Bertha Pappenheim had the ability to take advantage of the opportunities life offered her. Sensing Joseph Breuer could help her, she embraced the psychotherapy process.
Like Bertha, psychotherapy patients are often surprised to discover how much a psychotherapy offers, and respond to this possibility.
Not everybody has this capacity. Some people suffer an inner emptiness that keeps them out of touch with the world. They miss the opportunities that come their way.
Others realise that the therapy is valuable, but are unable to fully engage the work. These patients treat the therapist like an advanced self help book. They learn something about themselves then go off to put it into practice. Ultimately, they rely on their cognition, rather than the therapeutic relationship.
This is not necessary a bad thing. To fully give over to the relationship, and open up to their feeling selves, may be too disruptive. It could put at risk the life they have fought so hard to create.
At the same time, life has a habit of creating circumstances that catapult patients into areas they would have preferred to avoid.
Here are the Hollies, and the story of a young man and woman who made the most of an unexpected opportunity.