From the Therapy Room

Choosing Change

Until one is committed, there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising to one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would come her way. Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. - J.W von Goethe

As counsellors, we hold many roles. We are cheerleaders, space-holders, projection screens, companions along the road, resource seekers and support brokers, bridge builders, deep listeners, and so much more. However, none of these hats can be worn until you, the client, decide to make the change that you’re seeking. Only then can we be invited into your change process.

To decide, and then to act on that decision, is no small thing. Changing an outlook, a habit, a relationship, or a job - each involves acts of commitment, remembering the ‘why’, a degree of tolerance for setbacks and perceived failure, and the capacity to return to the practice. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my work is supporting people to witness and uphold their efforts - for so many of us, our natural desire to see change now has led to an inability to notice, let alone celebrate when small but meaningful changes are taking place. Slowing down and giving the right weight to the effort of change allows those changes to be felt and integrated more effectively. 

Recently I attended a workshop about using intention, attention, and ritual to foster deeper connection in intimate relationships. It got me thinking about how change processes could be linked to these three actions. Something like “I am feeling the slide into complacency, boredom, and disconnection from my work”. Instead of sliding further into boredom, resentment, and blame, I might choose to take time to set an intention, attend to the steps that feel available and meaningful, and ritualize the changes. We do this by speaking them aloud or making them visible in some way within a container which is meaningful and holds personal accountability. And when I forget, or backslide, or am imperfect in my efforts - I don’t let that be the end of the story. 

The ways that we foster change in our lives are many. Even changing the process of how one does change is hard! Inviting a counsellor as an ally to support your change-making efforts is a brave choice. Counsellors at Nested Heart are particularly skillful with areas of personal growth involving sexuality, identities, desire, and diverse relationship structures. Holding the hard conversations which lead to lasting and meaningful change is exactly what we do - if you’re ready to act on your decision, we’re ready to support you.

January 25, 2024 16:06

Erica Dolsen