Saturday, November 7, 2009

Empathy Rediscoverd and Group Therapy Frustration

I have been avoiding writing as I have not wanted to think about a number of things that have gone on the past week. Some of it is emotionally difficult; some of it requires me to be careful about respecting the privacy of certain people.

As I wrote in my previous entry, I have rediscovered a spiritual calm that has been missing from my life for some time. As this calm has returned another aspect I have missed for many years has returned as well. It is something difficult to explain properly without it seeming too bizarre. The best I can say is it is like an empathic ability, verging on psychic at times with people I am close to, that I realized and developed back in high school. A different way of saying it is what might be called the spiritual gift of the discerning of spirits (D&C 46:23). Perhaps it is simply feeling a connection of trust with people. Whatever it may be, it has been missing from my life since my mission. It is a profoundly wonderful feeling to have rediscovered this gift. It is also a bit disturbing.

The past few sessions with my therapy group have been more difficult than usual for me. Some of the people involved have left me feeling frustrated and uncomfortable in dealing with them. I have struggled to figure out exactly why it is I feel this way. This past session I got a glimpse of understanding as to why. As I let myself open up to the group empathicly I realized the people I'm having difficulty with are just at a very shallow, undeveloped level. I am fighting and struggling to move forward while feeling like I'm getting pulled back to some remedial level. It makes me think of a Simpsons episode when Bart is put in a remedial class, "We're behind and trying to catch up by going slower?" (to paraphrase). The therapist for the group suggested to Voc Rehab, since they are currently covering my group sessions, I could probably benefit from individual counseling as well. My Voc Rehab counselor seems like she can get me covered for that as well. I feel I could really use it as I am leaving the group sessions usually more frustrated, angry, and/or depressed than before.

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