Sunday, 1 April 2012

Possibly Maybe

Are you a commitment freak or a commitment phobic?  Do you like to plan, and know ahead of time?  Do you organise, coordinate, and schedule?  Do you know what you'll be doing after the Summer, where you're spending Christmas, and with whom you'll be celebrating New Year 2013?  Or, are things at best pencilled in, as you see what happens?  Can you accept an invitation?  Can you say yes and mean it, or is everything up in the air, waiting to land?  Do you have standing orders and direct debits?  Memberships?  Mortgage?  Married? 

We all have different relationships with the concept of commitment.  For some of us the word alone sends a shiver down the spine, uncomfortable and to be avoided at all costs.  Others amongst us give commitment willingly and easily, and expect it from others.  There is a balance to be struck, at the point that it feels comfortable.  Commitment is currency.  It carries meaning, and says something about us, and something about our relationships.  Coming from different places we may have developed associations that make committing to anything challenging.  Or, we may aspire to have everything pinned down, and certain.  Commitment is something we learn about from a young age.  It may have been modelled to us by caregivers who made promises, and kept them.  Or perhaps the opposite was true: promises were broken, hopes were shattered and dreams apt to become illusions.  As adults we have choices as to the commitments we make.  Becoming conscious of our intentions is a useful step in checking out whether the commitments we assume are right for us, and appropriate in the circumstances. 

As a relationship, therapy entails a two way commitment, between therapist and client.  Research has pointed to the fact that therapeutic outcome is determined largely by the quality of the relationship formed between therapised and therapist.  Indeed, it has been shown time and time again that it is this, above all else, that stands as the best predictor of a 'successful' therapeutic encounter, regardless of modality, orientation or approach.  It makes sense: therapy is a coming together of fellow beings, one who invites another to join him, who in turn commits to walk alongside. 

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.  Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. 
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it.
Boldness has genius, magic and power in it.  Begin it now."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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