PROBLEM VS. POSSIBILITY THERAPY
For years I’ve been a Psychologist….for 25 years in fact.
I had always prided myself in being a Psychologist….once I ‘got over’ the initial few years of going out socially and having someone ask “what do you do ? and saying “I’m a Psychologist’ and then they’d say “tell me what I’m thinking….or “Oh no….you’ll be analyzing everything I say or do….”
It took a few years to toughen up and work out what to say and how to say it….and eventually I’d just say “I help people to identify their problems and provide them with strategies to overcome them”….that seemed a heck of a lot easier than saying ‘Im a psychologist”….and so it sufficed.
Before I knew it being a psychologist had become so ingrained in me, and such a big part of me I didn’t think twice about explaining what I did and how I did it. Helping people was what I was passionate about and Being a Psychologist was my IDENTITY….it’s who I am.
I started to get frustrated that I’d see clients day in and day out and they’d come in and want to talk about their “problem”….about what was wrong with them….and they’d get so stuck in their problem that often they had become the problem….it was no longer separate from them….that was their identity.
I spent several years being frustrated (silently) at the fact they’d come in to our rooms and put on their ‘psychologists’ face and take on their “unwell’ demeanour and that became another part of their identity…
And as a profession it felt as though that was acceptable….I would attend peer supervision groups with many other psychologists, attend conferences in Australia and around the world and find that everyone just seemed to accept that client’s would come in for their sessions, talk about their problems and attend for a while and then not be seen again for a period of time….but then they’d often resurface a few months later, or at times a few years later….it was deemed acceptable to just keep seeing them for treatment and provide them with some strategies and then hope that if they didn’t come back it was because they had ‘gotten better’.
Eventually I realized I couldn’t stay silent any longer….not necessarily through voicing my opinion on what I had seen for years and years, as that may be deemed ‘unprofessional’ and I prided myself on my professionalism….so instead I chose an alternative….rather through taking action to find another way….
I worked long and hard, completed trainings and research and study and this opened up a whole new world for me….a world where instead of focusing on people’s ‘problems’ and ‘deficiencies’ I learnt to help them focus on solutions, possibilities and empowered my clients to dig deep and challenge the unresourceful beliefs they had incorrectly taken on as their own, let go of the destructive negative emotions and break through the barriers that had held them back once and for all….and to draw on the resources that had always been there within them but ignored for too long….and create the life they now believed was possible and rightfully theirs to own.
I finally felt fulfilled in my work, I was doing what I loved, I was working with people I loved to work with….people who didn’t want to ‘do the problem’….who wanted more for themselves and were happy to be shown how to seek more….
I also realized that my identity had also shifted…. I had discovered that I could very quickly get right to the core issue (potentially the problem) and shift it and get a complete transformation ….and it wasn’t through any proven ‘traditional’ psychology approach….it was a bit ‘out there’ and left of field….BUT it truly worked….and I saw opportunities to explore new identities and test the water through different avenues and noticed I was so much more fulfilled in the process….
My desire to help people, my passion to “help people to identify their problems and provide them with strategies to overcome them” remained in tact….nothing had changed in my core….however everything had changed…..My view of the world had changed, and my understanding of what was possible had changed…..
I can only continue to work with people in the way that I now do….to get right to the core issue, facilitate a breakthrough in my client and show them the possibilities that truly exist….then help them build their new identity into a healthy one that will enable them to reach their true potential….and for them to be empowered to move forward on their own with clarity and commitment to themselves and their future.
I know that it’s not easy to make such a huge shift, to question your entire identity….but if you are not happy with yourself and who you believe you are then take action to explore the possibilities of who you can become instead.
I’d love to know your thoughts….feel free to comment below.