What Will We Talk About?
I generally find that before we start looking at ‘solutions’, we need to understand something about who you are. For instance, looking at your life experiences, your values, and how you think and feel about things. That’s because a problem that may seem on the surface to be shared by many other people (e.g. depression, or anger, or feeling ‘stuck’) can actually have very different roots in each case. And that means the best way forwards will be completely different for each person.
So we’ll talk not just about your problems but also your resources. Not just about your worries, but also what brings you ease. Not just about your fears, but also what helps you find strength. We’ll pay special attention to the bits of your experience that may be hidden from everyday sight, but which powerfully shape your views and your life.
How Will It Be Different From A ‘Normal’ Conversation?
Sometimes our conversations may be wide-ranging, energised and creative. At other times they may be more focused or deliberate, a sort of thinking-things-through together. But we will always have a clear intention. We will be working together to understand; to ease; to find your individual path towards change. The arc of our sessions is therefore likely to include:
1. Assessing and Exploring: We will look together at what you’re facing, how it’s affecting different areas of your life, and what you might like to be different. We’ll get curious about your life-patterns, your coping strategies, and habits of thought – so we can start to make sense of your experience.
2. Mindful Observation and ‘Life Testing’: We will identify and engage your existing resources, challenge old habits where appropriate, and look at new tools for problem-solving where necessary. We’ll take time to observe, reflect, and deepen our understanding, at whatever pace is right for you. And as you begin to ‘test out’ new ways of being in the world, we’ll notice carefully how things affect you on a practical, physical and emotional level.
3. Consolidation and Ending: We will fine-tune and strengthen your new sense of self, and make sure it’s comfortably embedded in your daily life. We’ll review the changes you’ve achieved, look at how you might cope with any future difficulties, and ensure you leave feeling confident and resilient.