When Hurt Self Is Masked

As a therapist, I see people at their absolute worst. I do what it takes to enter their pain and hold space for them. I've become privy to their most secret, hidden selves. I've been delegated to pick up the confidential pieces of their disappointment, trauma, or relationship wounds.

A consistent portrait in therapy is the presence of the "hidden self" on client situations and behaviors. These include the following signs that often mask the real, wounded self:

*  Client who refuses responsibility ("you fix me")
*  Client who fears intimacy (avoidant or seductive behavior)
*  Client who ignores boundaries (chronic lateness, missed appointments, nonpayments)
*  Client with hidden agendas
*  Client who is argumentative (hostility, skepticism)
*  Client who is impatient ("fix me quick")
*  Client who is literal and concrete (unable to access or express internal states)
*  Client who feels hopeless (actively suicidal)
*  Client with poor impulse control (offenders, abusers)
*  Client who demonstrates severe anger or hostility
*  Client who prematurely terminates therapy
*  Client who manipulates
*  Client who is sociopathic or criminal in ways
*  Client who is sexually seducing

Therapy is a doorway of healing for the hurt, hidden self. All these masking behaviors above can be stopped when the real self is finally liberated from underneath in the process of recovery.