Imagine one day you walk into your bathroom to discover that it’s flooded and part of your ceiling is now hanging out on your floor. You call the super who comes over quickly and patches it up. You’re relieved! That was an easy fix! Everything looks good as new.
Until…your upstairs neighbor has the audacity to take another shower. Suddenly you have another unwanted water feature in your bathroom. You can call the super to patch up the plaster again, or you can ask for a plumber this time to figure out why the pipes have turned into a sprinkler.
Sometimes plaster cracks over time for no reason. It just gets old and it needs to be redone. Other times there’s a problem underneath it that needs to be looked at. If the issue keeps coming back, you still have to mop up, but you also need to look behind the surface to figure out why it keeps raining inside. (I’ve reached the limit of my knowledge about plaster.)
When life becomes a soggy mess, of course your first thought isn’t to wade knee deep into it, plop down in the middle of it, and contemplate what’s causing it. You want to dry it up quickly! There’s just one problem. Mopping the bottom of a waterfall doesn’t work so well.
You need immediate help, but don’t stop with a quick fix.
Any skilled, emotionally attuned therapist will help you get relief from the pressing issue that brought you to therapy in the first place. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need. But if you find yourself getting stuck in the same upsetting loop over and over again, it may be time to take a closer look.
I often see proactive, ambitious clients who’ve done good work in past short term solution-focused therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). They’ve learned all the skills and they know how to practice them, but pesky problems keep finding new ways to crop up in their life, often in frustratingly familiar patterns. Life is out-skilling them and as hard as they’re trying, they can’t think their way out of it.
In-depth, longer term therapy, like psychodynamic or psychoanalytic psychotherapy, looks behind the surface to help you unravel the tangled up roots that are causing you pain so that you get deeper, long-lasting relief.
If this feels like the right time for you to look deeper, I invite you to contact me.