ASK ABDI: CAN THERAPY BE USED TO DISCONNECT?

QUESTION: In some of your podcast episodes, you’ve talked about using therapy as another way of disconnecting, rather than as a way to help build a true relationship with our “source”.

I have been in therapy for a few months, and I was hoping you could elaborate more on this pitfall. Speaking personally, therapy combined with meditation has seemingly brought up more anxiety than it has cured; it’s been difficult work at times, but I think it’s because I’m unearthing important issues that I have to deal with and bringing them to the surface. I consider this a good thing and I think you would too.

As I progress, however, how can I avoid misusing the time I spend in therapy? What are some warning signs that you’re using therapy just to tell stories rather than as a tool to experience your own truth? Is it as simple as stopping to ask yourself that question on a regular basis? I ask because in one of your talks, I think you mentioned that you spent decades using therapy to tell stories rather than address your issues. I’d like to avoid doing the same thing.

ANSWER: Wonderful that you are in therapy as well as establishing a meditation practice. To be clear, I am a big proponent of therapy. My point is not that therapy is a way of disconnecting, but rather that we are masters at using anything to hide. Even a tool that is meant to help us connect. The fact that you are feeling your anxiety is positive, even though uncomfortable. Feeling such unpleasantness is the only way through it. So good for you for having the courage and gumption to carry on. It is an excellent thing.

Therapy changed my life, but certain issues took decades to sort out. As you say, it is about a constant checking-in. There are no hard rules. Work on being as naked as possible in your sessions. Set and reset your intent about connection to Source. And put all that you learn and unlearn in your therapy and meditation to use in your life on a daily level. And don’t forget to make room for your humanity alongside your newfound realizations.