I want to tell you a problem that can evolve when working with a psychoanalyst or even a therapist. If we’re honest about it we actually are masters of creating this problem with ourselves.
When you’re working with a psychoanalyst or a psychotherapist that works psychoanalytically you’re laying on the couch with the analyst out of view and you’re told to, “say anything”. Speaking and the analytic relationship you have with the analyst in the office helps you do a few things. It helps you master past traumas or maturational deficiencies. For example, when I first started my own analysis when I was 20 I didn’t speak much at all, but now I’m speaking to you. A maturational deficit was progressed through the work of my own analyst and analysis. It also allows you to say anything and think anything so you can do anything.
But, as you work with your analyst over the months and years, there is this problem that will come up inevitably. We can get so stuck in talking without going into action. You can start to over talk, overthink and over understand without ever doing anything. Many clients of mine knew that they needed to leave their relationship at the deepest level and never could pull the trigger on walking away.
As someone who works under psychoanalysis, my answer would be that there is more to be said by the client, which is true. What is also true is that your actions express your priorities.
Let’s say you’re working with a psychoanalyst and you want to leave your relationship and you go through the time and do the work to really understand what you’re doing and worked through a lot of ancient hurts and pains so you can reasonably enough take the life-giving action of leaving your relationship, but you don’t. This would be a good time for the analyst to help you analyze your priorities and not worry so much about your mother.
What are you spending your time on daily? Are you just playing video games, sitting on Facebook, over-engaging the kids or hanging out with friends as a way to avoid your spouse so you can avoid putting what you know to be good, yet painful, into action?
To achieve in your life what you have learned you need to do in your analysis and therapy requires action after enough talk. If not, you’re keeping your life perverse and dead while using every excuse to not execute your plan for your own comfort. You’re investing in a dead life instead of prioritizing life and if you don’t believe this, you’re just fooling yourself.