Patrick McCurry Counsellor Eastbourne Canary Wharf

Counselling and Psychotherapy in Eastbourne, East Sussex and Canary Wharf, London and Online.

t: 07891 295649 | e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How we long for deeper connection

28 June 2020

We may often find ourselves staying on the surface in our conversations with people and particularly in the fast-paced word of social media.

But research by the University of Arizona found that more meaningful conversations were linked to greater happiness. They found that people who had more conversations where there was “real, meaningful information exchanged”, were likely to report higher satisfaction levels whether or not they were introverts or extraverts.

This confirms my belief that one of the benefits of being in therapy is having the chance to talk at depth about your experience. It is in this place that new insights of perspectives can become visible.

While it is true that the therapist will not, typically, share personal information, he or she is an active participant in the conversation through asking questions, offering observations or feedback or simply listening.

It is extremely powerful to have our experience witnessed by an attentive other, to have our stories listened to.  Over time, having the therapist witness and listen begins to affect our own experience of ourselves. We find ourselves paying more attention to our feelings, our experience, and using this information to help us make decisions.

In my experience many of us are operating, to a large degree, on autopilot in llarge parts of our lives. We are reacting to events with habitual behaviour patterns. It is often when these habitual reactions and behaviour pattens seem to be causing more problems than solutions that many of us seek therapy.

It is rare for many of us to find ourselves in a place where we are given plenty of time to reflect and to talk about our experience. Talking to family or friends is important and support from them can be valuable, but we may sometimes find we are being interrupted or the other person wants to give us advice to ‘fix’ our problem.

Good therapy is not about fixing problems, but rather about creating a space where the client feels valued and is encouraged to become curious about his or her experience and behaviour and to become more aware of unconscious patterns. 

Over time, this process can enable the client to make more conscious choices in important areas of their life.