Therapy Ain’t Nothin’ But A Super Mario Bros. Game

When I was a kid, I loved playing Super Mario Bros. on my Nintendo. I faced each level head on, and tried again and again until I beat it. There was always another chance to improve because, when I ran out of lives, I was forced back to the beginning of the game.  Each time I revisited a level on my way to the latest one I was struggling to beat, I was more thorough. I found new shortcuts, secret coins, and underground tunnels that I missed the first few times. I earned more extra lives, killed more bad guys and picked up speed. Over time I mastered the levels I beat and continued to face the new challenges of the seemingly infinite new levels. With success came more work: a harder level, more fireballs to avoid, and a tougher bad guy to beat.

It didn’t matter how frustrated, upset or angry I got, something always compelled me to keep trying. There was a competitive urge that would keep me in my chair for hours playing the game. I was determined to beat it, and I believed that I could if I kept trying.

Therapy is just like the Super Mario Bros. game in that with success comes more work. When people work on their intimacy issues and move forward, they’re faced with theImage

challenges that come with a close, intimate relationship. As they strengthen their relational skills, and begin to enjoy the new intimacy, they’re faced with the struggles that accompany the relationship as it moves to the next level. As long as they don’t give up, they continue to move forward toward the ensuing challenges.

Therapeutic progress is a process. With therapy, the process is fluid and graceful. People slowly glide forward, and eventually reach new ways of existing. Without therapy, the journey is jagged, with people leaping from one place to the next, unsure of where they will land or how they arrived.

This does not mean that therapy in itself is not painful and difficult. It is often emotionally draining and it requires long term commitment. It is when people look back and contrast where they were and where they’ve come that they understand the process of change. It is the journey that matters most in this world because that is life itself. One’s passage through life is where it all happens. Once the princess is rescued, the journey ends.

I honestly don’t know if I ever beat the Super Mario Bros. game. I don’t recall whether or not I rescued the princess. I only remember how much I loved playing the game.

The information contained on Caitlin’s Couch, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and any other material thereon, is for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended to (and does not), provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to the reader or to any other individual.  The sole purpose of Caitlin’s Couch is to promote discussion, dialogue and awareness of various topics relating to lifestyle and mental health. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment, and before undertaking a new health care regimen.  Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on Caitlin’s Couch.

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