Confessions of a Counselor Part 1

Confessions of a Counselor Part 1

Have you ever wondered what some of the hidden benefits or struggles are with therapy? Have you ever wondered how you came into therapy wanting to reduce anxiety, and a few months later you are grieving losses from your childhood, and seeing the world differently? You see, here at Phenix, we have a strong belief in transformational work, which is why you see the word ‘transformation’ on our website and all our social media accounts. We firmly believe in the process of long-term sustainable growth and change. Not saying there is anything wrong with solution focused approaches, but generally it is not our cup of tea. Within the deconstruction and reconstruction phases of therapy, there are goals put in place by the client. In our field we call this the treatment plan. The treatment plan becomes the flight path for the focus of therapy, but other benefits and challenges come along the way.

 

So, onto Confession #1

 

There comes a point in therapy where there is a point of no return. Not that you are forced to continue the process or that you must complete some mandatory journey, rather that your eyes and mind are now more aware than ever. You cannot unsee what you’ve already seen. You cannot unknow what you now know. The joy, pain, and sadness in the world will hit you in new ways and in ways you never thought about. Just because you stop therapy does not mean the new insights stop. 

 

Since we are heading into the holiday season, let’s use the holidays as the scenery for this first confession. Maybe in years past you have joined your family for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas Eve adventures, but you never were able to recognize the maladaptive behaviors and functioning of your family of origin like you do now. Maybe you begin to see and sense the sadness in your brother or mom’s eyes, even though they mask it with a smile on their face. These are the things you can no longer unsee and unfeel. Sorry. What you become aware of now causes the brain to create new neural pathways and it becomes a daily part of the ‘scanning’ your mind does. 

 

It is like the old cliche’ car salespeople use when you are on the lot looking to buy a car from them. They usually say something like this, “You’re gonna be seeing a lot of these on the road.” Yea, that’s because they know your mind is now wired to be looking for the same new car/SUV as you wander down the highway. The car/SUV was always there roaming the roads with you, but they never stuck out to you because your mind never had a reason to cause it to come to your consciousness. Now it does. Has this ever happened to you? Where you went to the Ford dealership to check out a Mustang and now you see every new Ford Mustang on the ride to work. You cannot unsee the Mustangs….they’re everywhere ha. 

Again, my apologies… sorta. Awareness is a part of the journey. Gaining awareness and insight into your functioning is amazing. It gives you the power and control back in your life to begin choosing new ways of responding, behaving, etc. The more you become aware of, the more you can change. The more you realize you can change, the more hope you have of a brighter future, and after the last couple years, I think some extra hope is a good thing. Join me next week for confession #2.

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