You don’t ask a professional artist to repaint your home. You may have student painters do that. You hire the professional artist when you want a portrait done of yourself. Some counselling is like surface renovation when we need foundational work.
In approaching counselling you may discover that many counsellors cooperate with you in making achievable short term improvements. In this way you make incremental improvements in your life. This is like painting the house.
On the other hand, you may find yourself working with a psychotherapist who is an expert in the rebuilding of your life from the ground up. They help you discover the hidden foundations of your life - core beliefs grounded in early life experience.
Normally this kind of emotional learning is highly resistant to self-change and behavioural approaches. The target beliefs are often hidden from consciousness. It is true, we find, that the heart has reasons we know not of.
Hopefully you found a psychotherapist who helps raise to awareness the foundations of your life. This is an important step to rebuilding those foundations. Once in awareness the process of life transformation begins.
Although these foundations resist change your psychotherapist may use methodologies that are effective in shifting our foundations. New research helps identify the modes of therapy that works for life transformation. These are outlined in a book called, "Unlocking the Emotional Brain" by Ecker, Ticic and Hulley (2012).
I make use of several modes that generate significant and lasting change: Coherence Therapy, The Journey and Listening Prayer Therapy. Each of these are now enhanced based on memory reconsolidation research findings.
Foundations can shape your life and keep you in a mold or you can break out of the mold and recast your life. You can rewrite the scripts that have guided your life. You can step out of the role that you were cast in by your family and choose a new role for your part in the play.
This kind of process is liberating. When symptoms fall away you find that these changes are permanent. You are freed to live with greater freedom, creativity and joy. You may discover your inner genius that taps into the infinite resources of divine wisdom.
Counselling focused on achieving short-term behavioural goals is good for the moment. Long-term it can be frustrating if the changes do not last. In my experience a lot of self-change is not easy to maintain. But key understandings of self have lead to decisions that have changed my life.
So establish your personal goal when looking for a counsellor. Are you looking for a coach for short-term goal achievement? Or do you need something deeper and more permanent? In that case look for a therapist skilled in the use of in depth psychotherapy to achieve lasting change.
If you would like to consult about a particular therapist you are considering you may email or phone either of our therapists at the Life Transformation Group.
by G. Hartwell