Why doesn’t the therapist just let me know when ‘I’m full of it’ up front? Therapists often resist such revelations up front because honestly they can’t be sure until they hear more of the story. The therapist may gently offer the possibility of at least a little carefully worded responsibility in some mistake we may be making. Most of the time if not timed right we will summarily reject any hint of such a possibility for 'another person’s problem'. But as time passes, and we may both find ourselves in recurring patterns, the dance becomes more predictable and we and our therapist begin to put things together.
Overcoming Delusion with Therapy Takes Time
Often, we just bury it in the many details. We may feel unable to return to the following session if we are forced to come to this realization too quickly. On the other hand, if we are very positively motivated and have plenty of support for such growth then ‘hitting us over the head with it’ may give us just what we are ready to handle. Most of the time, before we are able to consider letting go of a mistaken point of view, the dance with our therapist must include developing trust that our therapist knows us and is ultimately ‘on our side’. A therapist calls this rapport. Our therapist is on our side but it may take some time before the level of rapport necessary is deeply felt. For a long time we may fill therapy with a thousand ‘little issues’ to passively avoid dealing with 'the' issue. Often we may get angry at our therapist if they persistently remind us of what we have yet to explore. On the other hand, therapy can get too comfortable, we may get bored, it may become more of a friendship yet we continue to tell ourselves, ‘we’re working on it’.
We Can Succeed in Overcoming the 'Delusion'
As in any relationship, trust and rapport deepens with time and allows for a little more flexibility in considering possible understandings. At times, with our permission, a therapist may record a session and allow us to see ourselves and to explore how we may be coming off to others. Again, this may be a little risky as we may have a lot invested in not seeing ‘the rest of our story’! We are often able to rigidly hold onto our point of view as long as we don’t actually see ourselves. Our eyes focus on others and we have developed a keen awareness of what others are thinking as we watch them. When we use this ability on ourselves, the insights provided can be quite dramatic!
Overcoming Delusion means Being Honest with Ourselves
At times our entire psychological and social life is built around the fact that ‘it’ is or was someone else’s or something else’s fault. We may even be willing to admit responsibility to ourselves but we may not be willing to face the ‘humiliation’ if others were to discover ‘the truth’. At times we admit our part in the original issues that led to the creation of the delusion…'You know my boss wasn’t really that bad.’ Or, “I had issues in the marriage too.” But, to admit that we were wrong about the way we responded, the things we did and said, and to make amends…we may not be willing to take that risk. It would ‘pop the pimple’, but may require extending trust to others outside of therapy. We may still enjoy the advantages that were ‘won in the battle’ and be unwilling to give them up, and worse, potentially lose some of the support we gained using the delusion.
There may even be legal complications if such therapy is allowed to continue and the courts are involved. Individual therapy is often a very private affair, at least at first. Only then can we truly relax and consider ‘alternative truths’. Having said this, it can save a lot of time if we decide to allow the input of loved ones who can provide fresh insights. Allowing others input and including them in growthfull suggestions can spread personal investment in our therapy and the outcomes we would like to achieve.
Working to Overcome Delusion
If we want admit our errors to free ourselves and others of the previous and potentially ongoing consequences, then we need to trust our therapist or sponsor. We need to dig deep; we discuss where we need to grow. Where do we need to get honest? In AA, when making amends, a sponsor may ask, “Will telling these people help or hurt them?” If we really want to make amends but this would only serve to hurt the person more, or if the person has died, we may need to find alternative ways to make amends.
In the end, we all work on serving our spiritual source, increasing our Oneness with this source and reach out to others seeing the same in them.