Blog 111. Therapy Part A: Find Out Why Therapy Can Be A Major Time-Saver.
Sadly, many think that the only reason people need therapy is because there is something wrong with them. In all the years of seeing clients, I’ve never found this to be true.
What is true – is that most people don’t always understand the value and importance of investing in themselves. Or why they behave in certain ways, what lies behind this behaviour, or indeed, why they really make certain personal or career choices.
Napoleon Hill repeatedly said, wrote and taught that, “Self-analysis is one of the most important activities you should do every day. Never a day should pass without you examining your thoughts and deeds. Taking this initiative can be hard because it may involve self-criticism. But better this, than someone else doing it for you – as this can be somewhat embarrassing. It is therefore always wiser to do something about your weaknesses before others find out about them. In other words, stop creating alibis for yourself and start examining yourself in connection to your thoughts and your virtues”.
And Brian Tracy once said, “Personal development is a major time-saver. The better you become, the less time it takes you to achieve your goals”. In other words, and what is understood by many is that – personal development cannot be overstated. It’s the secret to separating yourself from the crowd. It creates a bridge that carries you towards the goals you have yet to reach.
This insight comes with an understanding that the past has a massive impact on the present. Not understanding this, may lead to lives not working out as planned, or as dreamed of. You may wonder why you’re not as successful as you’d always hoped to be, or why you’re unable to achieve that sought after promotion, and so on. Over time, you may also begin to question why you’re not attracting the relationships you had hoped for or why your relationships are failing. But also, if you are struggling to seek out good personal partners – you may be struggling to find good business partners too. And knowing how to keep these relationships happy is crucial for the duration of any successful relationship.
Most people however, just cross their fingers and hope that things will eventually work out all on their own – without realising that we can do something about the direction of our lives. This is because life consists of a series of choices. How we choose or why we choose relationships, friendships, careers and so on, needs to be understood so that better choices can be made to suit our life goals. Relying on chance is never a good idea. We have to be proactive, we need to learn the think and act differently.
And therapy is one way of learning how to do this. This is why it is sometimes important to take stock, and therapy or indeed relationship therapy can offer a way forward.
Therapy however, doesn’t always offer quick answers. Like growing a business, it is a process and it can take time. It can also take time to fully comprehend why we behave or respond to certain situations or people as we do.
And once therapy begins, clients are often surprised when they realise just how many clues lie in childhood because, it is in childhood that we begin to develop our behavioural patterns. Yet sometimes these habits can be so ingrained that we don’t even realise they exist. This is why sometimes we need to stop, so that we can take stock to ensure that our conscious or unconscious habits are not getting in the way of what we want to achieve.
But sadly, the minute childhood is mentioned, people run a mile. This is usually because it’s become such a cliché and as a result, its value has been lost and probably even dismissed.
Yet, many may start wondering why they’ve managed to develop confidence issues and so on, forgetting or not realising that childhood moulds us and it provides us all with the foundation from which we spring from. It is therefore in childhood that we need to start our research.
During childhood we are shaped as a result of all the various lessons from our families, our teachers, our friends and the circumstance that we were brought up in. However, not every childhood experience is and can be positive.
Some childhood experiences may be devastating and some may be left with horrendous emotional scars. But what is most evident too, is that many answers also lie within the smaller events. And it’s these little things or events that can create bigger problems than we often realise. Usually it’s something that was said to us – that left us questioning who we are. It could’ve been something that happened that made us lose confidence in ourselves. Either way, when adulthood is reached, it’s often important to look back so that we can take stock of all the messages we gained throughout childhood, about who we are, or who we think we are – so that we can makes better sense of what we have grown to believe about ourselves.
And sometimes yes, therapy can involve addressing traumatic issues that for whatever reason, were hidden, buried and possibly even forgotten way back in childhood. The brain then shuts down the trauma, so that the child can continue to grow, go to school, and so on. Unfortunately, once adulthood is reached, the trauma can begin to emerge. And each layer of the trauma will only emerge when we are ready to deal with the next stage – whether we like it or not. It can start with a nudge and then the ‘message’ can get louder and louder until we do something about it – hopefully before it’s not too late.
The trick however is knowing that things may happen to remind us that we need to address certain issues. And the trick is also knowing, what to do – especially if the hidden trauma begins to emerge via unexpected methods such as unacceptable behaviour, violence, addictions, depression, failed relationships, careers, money issues, illness and so on. And sadly, all these issues can have serious repercussions on our life choices, relationships and even on the careers that we choose.
It is therefore also important that each and everyone should realise that just brushing any issue ‘under the carpet’ never helps. In other words, issues will only get bigger and bigger, and more serious the more we try to ignore them.
Also, during many years of seeing clients I realised that therapy is not about changing who we are. But what does this mean?
Therapy is NOT about changing who you are, rather it is about learning to accept who you are, your behavioural patterns and what makes you tick. It isn’t about change – because you are not a computer and no one can re-install you. You had the childhood you had, with all its flaws and the next step is to learn to accept this. Once this is achieved, then via a new self-awareness you can begin to make better choices to suit who you really are or who you are becoming. This process is far better – than trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
And therapy is a step-by-step process although it may not always feel that way:
A) It is a process of recollection and retrospection – which isn’t always scary. Mostly it can be hugely informative and often my clients have reported that:
1) They’ve never thought of things in a certain way – had they done so they may have made different choices or,
2) They never realised how particular events have impacted their lives – and indeed, impacted upon their reactions to things, their behaviour, their careers or their relationships.
In other words, the recollection process can result in many positive insights.
B) The next step of the recollection process is learning to accept what happened, what was hoped for, but was what never received or achieved. This could involve grief, but most importantly – this process allows the client to begin a process of self-acceptance and indeed, confidence.
C) Once this is achieved, a client can then start gaining a better knowledge of who they truly are, what their behavioural patterns are and how they may react to things and so on.
D) Knowing themselves better will result in better choices to suit their relationship and career goals – from a place of understanding and responsibility, rather than from a place of pain, or a place that needs others to fulfil what they themselves lack.
E) Therapy can help us listen to not only ourselves but to others too: It helps us gain a deeper insight into our inner world. It helps us listen and it helps to observe – not only to ourselves but eventually to others too.
And this is an important tool in both personal and business relationships too.
It is therefore worth repeating what Brian Tracy wrote – “Personal development is a major time-saver”. Many waste time making the wrong choices only because they had no idea what they really wanted or how they could achieve it.
And Shannon L Alder once wrote, “Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.”
By asking these questions you may be surprised at the answers.
Find out more about relationship therapy by reading the next Blog 112. Therapy Part B: Relationship Therapy: Find Out Why You Should Go To Relationship Therapy Before It’s Too Late.
© 2019 Deidré Wallace All rights reserved.
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