Psyche can be translated as soul, as well as mind … and is related to pneuma which, in addition to soul or spirit, can mean breath. Logos: discourse, or rhetoric, or … talking. So, we can also think of psychology as the discussion of what’s in one’s soul, the breathing of soul talk.
What does your soul have to say? What is the quality of your breathing?
Often, people come to psychotherapy because they experience a ‘troubled mind’. This is surely an indication of imbalance, a need to seek assistance. Others wish to know and understand themselves and their experiences more deeply, to have a greater awareness of what’s in their unconscious — what drives their behavior — often, in order to make changes. Still others are motivated by goals, in order to achieve their potential, or to realize ultimate well-being.
One’s breathing can also reflect as well as influence one’s subconscious, something well recognized in Eastern philosophies. Specific breathing exercises, and a general focus on the breath, can have powerful benefits — but more on this in a later post. It’s a very good metaphor for what happens in the process of psychotherapy, as we breathe out whatever is troubling us — what we don’t want — and breathe in what we do want in our lives, our selves. And as our mode of being changes, so does our breathing pattern.
Soul talk. And the therapist will breathe in synchrony with you, to gently guide you to where you want to be.