My approach to therapy
No one wants to suffer and everyone welcomes happiness over misery, however for most of us happiness is a rare experience – certainly lasting happiness is. Is it reasonable to expect or even hope for an escape from suffering into a life of happiness?
A release from pain and suffering is perhaps a better goal, indeed for many people that release itself would be enough without the need to find happiness. However, chasing happiness is a natural instinct even though it doesn't address your current situation; in fact any short-term 'happiness fix' simply serves to highlight your suffering with the inevitably return to daily life.
It's fair to say, for the most part, we live in the routine of our daily lives, which on the surface appears to be at best repetitive and monotonous and at worse a continual battleground within which we are constantly trying to bring order out of chaos and avoid as much suffering as possible.
Therefore, I would suggest to begin with we focus on the specifics of your day to day life: your routines, your relationships, your job, your friendships, your social life, your interests and any passions you may have. We will look at the things that work and the things that don’t, the things that are good for you and the things that aren't.
As well as looking at the pragmatics of day to day living we need to investigate your past, including your childhood and any traumatic times, and begin the long process of understanding the events and relationships that have shaped you. Without understanding your blind subconscious scripts you will remain at their mercy and repeat unhelpful thoughts and behaviours time and again.
Then (and please understand this is in no particular order; it will unfold naturally through the therapeutic process ), we need to talk about your relationship to the future; specifically what you want from it and whether indeed you have even asked yourself such a direct question?
Most people's future is born, not from the unlimited potential of the present, but from a past they would rather forget with skewed memories of guilt and regret. This heavy bag of should haves, shouldn't haves and could haves is dragged along behind them, keeping them shackled to the past - like a bird with clipped wings, unable to fly,
This is a brief and simplistic summary of the journey we will embark upon. In effect we will be focusing upon your present, your past and your future and investigating the threads that weave through them.
This lays the groundwork. Then there is the subterranean world of the transpersonal, which is that aspect of your ‘Self’ that's free from all the above constraints but that paradoxically lives within them - the impersonal (or transpersonal) consciousness that bares witness to your happiest moments and to the depths of your suffering.
The transpersonal is the gateway though which you can transcend your suffering. This does not mean lasting happiness, but that you find peace and clarity of mind - you will feel at ease in your own skin. There will be an acceptance of the present moment and a realisation that you have been staining your pure awareness by your social conditioning and selective memories.
Abiding in that place of natural 'being' beyond the conditioned ego, right action will emerge effortlessly and authentically through you. A side effect of this way of living is that happiness becomes a regular and welcome visitor; you don't find happiness - happiness finds you.