“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
As a soldier, my company commander upon learning that I had studied psychology in college, demanded to know if I could read his thoughts. He then followed up by asking if I had studied psychology to find out what was wrong with me. This scenario underlies the attitude most people have towards psychotherapy and the field of psychology in general. Given that the origins of psychology came from the medical disease model, most people feel that any recommendation they receive for therapy means there is something wrong with them.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Counseling is a process where you transition from a place of being emotionally stuck to a place of wellness and thriving. Life is a transitional process, cognitive strategies that worked for us in the past typically no longer apply in the present. While this phenomenon is nothing new to us, what happens when we experience an event that we are not prepared for? An event for which we don’t have a script or blueprint to even make sense of?
The answer is we get stuck, this is because when we experience new challenges for which we were not prepared for, our instinct is to resort to old strategies that have worked for us in the past. But using the same strategies that are not working over and over again can lead to mental health issues such as poor anger management, depression, and anxiety. Through therapy, we can come to understand ourselves more thoroughly by examining our beliefs and values. Particularly those instilled in us during our childhood years.
We can come to learn about irrational beliefs that hinder our personal happiness and practice cognitive-behavioral strategies for reconstructing negative thought patterns and disempowering beliefs. It’s time to embrace new beliefs and values that help us experience true happiness and thrive.
Therapy is not a matter of something being wrong with you, its a matter of correcting a misunderstanding between you and your life experiences.
Ugo Uche LPC is a psychotherapist and owner of Road 2 Resolutions PLLC, professional counseling and life coaching service in Tucson Arizona. If you are struggling with anxiety, ADHD or other difficulties do not hesitate to call or fill out my contact form and click Send. If you are outside Tuscon or cannot make it to my office consider online therapy.