What is the desire?

The title of the article itself contains a possible contradiction. How can we define – and indeed identify – the path of psychotherapy? Impossible, someone would say. At the very most we would manage to give a definition of psychotherapy itself, that is to describe it as a process. We can still define its goals and objectives. Indeed, there are writers who have done very well in this respect. But isn’t the path of psychotherapy unique for everyone?

Just because it is unique, the only answer that sounds right is to see psychotherapy through the light of desire. For, in the end, our desire is unique, it is what distinguishes us from others. It is the trademark of our existence.

However, you might ask yourself how can we define the desire? And why do we consider it unique? That is, the statement “I want a chocolate or money or travel, etc.” how unique can it be? Will not 5 million other people come to agree with one of the above? Our other 5 friends at least?

So we would say that desire is not the preference, not a matter of choice. Desire also does not identify with the need e.g. “I want to eat or sleep”. However as soon as the need is just satisfied, the saturation comes. It is still neither impulse nor instinct because our desires can take the form of words. All those who deal with psychotherapy, know that our desires can be articulated as a discourse and if they live in the world of the unconscious, they can become conscious.

The characteristics of desire:

Indeed, in the end, it is not easy to define the concept of desire with precision. However, we can safely say that:

  • The desires always concern our connection or bond with someone else.
  • They can change in every period and stage of life, and one of the most important achievements of self-awareness is our ability to listen to our desires.
  • Although they are based in the world of the unconscious and their “raw materials” come from the materials of this world, our wishes can come into words mainly in the context of a psychotherapy.

When we manage to put them in words, we will see how they can relate to the whole spectrum and areas of our lives. Below we will give some examples that recognizing our desires through psychotherapy can lead to a happier and more complete life.

Professional Sector :

In the professional field, remember how many people you have met who have not followed the path they wanted. Think of people confused or undecided about where and how they would like to move professionally. You can still think about your own experiences about not feeling satisfaction in the workplace. In very serious situations, we would say that you have the feeling that the road you have chosen does not suit you at all. You may feel that you do not enjoy what you deserve and that your skills are not appreciated.

The fact that you are not tuned to your real desire in the workplace can negatively affect almost all aspects of your life. It affects your mood, your relationships – professional and personal, even your health. In this way, an accumulation of anxiety, dissatisfaction, disappointment and fatigue can be created. It is a vicious circle that will consequently affect your relationships and can even lead you to a feeling of burnout.

On the other hand, when we are well at work, it signals that we are on the way that we want. We do the work that we want or at least we find in our work pieces of our desires. You will notice that work satisfaction is not limited to the very subject of our work, but it is very much about our relationships and collaborations. So it is very likely that we will find partners who are moving in similar mentality with us, we will identify and invest in each other. On the other hand, those who are not where they want, you will notice that they are not particularly pleased with their work and their collaborations. That is why they are ultimately out of this harmonious flow of relationships and partnerships.

Interpersonal relationships:

Another important area is the space of our interpersonal relationships. In the context of our closest relationships, our first desires were already born from our infant age. So the origins of the desires are placed there, when we learned to connect with the persons who cared for us. Then we also began to feel loving and full of their presence, as well as pain in their absence. Then we learned to keep their memory and taste the euphoria of their return, since the ones we loved did not delay too much to come and find us. In short, we learned to love them, to miss them and thus to wish them.

Talking about interpersonal relationships refers to relationships characterized by a sense of intimacy, e.g. comrades, friends, close relatives and associates. Here we can say that many of us in the course of our adult life, we will deeply desire the familiar. And everything goes well as we talk only about desire. What happens when the familiar is a dysfunctional and harmful to the mental life or even to our body? Is it better to go where our desire is not intense? Besides, something similar would suggest some counselors for success in interpersonal relationships.

Distinguishing desire from choice:

We need to distinguish things here. The desire itself has nothing negative and under no circumstances is responsible for what does not go well in our lives. On the contrary, what can pose a problem for us is the non-recognition of our wishes. That is why we are going then, to paths that we do not realize and we think they are coming to us as a fate. After all, desire and choice do not coincide, and it is good to separate them from each other. It is different to recognize my desire for a person, from making a choice of a partner.

Put it another way: a person who moves in the direction of his mental health needs to be able to listen and recognize his desires. It is something like a prerequisite for managing to remain mentally healthy. How to proceed then, that is, what to do, is a matter of choice, which can be determined by various personal criteria. These criteria may have to do with moral or self-protection issues, etc.

In conclusion:

Through the experience of psychotherapy, we often find the following. As soon as we realize and recognize our desires, our inner world and our environment begin to coordinate to our advantage, that is to say in the direction of our mental health. A person who learns to work with his feelings and recognizes his desires is more likely to be able to harmonize his desires and choices. So, in one sense the dilemmas are removed. Of course nothing happens magically. Also nothing happens quickly and without facing the difficulty and mental pain. But it is a process that even in the hardest we will feel framed. This means that the relationship with the therapist works – in many levels – as a catalyst and leads us to another psychological place.

In this place we can now be in touch with our desires and even enjoy them when we choose them. At this place, we are as close as possible to ourselves than to social norms, stereotypes, social media or our close surroundings, etc. The above is communicated as a feeling to those around us. Then our living space is coordinated to respond to what we emit. Others can react to us positively or negatively. That does not really have such significance, it is important that we communicate with others on the basis of what we really are. Then we feel that everything is becoming clearer and simpler.

Eventually in this space, we became ourselves. Or in other words, we became our desire, which we managed to “make ours”. So we can move freely towards a more complete life.