This depends on you and your situation. What is your goal of counselling? How will you and I know that you have reached your goal? What might you have to let go of to reach that goal? And what do you imagine will take its place? How might you prevent yourself from reaching your goal? What part do you want me to play in helping you reach your goal?
After leaning more about you and your goals, we will discuss the level of commitment you are comfortable with. I will work with you based on the time and resources you choose to invest.
Feelings are like road signs. For example, feeling “compassion” prompts us to help others. “Fear” prompts us to run or fight. “Anger” signals us that something has gone against our core values or expectations and needs our attention to resolution or justice. An essential part of our work together is being able to connect with and identify your feelings. This work is needed so you can understand what you are experiencing and follow the road signs to resolution. If your feelings are suppressed you can’t respond in an adaptive way to those feelings. This leads to ongoing disturbance/unwanted symptoms. Learning to communicate your emotions requires learning to identify them, experience them and then respond to them in healthy ways that align with your core values and goals.
Many people have learned ways to suppress feelings as a way to protect against pain. Suppressing emotions means all emotion (it is not possible to selectively suppress only negative emotions). Walling off the emotional part of you makes it hard, if not impossible to connect in healthy and genuine to yourself and with others.
If you have a fear of feeling, the first step is learning to identify and safely tolerate basic emotions (negative and positive). This can be done at your own pace based on what we practice.
This is up to you. It is common for a current problem/disturbance to be linked to experiences of the past. You may feel that what you are experiencing now is a familiar feeling. In this case the past is present. While it is possible to work with what is going on only in the present (some don’t recall the past), it is also approached through the connection to past experiences which are triggering the current overwhelming sensations, unhealthy patterns, or irrational beliefs. Often people seek therapy when these old ways of coping and surviving are no longer effective or useful.
The good news is that unhealthy coping patterns can be unlearned and healthy ways of thinking and responding can be learned.
I provide a self-care assessment with suggestions on how incorporate self-care into your week. Self-care benefits include:
Less emotional reactivity Improved mood
Improved relationship skills Improved quality of life
Increased well being Decreased stress levels
Increased optimism and hope Increased ability to maintain work-life
Better physical health management balance
The physical, emotional/psychological, and spiritual aspects of you do not act in isolation of each other. While you may have found ways to detach from certain aspects, they are still part of you. We are spiritual, physical, and cognitive/emotional beings. It is well documented in the field of psychology the correlation between spirituality and mental health.
What do you believe about your spirituality or God? What you believe gives life meaning and your purpose in life influences how you feel physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Your beliefs also influence your capacity to cope and find hope and meaning. While there are many worldviews within the field of psychology, my theoretical approach to spirituality is informed by the Christian worldview.