Change in Therapy: Part I
by Lauren Fallat, MA LPC ATR-BC
Have you ever experienced the challenge of having insight into a problem in your life or understand what needs to change in order to lead a more fulfilling life, but find it difficult to enact the change? When we talk about ‘change’ in this context, we are embracing this idea that we have the potential and capability of transforming an aspect of our lives in some way. W
hen we experience being the initiators of change for ourselves, we may become someone who is open to thinking and perceiving differently, acting and reacting differently and/or managing our emotions differently. Change in how we do things, understand and feel about our circumstances may also be catalyzed by events and happenings seemingly outside of our control, and yet may often lead to change.
Why Come to Therapy
Often, individuals will decide to come to therapy once they have identified a problem in their life that they may find it difficult to change or struggle to understand how or if it can be changed. A ‘problem’ is thought to be relative, meaning that what might be a problem for you may not be a problem for someone else and vice versa. That is why it is important for individuals who come to therapy to identify aspects of their own lives that seem problematic.
So what sorts of problems might one consider addressing in a therapy session? Consider challenges that you might have with regulating your emotions, tolerating uncomfortable emotions, accepting aspects of your life that are seemingly out of your control, adjusting your eating habits, self-care, anger management, moving, changing jobs, ending a relationship, maintaining a healthy relationship, maintaining self-respect, and/or communicating effectively to get your needs met.
Change may be the focal point of therapy, in which it serves as the starting point for enacting a positive outcome. For example, recognizing that a certain pattern in relationships has persisted, and by adjusting that pattern, the issues in the relationship will in turn improve.
For others, the focal point of therapy may be to increase acceptance around a change that has already occurred. Perhaps a change that has made it difficult for us to accept a part of our lives that we were not ready to have altered- such as a loss of a relationship, career, opportunity or ability.
Things to Consider
Deciding whether or not you want to change an aspect of your life that is no longer serving you or getting in the way of you living the life that you want may require some contemplative assessment. You may ask yourself what will I gain or lose by staying the same and what will I gain or lose by making this change in my life?
Think about what has led you to considering that you need a change? Is there a risk of losing out on something or someone in your life? Is there an aspect of your identity or values that are being compromised to sustain your current way of thinking, acting or managing your emotions?
In our next blog post, we will explore ways of promoting change in our lives by exploring our decision making process, embracing new commitments and managing our own expectations.
Schedule an Appointment
You may find it helpful to discuss your thoughts and feelings on this topic further with a licensed therapist. If you are interested, we encourage you to explore our website to learn more and schedule an appointment today. Click on the Book Now button to schedule your first appointment.
To Learn more about us: About Us
Also please visit our Art Therapy website at: https://www.arttherapynj.com/