tel: 042 9331803
mob: 086 0381073

Considering change.

Psychotherapy — admin @ 11:36 am

Here at Counselling Connections this week we’ve been talking about change. There is nothing unusual about that I suppose when you consider that change is the line of work that we are in. We were talking about the change that happens on a societal level over numbers of years. When you think of the rules that our parents, or their parents had to live with and compare them to our generation or to our kids you can see a world of difference. The question we paused to consider is ‘where does this change begin?’ It is interesting to consider how ideas which we consider normal now would have been quire foreign to our grandparents. This goes for a number of issues at a societal level covering race, gender, sexual orientation or family status. We wondered how this change comes about and also how this applies to a person changing over the course of their life.

Sometimes when a person is in therapy and looking at their life as it is at the time an idea will present itself. This idea could relate to their relationship; to their job or maybe it could be something to do with college. It could even be about going to college as a mature student and beginning to train in something completely new. Often these things are expressed and immediately discarded as being impossible to achieve. It is not unusual to sit with a person who is in an unhappy relationship but who finds the idea of separation too difficult to contemplate. In our experience a person’s heart makes the decision for them at an early stage but it can take some time for this change of heart to be reflected in the world. This is an important clue as to how we bring about change.

Another example could be a person who has become unhappy in their job but for whom the prospect of change is too scary for the moment. Often we find that the fear of change here can relate to the apparent security of their current income and a consequent appearance of a lack of security if they were to go with their imagination, take a risk and follow a career path that would be more satisfying but maybe not have the guarantee of a monthly salary. The first time a change is considered it is often quickly dismissed as being impossible. But slowly; and there is plenty of time in therapy for ideas to grow, various ideas of what the future might be can be played with. With time, as with many other things; an idea that once seemed preposterous or an impossible dream can slowly become more concrete. Then with a little determination and an amount of hard work changes can be brought about.

So, the key thing seems to be that in the first instant you just need the idea; the use of a little imagination. It seems then that a number of objections will almost automatically raise themselves. In therapy these objections can be considered one by one. Often this involves revealing their origins which may be in a relationship either with a parent, or a teacher or even just because of the prevailing norms we grew up with. The interesting thing here is that it is actually our own self, not another who dismisses the possibilities open to us. Over the years we have internalised what was originally an external opposition and made it our own. Change begins then when we can sit with an idea and watch our internal objections to it and having got to know our own self a little better, to politely disregard these objections. We are freer then to choose; we are freer to consider new things; things which we may have previously regarded as being impossible for us to achieve.

Counselling Connections, Dundalk.

Copyright © 2011 Counselling Connection, designed by Aura Internet Services