Moving On

by Barry Brody, PhD, LMFT
October 24th, 2010

He comes into therapy sad and depressed.

He can’t get over (move on) a cataclysmic event from his past. It haunts him and haunts him and haunts him. Forever it seems.

I watch a Dr. Phil show on alienated parents. The parents have been battling for years in the Court over their two children.

Dr. Phil advises that they must stop fighting for the sake of the children and that he will get them help to move on.

This is obvious.

I doubt they will.

I am more interested in why they cannot move on.

One way to conceptualize therapy is that people come into therapy because they are stuck. They can’t move on.

They may be stuck on a marriage, a death, an obsessive thought, a repetitive behavior, a feeling that they can’t seem to get rid of.

She is stuck and unhappy. She talks about how depressed and unappreciated she feels in her relationship.

She knows all this.

What she doesn’t know is why she holds on and won’t move on.

She says to me “I don’t know what to do”.

I am tempted to tell her, but I won’t.

I am more interested in the question then the answer.

Sometimes, questioning and searching for an answer, is just a way to avoid moving on.

The eternal search for the “why”, which can become a way to retreat from the bridge to the other side.

A mentor of mine committed suicide.

His autopsy report was posted on the Internet by some persons and mental health professionals who disliked what he wrote, thought and said.

I doubt if any of them had ever met him.

I remember writing something like that even though my mentor had died, some of the living couldn’t move on from attacking him.

To be continued….

Barry Brody, PhD, LMFT is practicing psychotherapist in Florida offering telehealth.