The patterns of thoughts, behaviors, and relationships that make up our lives can often be like circles that take us around and around. They may have developed long ago in our past or relatively recently. They are usually a response to an event, interactions, or other relationships. At the time they developed, they were a way to get through something, to cope and find the strength, or to make sense of the world at that time. In other words, they were solutions—maybe not great ones, but maybe the best that we could find. They worked, somehow, at the time. When a solution works, we will continue to use it, even though, over time, it becomes dysfunctional or unhealthy or unhelpful consequences develop. In time, these solutions become problems in themselves. It is a little like an arm that broke and didn’t heal properly—it is still useable, but there is a weakness.
To break out of those circles, sometimes you need a skilled, non-judgmental, and uninvolved listening ear, and a place that is outside of your daily life.
In counselling, we will take a number of different approaches, based on my experience, what you need and want, and factors such as how you learn and your skills and styles. We will identify what your patterns are, where they come from, and work on different strategies to help you learn new responses and options for living. Some of that work will be “here and now,” practical exercises and ideas you can use. Some of it will be through revisiting the past to see where you are stuck, and helping you to let go.
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