The need for quick fixes and solutions!
I think it’s pretty fair to say, we live in quite a fast paced world and even with the best of intentions, we can find ourselves getting caught up with the speed everyone else is going at. Most things are at hand almost immediately, especially with today’s technology, whether at work, looking after a family, booking holidays or generally getting from A to B... speed is essential!
At times, when I am walking along the pavement, I can catch myself walking extremely fast, along with everyone else. I have to stop and think "am I actually in a rush today?". Often not, so I consciously slow myself down, which in turn, slows my breathing down and stops my mind from racing.
Obviously, we cannot always avoid the rush of life and we have to get things done in a certain time frame, especially at work. There are some of us who excel when very busy and rushing around; being at our most productive when the pressure is on.
However, how does this impact on our ‘attitude’ to ourselves and to our connection with the world? What occurs when life events happen, such as the loss of a loved one through relationship breakdown or bereavement, redundancy or when diagnosed with an illness?
When we are facing these types of issues, it can be extremely difficult to switch off the fast pace we have set within ourselves. We come at the issues with the same need for speed and looking for quick solutions. Perhaps we seek out someone to come and solve our problem quickly so that we may go back to how things were, continuing on our way through life.
Of course, it is natural to want things to go back to ‘normal’, even if we might not be fully aware that are ‘normal’ may not necessarily be serving us well.
Coming into counselling is not a quick fix solution or a speedy way of bouncing back to normality. It requires both counsellor and client to slow things down and take the time to look at the issue, behaviours, thoughts and feelings. When we slow things down (such as me racing along the pavement with everyone else for no particular reason!), we can get a clearer idea of what is happening to us, physically and mentally.
Slowing things down does not mean that therapy needs to go on for months or years to be of any use! No matter the number of sessions a client has, it is the ability to step out of the need for fast paced, quick fixes and speedy solutions, that so many of us are programmed to look for.
Equally, slowing things down does not mean that counselling is all about meditation and mindfulness. It can be still, calm, quiet but also loud, angry, productive, unproductive at times, challenging, funny, sad and exhausting but never, ever rushed!
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About Jayne Phillips
Jayne is a fully qualified, BACP registered therapeutic counsellor, working in private practice.