Counselling for Anxiety & Depth Psychotherapy, 3: Enough
Depth case studies concerns self-acceptance, and counselling for anxiety emphasizes that we are “enough” to deal with the situations of our lives. So, what does it mean to to feel that we are “enough”? How do we gain that level of self acceptance?
The Sense of Insufficiency
To answer that question, we must probe the roots of our self-doubt and self negation. This is a step that many approaches to counselling for anxiety unfortunately often neglect. Nonetheless, the deepest sources of self negation and self-doubt are rooted in the unconscious. They are also rooted in the unique experience that the individual has had with life.
Tree of the Self
One of the most frequent symbols of the Self in the /a-midlife-transition of Jung is the tree. It’s a fascinating and powerful symbol: the roots of the tree extend so firmly into the earth (matter), while the trunk and branches of the tree extend upward into the sky (spirit). A tree is wonderfully, totally “enough”: it is planted and grows according to the laws of its own being — as should we.
Too Much… and Too Little
Contrary to the emotional meaning of the symbol of the tree, many of us, in our early lives, experienced that, in some area or areas of our lives, we suffered from radical lack or insufficiency. We got the sense that we were too weak, too intense, too rowdy, too unusual or too something to meet the challenges that life was putting before us. The other part of the message was that, because we were too [fill in the blank] we would have to strive absolutely heroically just to measure up — at all. It’s this poisonous burden, counselling for anxiety knows, that stokes the fires of anxiety.
Life in Myself and Being Enough
Within us, there is a part of us that feels sufficient, and has never forgotten who and what we really are. In most lives, there have also been special people who were outward mirrors of this inward awareness. In serving as these precious mirrors, these people also often hold for us the power of the archetypes that reside deep in the human soul: the positive father or mother archetype; the wise old man or wise old woman archetypes; the psychopomp, or guide to the true self. Their names are unfamiliar, but we experience their reality.
The experience of /a-midlife-transition is a journey into that archetypal reality, and into connection with the reality that we are enough.