The fact that this was the last session meant that I didn’t have to write it up before the following session so have left it for a few weeks while I got on with other things.
We had been building up to the end emotionally as a group and actually the last session was slightly anticlimactic. We did finish off by going round the room and saying whether we were continuing and if so which course. Most of us were going to look at September, with a couple able to fast track and a couple not continuing. Applications for September aren’t until April and not all of us will get in so it will be interesting to see who amongst us are there in September (plus there are two groups then).
I was really pleased that C asked for my number. It’s silly but it did make me feel valued. She said nice things about me which I found really heard not just to hear but also to recognise as me. The confident, funny, intelligent person with a great laugh sounds lovely but so far removed from how I see myself.
For our last session we discussed congruency. We all have a better understanding of what it means as in authenticity, being true to yourself and genuine. I came up with WYSIWYG as an analogy but nobody else remembered the term! What blocks it is assumptions, prejudice, fear of judgement and reaction, conflict with own personality.
We talked about how, for those moments when there is absolute true congruence there is a connection between speaker and listener when both are in the room together with the elephant and big shifts in understanding and feeling can happen. There has to be trust and confidence in the process and this can be a powerful moment. The listener can feel absolutely caught up in it and can need to step back.
We discussed the Johari windows of perception, which reminded me of known knowns and unknown knowns. This is about how self aware you are, the extent to which there are things you know and don’t know about yourself and things that other people know about you that you don’t.
This means that self-actualization occurs when a person’s “ideal self” (i.e. who they would like to be) is congruent with their actual behaviour (self-image). Rogers describes an individual who is actualizing as a fully functioning person. The main determinant of whether we will become self-actualized is childhood experience.
Self-actualisation is another concept that is hard to get your head round what it really means but it is merging the person you think you are with the person you want to be and therefore, with congruence, are the person you seem to be. In Venn Diagram terms that means that the two circles above overlap more and more with perfect congruence achieved when the two circles merge.
I can really connect with this. There is the me I come across as, the me inside my head, and the aspirational me. Therapy is about bringing these three together.
Going back to the session our triad was observed by the leader which was quite nerve-wracking. She was actually very positive about my listening with the only criticism that on three occasions I was re-assuring rather than probing. It’s about exploring why someone feels uncomfortable rather than reassuring them they don’t need to be. I get that. Many things I said I could have phrased better but basically I was pleased by her comments. I then spoke and didn’t get anywhere and ended up waffling. It makes me realise the extent to which these tiny prompts really help guide you where you need to go, even if you then choose to ignore the signposts.
I’m now welcoming having the day back as December has got incredibly busy but am already looking forward to next term and I also want to do some of the other short courses. I have lost a bit of my momentum already with my reading having dropped off but do feel more positive. I’ve started exercising again and have asked my therapist to push me more.