"Authenticity consists in having a true and lucid consciousness of the situation,
In assuming the responsibilities and risks that it involves,
In accepting it in pride or humiliation, sometimes in horror and hate,
There is no doubt that authenticity demands much courage,
And more than courage,
Thus it is not surprising that one finds it so rarely."
- Jean Paul Sartre
We usually go through life believing that our conscious experience of ourselves is the beginning and end of who we are; in truth important parts of our emotional lives may remain hidden from us in our unconscious.
Our unconscious carries all the thoughts and feelings we either find too painful to bear, or which conflict with our morality and values and undermine the image we have of ourselves. In other words we don’t want to know about the contents of our unconscious. If we did want to know, these thoughts and feelings wouldn’t be unconscious in the first place!
Sometimes, these long concealed thoughts and feelings which have often been neglected since childhood can cause us to feel detached from our sense of self, our actions and other people in our lives. The anxiety and distress we experience in life can lead to unbearable feelings which are so intense that sometimes we cannot stand to let them in.
I believe that my role as a counsellor and psychotherapist is to provide a safe, confidential and nurturing environment where clients can explore these hidden parts and access feelings and emotions and discover a more authentic self within.
It is also to help clients look at how to cope with and express what resides in the unconscious that may be preventing the ability to lead a full and satisfying emotional life.
The relationship you have with yourself is the principal and most important relationship you will ever have and determines the health of all your interactions with others and the world around you.
In order to know and accept yourself you must get to know and accept your individual instincts, motivations, personality traits and habits in addition to your values, beliefs and personal goals.
Contemplating these deeper questions and seeking out meaning within both your conscious and unconscious can help you to develop an internal compass which will guide you on your journey to a more meaningful life, lived in accordance with your true authentic self.