You call a therapist and ask them if you could book a session with them. They send you a bunch of forms. When you start filling them out, you recognize that a lot of it is talking about your childhood experiences — and a lot of it is related to those earlier people in your childhood namely parents and siblings. If you are introspective, you start seeing the objective: Who are the people we can blame in the PAST for what we are NOW???
Know thyself — nothing wrong with that. We should all know what shapes us, constructs us, etc. but there is a difference between: knowing something that has affected v.s. dwelling in something that has affected us. Sigmund Freud created Psychodynamic Theory. In this theory’s modern application form — as practiced by some therapists whose intention is to make a sustainable weekly income — it’s financially feasible to keep the client busy talking bad about their past — what was said to them, who hurt their feelings, how their self-confidence was destroyed, a myriad of reasons a person didn’t achieve their full potential, etc. Why I find fault with this type of thinking? Because I am a Muslim — I believe in Forgiveness. Asma-ul-Husna in Arabic refers to the 99 Beautiful Names of God by which humans address their Lord — these are names that reflect God’s various attributes. Al-Ghafur and Al-Ghaffar are two of God’s names that are derived from the trilateral root gh-f-r — the root’s basic meaning is to shield, to protect, to cover besides to forgive. Imam Ghazali describes Al-Ghaffar as ‘The Very Forgiving One” and Al-Ghaffur as “The Most Forgiving One” — one attribute deals with quantity vs. the other deals with quality. But indeed, I am the Perpetual Forgiver of whoever repents and believes and does righteousness and then continues in guidance. [Quran 20:82] And Moses chose from his people seventy men for Our appointment. And when the earthquake seized them, he said, “My Lord, if You had willed, You could have destroyed them before and me [as well]. Would You destroy us for what the foolish among us have done? This is not but Your trial by which You send astray whom You will and guide whom You will. You are our Protector, so forgive us and have mercy upon us; and You are the best of forgivers. [Quran 7:155] And said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. [Quran 71:10] You invite me to disbelieve in Allah and associate with Him that of which I have no knowledge, and I invite you to the Exalted in Might, the Perpetual Forgiver. [Quran 40:42] Above is a sampling of just a few verses related to the Forgiveness attribute of God. But if one were to look up God’s other names in the Quran such as Ar-Rahman (The Merciful), Ar-Raheem (The Most Compassionate), Al-Afuw (The Pardoner), and many others — we get the gist — Allah forgives sins of those that repent and believe and do righteous deeds and stay guided. As a Chaplain, I hear about estrangement stories all the times — adult children that have stopped talking to their parents, siblings that have stopped communicating with each other, etc. Yes, there is something in the past that was not done right or said right but until now, I haven’t anything of the magnitude which would entail breaking up a relationship. Shaitaan is busy breaking families — and why not. Shaitan’s favorite game is to break the Silat ur-Rahm— Ties of the Womb or blood relations— since it’s a HUGE SIN in Islam to break ties with someone that you are closely related to, by blood. O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer. [Quran 4:1] Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The word ‘Ar-Rahm (womb) derives its name from Ar-Rahman (i.e., one of the names of Allah) and Allah said: ‘I will keep good relation with the one who will keep good relation with you, (womb i.e. Kith and Kin) and sever the relation with him who will sever the relation with you, (womb, i.e. Kith and Kin). Sahih al-Bukhari 5988 Book 78, Hadith 19 Doing Good to your Parents — or Bil Walidaini Ihsaana — is another golden principle mentioned in the Quran again and again. Quran doesn’t lay the conditions for doing Ihsaan to parents — it has to be done to parents regardless. And your Lord has decreed that you worship not except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,”1and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. [Quran 17:23] Coming back to the Psychodynamic Theory where focus is the Past Shaping Usas opposed to something like Cognition Behavioral Therapy — where the focus is Us Shaping Us — I would probably choose the latter since I don’t have to write a thesis on “Why My [insert family member’s name] is the Monster?”. I wonder about how a person can maintain a straight face in front of the family member, that they regularly bash — together with their shrink. Itall depends upon you — are you the Forgiving One? The one who sees good in people and forgive easily (just like our God does) or someone that likes to hold grudges and live in the past. I would say — if you are the latter then shirk the Psychodynamic Session — you will probably not gain much from it except the continued grudges.