It is hard to change but not impossible
2014 has arrived. Did you make the usual New Year resolutions? Have some been broken already? If so, don’t despair. It’s hard to make changes and sustain them. After the dark days of December the New Year seems to bring with it a hunger for newness. The light, growing second by second through January, invites us to make promises that this year will be different. This is when some will turn to a therapist to help them find the courage to change, and the will to stay committed.
Change is inevitable, for in each of us, without exception, there is a spark; the will and desire to grow, though it sometimes lies hidden from view. The moment we wrestle with the need, even unconsciously, this spark becomes a flame, and the journey, from that whisper of a mood to seeing and being the change we want, is begun. Even before a client begins their first session the process has been working away in the depths of their being, though they may be unaware of this.
A client may begin their therapy with a story, perhaps a restlessness, or sometimes with feelings of hopelessness. Their lives may have been a tangle of difficult experiences events and happenings, in which they have felt powerless, tossed around by the vicissitudes of life. It might even be the opposite; that life has been empty of experiences, rigid, inflexible and lacking in creativity. The therapist listens to the story, and helps the client make sense of it. They ponder together: ‘if you are not where you want to be now, where would you like to be?’ Sometimes the answer remains hidden for a long time even though they know they want change. At these times particularly the therapist sits in the gap, between where the client is now, and where they are going. Holding the hope for those who cannot do it yet for themselves, knowing where they can be, what they can be, and never letting go of that thought.
Each New Year seems to stimulate a wish for life to be different. Resolutions are made, plans put in place, clutter thrown out. The yearning for light, life, spring and space, gathers momentum. It is a good time to start again, begin anew. Psychotherapy is for people who dare to believe that life can be different.
‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can,
Begin it now.
Boldness has genius, magic and power in it,
Begin it now!’
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