The Role of the “Unexplainable” in Healing
Many psychotherapists like to think the work we do is based primarily on hard science. But we also know that strange coincidences — some might say little miracles — happen every day in our offices. These events defy rational explanation, yet somehow help our clients tremendously.
Several clients have brought me stories of healing moments that came to them in dreams, or even through visits from deceased loved ones. A woman I have been counseling lost her husband and only son in a house fire four years ago. Not long ago, she was so depressed that she took an overdose of sleeping pills, drank vast quantities of alcohol and went to sleep, hoping never to awaken again.
That night, she dreamed that her husband came to her and told her that if she committed suicide, they could never share an afterlife. Somehow, she woke herself up, forced herself to vomit repeatedly and made it through the night, “mad as hell” that she had to go on living, but very much aware that this was now her mission in life – just to survive, one day at a time.
Another client recently shared a remarkable story about how his partner came to him in a dream to announce his own death! The partner had been sick with flu and was sleeping in their guest bedroom. One morning, my client dreamed that his partner came to him and said, “Don’t be sad — I died the way I wanted to.” The client woke up, went to his partner’s side and found him deceased. Later he realized that his dream had actually been a visitation by his partner’s spirit wanting to comfort him, and this idea sustained him greatly as he dealt with his loss.
This client further reported how his deceased partner continued to visit and support him in other ways. Every year, the couple had held a large Derby Party and guests had always loved his partner’s spinach dip. Despite his grief, my client resolved to host their annual Derby Party but couldn’t find the popular spinach dip recipe anywhere. After turning the house upside down, he finally went to bed, assuming he would just have to improvise something. The next morning, he found the recipe lying on the kitchen floor. The client felt sure his deceased partner had sent the recipe to him to help with the party.
Many people are unaware that the early days of Psychology were closely tied to Parapsychology, the study of supernatural phenomenon. Throughout its history, our field has struggled to understand things like intuition, extrasensory perception and telepathic communication.
I don’t think many of us know yet how to deal with these events in our therapy sessions. Still, I’m very happy that they happen and I’m even happier that they seem to help our clients as profoundly as they do.
For anyone dealing with “the unexplainable” in your life, here’s wishing you peace of mind.
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