When you think of Easter, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Easter Bunnies perhaps? Easter Eggs; Fluffy yellow chicks; The resurrection of Christ or maybe even his death? You can probably think of more examples, however, strangely, I was able to see some similarities between the Easter celebrations and Psychotherapy/Counselling.
Firstly let us begin with Lent.
Lent is the period before Easter that last for 40 days. It is the time where those of certain faith, give up or fast from certain types of food and drink. During this time the individual not only fasts, but they embark on deep prayer, self-analysis, meditation, repentance, personal improvement, restitution and confession.
Images of Jesus carrying the heavy cross and being nailed to it are reminders of the heavy load, physically and mentally, that Jesus had to carry.
Symbols such as the Easter Egg illustrate the start of a new life. Thus, while visually the egg is still and appears lifeless, inside the egg a new life is developing and growing. In certain faiths it is said that the egg is equivalent to the boulder that covered the entrance to Jesus's tomb.
So how does Easter have similarities with Counselling and Psychotherapy?
Talking therapies are far from being a religion, however,when making a decision to choose these types of therapies, the individual and the practitioner, must be committed to the process, just like a person of faith is to their religion.
The period of Lent is interesting because as in therapy, the individual may have to give something up...fast. For example, if someone has come to therapy to address their addictive behaviour, at some point learning to live without the addictive element is necessary....although difficult. Approaches such as CBT(Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) are extremely beneficial in assisting this process.
During sessions discourse between the client and the therapist address areas such as: personal improvement, confession (by confessing we mean to be candid about one's inner world, thoughts dreams desires etc.), repentance, restitution and self-analysis. This process assists the individual in
As a therapist I don't make judgments or assumptions. However, through the experiences that I have had with vulnerable people, I have come to learn, that the person that has come to therapy is in some way burdened....is carrying a heavy mental/emotional/physical load; is someone who finds existing difficult or a struggle. The hope is that through Psychotherapy/Counselling the individual can be like that Easter egg..... a symbol of resurrection.
Thanks for reading this Easter blog and as always your comments are welcome.