It is a beautiful day on the prairies, a winter’s day with just a slight chill in the air. It’s not enough to prevent me enjoying time spent outdoors while nude. This is definitely a winter wonderland kind of day with all of the snow on the trees and all. It won’t be long until the wonderland part of winter disappears and in its place a desolate and dangerous version of winter takes its place.
This reminds me of what the therapy process is all about. One risks with an initial shot of adrenalin, small and safe risks which test both the therapist and the client to establish a mutual safe zone, a temenos within which the deeper work can take place. This work at depth has the client expose all of his or her fears, the ghosts that are hungry for freedom from the prisons built to contain all the fears and ghosts and trauma of early life. Behind those walls lies the deadly form of winter, a wasteland or swampland that needs to be navigated cautiously. Without a good guide, this could be the road to hell – insanity. Normally, one avoids taking the heroic journey through the dark and cold wasteland that lies within each of us.
It sounds scary, and it is scary. However, one must remember that this work is going on within a safe container with the guide (psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, psychologist, etc.). Just as one can safely get through the dead of winter, one can get through the wasteland of the inner psyche. There is just one caveat. You will emerge on the other side a changed person.