I was thinking of what someone said to me a while back, about whether I thought therapy is any use at all. I thought about the amount of study and research and personal commitment that goes into becoming a valuable therapist and found it very easy to say a definite Yes to the question.
Looking at the number of children and adults, I have worked with, and they with me, I remember my own childhood and teenage years. Each of us have our own unique story and for me I can appreciate the path my story set out for me.
My interest in people and their stories began when I was young. My mother and two of my aunts would tell me stories of their own lives and what is was like growing up in a different Ireland than now. They used the old Irish idioms to describe generations of families who had carried on with behaviours of their grandparents and parents.
I used to argue with them that not everyone follows the pattern of their family. Phrases like “the apple does not fall far from the tree”, or “trot filly trot foal” were usually referencing the negative behaviour of a child.
I now appreciate the value of the sayings when we concentrate on the positive strengths we see in people facing difficult times. When others make decisions that might break a persons heart or soul, the benefit of therapy cannot be underestimated.
I often remind clients of the path on which they find themselves, can be examined with the help of a professional and how less involvement of friends biased opinions can be important as they process the situation.
Encouraging resilience and building confidence is powerful in the healing process. Accessing the strength and courage of our ancestors allows us to use the idioms to our advantage.
I always enjoyed the sarcasm of the Irish phrase ” ni dheanfadh an saol capall rasa d’asal”( you can’t make a racehorse out of a donkey). This can also help a client understand how people can hurt others because that is what they learned.