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Love is Free Therapy When You Think About it

There is a growing notion that we all need therapy. I tend to agree, but not in the conventional way. The conventional way of therapy with a trained professional who’s studied psychology for numerous years is inaccessible to all people. It’s quite expensive. Even going through something like Betterhelp is $80 a week. I need that for groceries. When people say that people need, therapy, what they are saying is that they need love.

Again, when I speak of love, it’s not that of romantic or sexual love. It is the love for everyone. What the Greeks would call agape. This type of love comes with deep respect and complete dignity for the other person. The purpose of this type of love is to show another person who they are in complete perfection. I see you as perfect and my goal is to make sure you see that as well. Is that not the goal of therapy because it is the goal of love?

The relationship between therapist and client is one of acceptance. In every session, the therapist creates an unconditional positive outlook on their client regardless of the stories the client has to tell. They validate all emotions, all opinions, and all perspectives. The therapist isn’t obligated to agree with these perspectives but does not invalidate any of them. The therapist plays the role of observer and supports the client as the person freely gives themselves in a truly vulnerable way.

The wonderful part of the relationship is that the therapist is open and allowed to challenge the beliefs of the client. The therapist can do this because there’s a trust that the therapist only has the well-being of the other at the top of their mind when questioning the stories we tell ourselves. That also means that the client can disagree with the assessments of the therapist. The therapist doesn’t take it personally, but accepts the point of view of their client, knowing that a person’s opinions are free to evolve on their own. What happens is an honest conversation in which neither person has the expectation or the obligation to change because of the conversation.

Relationships typically come with some form of power dynamics, but the therapist/client relationship tries to prevent this from happening. If the therapist perpetrates power over the client, the client will not be free to be vulnerable with the therapist. It’s then important for the therapist to establish both partners within the relationship as equals. One way of doing this is also sharing parts of the therapist’s life in mutual vulnerability. The telling of stories allows each to create a wider perspective to learn from each other.

What if we were in a relationship where we take turns being both the therapist and the client? Is this not love?