I began studying Psychology in high school. However, my whole life I was fascinated by behavior. Throughout my life I had been in and out of traditional counseling. There were times when so much was happening in my life I thought I would find it helpful. In some ways it was helpful. Speaking to someone who maintains confidentiality and who hopefully holds a space of no judgement is helpful. Yet, I always felt like it should be getting me somewhere, somehow. Something was missing.
In graduate school I studied every type of psychology I could read about including forensic and criminal psychology, both of which I love. What I found was I felt a pull to the areas of therapy where there were more questions and planning than there was sitting and listening. I saw people change their choices when someone utilized therapies such as Reality Therapy. I began using tools from those types of therapies in conversations when working with students. Tools that connected their choices to consequences. The consequences were not “good or bad”. The conversations were pointing out that your actions create results. If you are looking for a specific result what action can you choose to get there? I had amazing results. Using language the way I did completely eliminated any conversations about me imposing a consequence on a student, such as detention or not earning a point in our classroom behavior system. The conversations we had supported the students owning their own choices and creating their own lives. I was able to have incredible success with the programs I created in part because I remained in question, willing to not have “the answer” however to have a fluid system that could be changed by adding additional components for those students who required more than just the classwide program we implemented. I kept choosing and creatng and asking questions and found I created a system that truly made a difference.
What do you do when something is not working? Often while sitting with my peers in class I hear people say they worked with a client for some time and every session was the same. I would ponder that thought and ask myself how the client must feel about that, if that of course is the clients perception. You show up each week to therapy, share information, nothing changes. What do you do when you have tried different therapists, differnt modalities or specialists and you keep ending up where you are when you started?
I have found that those who do achieve their targets when they go to any type of doctor, they keep looking for somone whose plan of action, sugestions, recommendations, resonates with them. Often they say “I dont’ know why I switched doctors, something he said did not resonate with me”. I hear statements like that from people of all ages. In our society now often we are encouraged to have a blind faith in the experts. People outside of ourselves that have a title and know more than we do. In some cases I am that expert, and you may be one too. Looking for an expert is a great way to gather information and in many circumstances it is absolutely required. However, what do you do about the voice inside of you telling you what this expert is saying does not feel right?
My grandmother always used to tell me “you always know”. I believe we do always know. We each have our own internal “GPS” if you will. It offers us information and lets us know if something does not “sit right” with us. What if you used that system in conjuntion with your search? Read the information, go to the experts, and trust you. If something does not feel right, it probably is not right. We often invalidate our knowing and follow expert advice. What if you include your knowing in the decision making? So you keep searching, speak to a different expert and keep your own knowing as part of the equation when you choose your course of action.
Keep asking questions and keep choosing. Each experience provides you with more information that will get you where you want to go. Trust you, you are the only one who can feel what is right for you.