I have found that often there is a deep desire for things to change but the starting point is seen as from the present onwards. Obviously therapists categorise this as an emotional defence, however I also see it as lack of awareness of the myriad forms of developmental maturity required - emotionally, psychologically, physically, socially and spiritually. Although not everyone recognises or actively engages with the spiritual self, as a therapist I feel it’s important to acknowledge and work with it if it’s important to the client.
There can be an expectation that our chronological age corresponds simultaneously to equal maturation in all the different areas. This in itself I feel causes a hell of a lot of anger and frustration at oneself because there’s the expectation of handling a situation better in line with one’s age. But like many skills or ways of being that is now second nature, it has become second nature through nurturing or through repeated experiences and behaviour. This is where therapy comes in by helping a client explore the past, implicit and explicit psychological education as well as the active experience of being and doing, with another person.
The past can’t be changed but its influence can once its tangled connections in how we are in the present can be acknowledged, experienced and worked through – non-actively and/or actively.