Change: Feeling Stuck?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Chris O'Malley MSc., UKCP Reg.Gestalt Psychotherapist/Supervisor MBACP (Accred)
17th September, 2010
What do you want to change in your life? What is your experience of change in your history? What beliefs have you come to hold about change and how aware are you of these?
People usually come to therapy for 2 primary reasons from the point of view of change.
Firstly, when they are struck in some way, when change seems elusive, when something is stopping or preventing change or when direction of change seems frightening or unpredictable.
Secondly, people come when there has been too much change, when a crisis has occurred; a sudden event has overwhelmed a person’s certainties and stability with the result of trauma, shock or loss.
It is this first aspect of change that I concern myself with here.
Change is inevitable, living satisfyingly requires that we change, because life does not stand still. ‘Everything that comes together will, one day, come apart’ is a paraphrase of Buddhist teaching on impermanence, but reconciling ourselves with this is easier said than done. Just ponder this for a moment for yourself, and see if you can think of any exceptions to this rule of impermanence. This could be a way in to becoming more aware of your unconscious attitude to change in the world.
Greater awareness is one of the main goals of therapy, for without it we can identify with ‘change goals’ that are more like gaols (jails), making us prisoners of dissatisfaction, tyrannised by ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ that deprive us of peace and self-acceptance. We are naturally multiple and if you are not making the changes that you think you want, there may be value in finding the part of you that resists such a change. That does not mean you will not change, just that something else has to be recognised before a change process can fully begin.
Counselling can help explore what this change might really mean. Who is the change for, yourself or someone else? What might you not know about the change that you think you want? What are the hidden meanings of such a change, and what might the unforeseen consequences be of making a change you have been rehearsing in your mind?
Without enough support change can be overwhelming or impossible. With support you may be able to allow the changes that your whole being needs in order to become more fully yourself in a world that never stands still.
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