It is rumored that Carl Jung, one of the greatest psychologists of our time, was prone to express his condolences to patients who came to sessions with a happy and satisfied conditioned personality. He assured them that he would stand by them during such a dangerous and unproductive time. When these same patients came to therapy anxiety-ridden and depressed, he would congratulate them on their good fortune in being in a condition where the soul’s work could be deeply done.
Before going into therapy, we should ask ourselves what we really want and why. Sometimes, these questions can be explored during the initial stages of work. In any case, we would always be well-advised to have a clear sense of how our therapist has considered the question — What is a human being? She or he will see us and treat us accordingly.
Dr. Jim Manganiello is a clinical psychologist and diplomate-level medical psychotherapist based in Groveland and West Boxford. He is also an author and teacher focusing on stress, personal growth, meditation and “inner fitness.” His book “Unshakable Certainty” is available on Amazon. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.drjimmanganiello.com.