going home 2017

[Going Home 2017] Grow Together

IMG_3292.JPGThis is the picture with my friend, colleague, and previous supervisor. Lu-Sheng. We always got together when I went back to Taiwan. She was my supervisor when I was in my 20s for 3 years until I left Taiwan to come to the US. When I was under her supervision, my work was primary with the female survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Her supervision was primary Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Therapy model. During those three years, with her help, I got very comfortable doing therapy, getting very familiar with the above two therapy models. During that period of the time, I also sought out a lot of training in the Psychodrama, Object-Relation Therapy, Satir Model and Structural Family Therapy model.

We never lost touch throughout the years even though we didn’t talk to each other on the daily basis. For a while, I didn’t talk to her for about 2 years. However, every single time, when I visited her, I always felt that I learned something from her again.

Why? Throughout the years, we both have changed and evolved. Even though we didn’t see our changes together, we changed in the same direction and our relationship continued to stay intact.

“Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same.” ~ Franz Schubert

Throughout the years, I have lost a lot of friends due to moving from places to places. I also have lost many friends due to the differences of our developmental issues. Somehow, I grew in one direction and my friends moved to the other direction.

With Lu-Sheng, fortunately, we have always been moving towards the same direction and it made us able to stay in touch and be friends throughout the past 20 years.

It reminded me of the couple relationship. As a human being, we are continuously changing. Sometimes, a big trauma or surprising event happened and we might go into a different direction in life. That’s why I always take “relationship history” in the beginning of the therapy to understand if there was any significant event changed the dynamics of the couple relationship.

Even when there was no significant event, people choose to change, not to change, or change only a little. However, no matter how big or small the change a person made, it will come back to have the impact on the relationship.

For example, a husband was a financial advisor and was making quite a money when he met his wife. Then, 10 years into their marriage, he decided to change his career. How would his partner feel? How would that have changed on the marriage and family dynamics?
(Just in case you wonder where this example coming from, it’s from the drama Madam Secretary.)

A former colleague always replied back to me about this when I asked him the reason he didn’t want to marry his girlfriend of 14 years: “Marriage is hard and dating is easier. Otherwise, why do you think they create a profession called: “marriage and family therapy”?”

Marriage is hard. A lot of times, we take a turn and we walk on to a different path than our partners’ path. So, hold on to each other tight. And know this: you can always try to find a way back together. Couple’s therapy is the attempt to find our way back together.

Being a therapist, I am a human being, too. I constantly strive to evolve and grow.This is the end of my “going home” reflection. I hope you enjoy it and thank you for taking the time to read my process of growing.

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