Why is the idea of ‘liminal space’ useful to think about when it comes to the nature and course of therapy?


What prompts us to first think about, and then move into counselling or therapy?

Everyone has their own ‘moment’  when things shift gear and change. It might be sudden, gradual or constantly deferred, but eventually, if it’s important enough, the threshold is stepped over…. but then what happens? Where do we go?

Often clients experience immediate relief that a safe space has been found to air and describe the tangle of painful issues that bring most people to therapy, but I know we must often get a little lost before the clearer path forward can be found.

 Essentially, we could say that the therapeutic conversation is, at its heart, about the nature and process of change.

Instinctively we all resist change, fear uncertainty and often try desperately to keep things both as they are AND somehow manage palatable change at the same time.

Much of sessional talking and thinking contemplates the nature of what appropriate and appreciative change means. We discuss openly how we can best manage ourselves and our lives while we explore and imagine the changes we want to make. It is in these very times that we experience ourselves within the ‘liminal space’.

 Liminal spaces are strange, exciting and disorientating spaces. These are the moments when we experience a shift in position, get that feeling that we now 'know' something differently, that we've had an aware experience of learning.  These are the ‘in-between’, liminal moments.  How we manage to ‘hang’ or ‘float’ in this space, how we attempt to sit and experience what might bubble through the cracks, demands trust, courage and tenacity.

It is in these lived moments, often experienced as somewhat disorientating, that we truly gain a sense of evolving and maturing; if we can accept increasing degrees of awareness within the liminal space, we have some powerful rewards ahead for ourselves.

The rewards we potentially gain from this learning are; less fear when we meet future uncertainty and the ability to process loss without panicking. We will have growing confidence in our ability to steady ourselves, emotionally regulate ourselves and deepen our understandings of the experience of our life. This, in turn, allows us to be more available to really appreciate the nature of contentment and love within our own lives and within our relationships.


This must be an adventure worth having!

North London

T: 07909 910 624

E: karen@karenaramtherapy.co.uk