How do we define ourselves?
Carl Rogers once wrote “I am sure that each of us has puzzled from time to time as to his own goals, and the goals which he (or she) believes would be desirable for others. “What is my purpose in life?”, “What am I striving for?”, “What do I want to be?” These are questions which every individual asks himself at one time or another, sometimes calmly and meditatively, sometimes in agonizing uncertainty or despair. They are old, old questions which have been asked and answered in every century of history. Yet they are also questions which every individual must ask and answer for himself, in his own way. They are questions which I, as a therapist, hear expressed in many differing ways as men and women in personal distress try to learn, or understand, or choose the directions which their lives are taking…”
For some, by the time they sit down with a qualified counselling professional and pose these questions aloud, they will, no doubt have been asking them over and over again in their own minds for quite some time. For many however the safe and secure nature of the therapeutic relationship provides the first opportunity they have to voice these questions…. even to themselves.
In a counselling environment, more often than not people are seeking the answers to these questions to at least some degree, even if the original reason for coming to counselling is to work through a single, clearly identifiable difficulty. Importantly however, it must be remembered by counsellors/therapists that each individual not only has unique answers which they will ultimately discover, but they also have differing degrees of ability to ask these questions in the first place.
The variable here is the degree to which each individual has been encouraged to be their genuine selves throughout life as opposed to being squeezed into boxes that are convenient to those around them. For the latter, even daring to ask questions such as “What is my purpose in life?” can create very high levels of anxiety in case the answer is in direct conflict to what they’ve been groomed for.
I deeply respect the difference in strength that each person has in finding their own purpose and direction in life. I understand that most of us stop at some point in our journey, look around and ask “How did I get here?” In counselling you will find the time and space to explore these questions at your own pace, and to the depth that you as a unique individual wish to. This personal respect is one of the main tenants of my professional philosophy.
Sometimes through counselling we find that who we are now, is actually exactly who we want to be. At other times however we discover that there are a few tweaks and changes that we would like to make, but have been uncertain as to how to approach them on our own. This is where the safe, confidential nature of counselling with an independent qualified professional comes into its own. If you would like more information about counselling and how it may assist you in answer some of these age old questions of human existence for yourself. Please feel free to call me on 01279 834467 for a confidential, no obligation conversation prior to making your first appointment.