Saturday, 29 December 2012

Resolutions for the Upcoming Year Shadowed with Pain from the Past

The holiday season is not always a time of celebration for everyone, but a time of mourning and loss.  We see the bustle of festive celebrations that some may put on a facade of joy, but inside you may be feeling a great sense of despair. You may be mourning the loss of a loved one, the loss or absence of a relationship or friendship, suffering in a stale relationship, mounting debts, and/or a job that provides no fulfillment.  

As the new year approaches you may be gathering your thoughts on how to make this coming year better.  You are creating a wish list or the notable resolutions that are often unclear in attainable steps.  As you create a list of changes for your life, you may be experiencing thoughts shadowed with the pain of the past.   Inner reflection at this time of year is normal for all people, as most want to simply renew their life. You want the new year to feel more joyous and rewarding compared to past years.  However, this enhanced awareness does not always provide the opportunities in carving out a clear path in achieving these desired successes. You may feel that you are wandering aimlessly trying to locate this measurable and attainable path of happiness.  The fog around you, created by this insufferable pain, has left you with an overwhelming feeling of being "stuck." You find that you are awake in the late hours of the night, wishing for a different life, and/or wanting to sleep the hours away in the day because it helps to forget this feeling of hopelessness.

Change in any capacity is difficult.  It takes time, energy and the hope to believe in oneself.  But, it does not even have to start with believing in oneself.  As you choose to make one small change, this belief will begin to rise within you. 

I do believe that all humans have the capacity to change.  God gives us hope in tomorrow.  God makes the impossible...possible.   It takes the ongoing influence of one person in your life to provide great direction in your life.  I understand that there are those who differ with this belief, and that is why my practice serves people from different walks of life.  Some believe in God, but others have chosen to not believe.  There are those who are angry at God, and others who rely on God's strength to help them through adversity.  You have the right to determine your path.  You have the right to not be judged, but to be supported as you seek the path of fulfillment for your life.  My objective is to walk this journey alongside you providing effective tools, insight, and support in a nonjudgemental atmosphere.  If you are reading this post, and the above descriptions describes your inner thoughts and pain, then perhaps, it is time to seek a therapist to help you identify recurring themes and patterns.  You may inadvertently be inviting those patterns back in your life in a new job, relationships, and/or your debts.   A therapist can provide valuable tools for change, and make you resolutions finally attainable.  

I wish that life would not have a place for suffering, but this is not the fact of this world.  People suffer for many reasons, and it is the very reason I chose to be a therapist.  If I can be a light for at least one person, then I have set out to do what I believe I am called to do.  I hope that if you are in need, then finding a suitable therapist for you would be an effective place to begin.  There are directories on the web to assist you in your search.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions and/or concerns at or to assist in finding a therapist in your location.

Finally, do matter.  

Monday, 29 August 2011

Why Attend Counselling?

Our experiences provide a diversity of emotions and thoughts as we are confronted with the realities of life.  This reality may be shared by others and for some a life that others within our circle have not experienced.  The common thread amongst all people who journey in this world are moments, days and/or months that we feel overwhelmed with emotions and decisions.   Confucius stated that "to put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”
  Our hearts and minds can only be molded when we realize that change starts at an individual level and causes a ripple effect to those that surround us.  Furthemore, Confucius’ quote is indicative of how all change must begin at the heart of ourselves so that in turn our children, our families, our friends, our community, our nation will be more effective at caring for all people in this world in away that is respectful and generous.  I have been given a great opportunity to carry a message of change not only as a professional, but also as an individual that has a story of how counselling was a empowering tool during painful experiences in my past and my most recent journey coping with my son’s cancer diagnosis.

Counselling creates an opportunity to evaluate how you look at your painful situation.  The process involves looking at the way behaviour; reactions, thoughts and emotions influence our circumstances.  Counselling is a place where I, the counselor, do not give advice, but provide you with a question that will help to look at your situation in a different way.  I get to know you by developing an understanding of your circumstances, listening to you and offering you support and insight.  Counselling is a safe environment where you are accepted no matter the painful circumstance that you bring to see me.
There are many commonly held myths about counselling that prevent people from all ages and circumstances from choosing counselling.  I wanted to share these common myths in hope that it will help you decide that counselling may be the option or newly restored option to seek change in your circumstances.  The myths are as follows:
Myth #1
Everyone should be able to solve his or her problems.  The only time you attend counselling is when you cannot cope with your problem.
If you decide to discuss your circumstances with a counselor it does not mean you cannot cope.  People of many ages and circumstances see a counselor to help them figure something that is causing one to worry.  Often times, people see a counselor as they don’t want to worry any longer and they do not want to burden their family.
Myth # 2

You only need to see a counselor if you have a problem that is insurmountable, such as trauma.


Many people need to confide in someone, not just people that have experienced trauma.  We all cope and respond differently to circumstances.  Therefore, it cannot be the circumstances that dictate whether you will attend counselling, but how you are coping with any particular circumstance.  You can only make that decision.   This decision is not based upon a comparison of how someone else responded to a similar situation.  We are all individuals with different past experiences, ways of coping, beliefs, supports systems, etc.… Counselling is a way to receive help to understand and receive alternative ways to live your life.

Myth #3

A good counsellor will tell you what to do and sort out your life for you.

The role of a counsellor is not to tell you how to run your life. Good counsellors listen, support, challenge and provide tools, so that you’re able to effectively come up with your own solutions. 
Myth #4
You should be able to cope on your own without any help.  Why would you want to tell someone you don’t know about your own private business?
Turning to a counselor for confidential support about your private worries, concerns and circumstances can be the most helpful, validating and reassuring option.  A counselor offers you genuineness, unconditional acceptance, confidentiality and allows you to experience a place where you can understand your circumstances more clearly.  Often, you are in the middle of a situation or crisis that you are struggling to find a clear perspective.  A counselor has an unbiased perspective and is without an agenda that can be invaluable.
I hope that when you feel overwhelmed that you can find means to make a decision for counselling.  It is an opportunity for growth and change.  It is a journey that everyone should embark on during their lifetime because you will at least "find yourself."  
There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they are, 
or accept the responsibility for changing them.
                                                                       -Denis Waitley