The Pensieve

In the fourth Harry Potter book, Dumbledore introduces us to the pensieve, a mystical bowl into which he can deposit the contents of his mind, and look at all his thoughts, ideas, and memories from a more objective perspective before putting it all back into his head.

It’s a beautiful idea, isn’t it? That there might exist a way in which we could silence the monkey-mind… that we could separate ourselves, just for a moment, from the things we are experiencing.

To me, the therapy room is like a pensieve. Clients come in, and bring with them all the experiences, thoughts, memories, problems, and confusions they carry with them throughout the day (it’s exhausting, right? carrying all that stuff?), and they pour it all out in front of the therapist. Then, together, the client and therapist can observe, analyze, brainstorm, decipher, explore, celebrate, mourn, and understand all those confusing and overwhelming ideas.

By having a therapist as your teammate, you’ve got another set of eyes on your pensieve – an objective person who is only on your side. They are trained to look into pensieves; they can see patterns, walk you through murky areas, identify snags and snarls, and help you find ways to smooth things out and make life a little better for yourself. They’re trained to help you know yourself better, not by telling you how to feel, but by helping you explore your pensieve more efficiently and effectively.

I love therapy. As a client, as a therapist, as an educator – I believe therapy can work wonders in anyone’s life. Finding a good therapist is key, because the pensieve only works well when everyone is comfortable. But when you find the right person, the amount of insight, self-growth, and personal productivity you can experience is truly revolutionary.

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