Sometimes clients feel unmotivated about coming to a session, and show up because it’s too late to cancel, or because they drag themselves there, unwilling to drop out of the commitment, hoping something useful will materialise.
Often the “not wanting to come” happens because they are relating to an idea of what therapy should look like.
They feel they ought to “work”. We need to be doing something “serious”.
Maybe they actually feel quite well at present and don’t want to come because they expect to be looking for problems, going into difficult feelings.
This is not what therapy needs to be.
But looking at who in you thinks that is certainly worth it.
Sometimes we might turn the part that expects “work” to take place into a character and find out it’s mom, or dad. The view opens up, and in recognising them we can either let it go, and move on or it becomes important to face this more deeply, excavate those parts, and challenge them. Memories may come, old wounds appear, asking to be recognised.
Sometimes we represent that part that expects “work” to take place as a character and get interested in the energy there. Expressing the beliefs in detail, adopting a congruent voice suddenly gives access to pockets of energy previously undiscovered. We discover it’s fun being like this- so free, so decisive, so powerful. Then we find out how this energy could be used consciously.
Other times we just tell the ideas about needing to work to fuck off, and lie down, and stare into space, or close our eyes. And wait for dreams, or stay with this something called nothing, and just stay present. We honour the non doing. And value it as an important resource. We express our reverence through the attention we bring it, and notice how good it feels, as the atmosphere changes, and slows, lengthens, softens.
We also recognise that this part that expects “productive output” is not just yours alone. It is also capitalism. It is that collective force that pushes us to bigger, better, faster, more. Expecting output, results, improvement. This capitalistic merciless unemotional force can be deeply oppressive, especially when it is operating inside of us, invisible.
And sometimes behind the ‘not being motivated’ is a big fear, because something pushes you that is connected to who you are trying to become, something urgent, and big, that needs to be lived. The fear needs to be faced, and then the energy behind the push needs to come out to express itself. As that happens the lack of motivation shifts into being on fire, nervous but excited, knowing you have no choice but to meet this.
This is true in therapy, and of course it’s true in life. Those days when things are too much. Sometimes we really need a break. Sometimes we need to look inside and notice how we are treating ourselves, and address that. Sometimes that drop in energy is asking us to connect inward, or downward, with something that is beyond the everyday. Other times the lack of motivation is feedback, letting us know we are walking in the wrong direction. Whichever it is, bringing awareness and interest to what is going on is transformative, rather than just deciding that there is something wrong and needs to be overcome.