disempower himself rather than take the reigns to lead himself in the direction that he want to be in.

Another way I may enable someone is by turning a blind eye to his actions. He may make unrealistic demands of me, consistently attempt to belittle and diminishes me and my contributions; he may even create lies to shame and scare me, but it’s my responsibility in how I choose to act. If I give myself a little distance to detangle my self from his troubled patterns, then I will become aware of infinite choices open to how I respond. I become response-able, and feel satisfied in taking responsibility and power back into my own hands.

Conversely, if I find myself caught in his intricate web, afraid of his threats, shamed by his judgement and punishments, then I enable him to continue in his way. I most likely would not be the first. This is how people who struggle with toxicity in their lives, often leave a trail of rotten relationships along their path. Falling outs, unresolved arguments, disagreements that turned into angry silences, or worse. He will isolate himself, his true, wounded, pained and afraid self, from those around him. He may be highly accomplished at acting the part of a loving, confident, tender husband/ brother/ son/ friend/ nephew, when in fact he is filled to the brim with self- doubt and loathing, and fear. A deep, familiar and stifling fear.

This is when the safe therapeutic space can allow her to experience herself differently, to notice how she is being, to find words to familiar emotions that may have seemed annihilating in their intensity, to contain what was overwhelming, to test out different ways of being, and ultimately to find ways of feeling alive, spontaneous and response-able.

Cognition alone wouldn’t do, but nourishing experiences, words with deep personal connection to events, ways for him to make meaning of difficulties in his past, to enable his body to make sense/ or create new senses, and his mind to rest from its habitual need to manipulate and control.

I don’t believe any of us resolve our selves whilst we are alive, breathing and out living in-the-world. And being back in therapy training, alongside weekly therapy sessions, I’ve found myself enabled to see my role in past relationships that I allowed to disempower me, make me feel small and insignificant.

I’m not saying ‘it’s my fault’, because that’s always an oversimplified hook that leads into a stagnant pond. I’m saying that I’m curious, in a gentle and holding way, as to how I got myself in particular patterns with people; how I blinded myself to the realities of the situation, and how choiceful my world seems right now.

From → Therapeutic

  1. Ray permalink

    because you are unique just a unicorn guess its the Aquarius , super creative, spontaneous and unique as he does not follow the same boring routine like other humans , I have some in me and my best friend Aquarius she exactly said the same words above, your prognosis in therapeutic psychology are only appropriate for other humans !! we are a super unicorns we have our laws

  2. “We are such stuff upas dreams are made on, and our lives are bound up in a little sleep.” -Wlllm Shakspar …or more likely the Earl of Oxford
    Thanks for sharing your take on the dream.

Leave a Reply to Ray Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: