The work

Whenever a new member joins one of my therapy groups I ask all the current members to introduce themselves.

And in the course of doing so I ask each one to define what they’re working on in group.

identifying and expressing feelings,

not losing myself in relationships,  

giving up compulsive controlling,  

trusting people,

risking vulnerability,

and  

coming out of hiding in group

are some of the answers I get.

Occasionally a member can’t answer the question.

When that happens, I take it to mean somebody hasn’t done their job.

It might be me.  It’s the therapist’s job to help clients define their work — their issues and what they must do to resolve them — and then help them stay focused on it.

Or it might be the client.  Some clients come to therapy not to work, but to be comforted or rescued or parented.  Some spend years avoiding the work they need to do.

One thing’s sure, though.

Unless and until the work gets defined, it can never get done.

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