The official first week of spring is upon us as we feel the temperature warming up (time to save on the old heat bill) and the brilliant pink cherry blossoms awake. A dear friend of my declared, “I have spring fever!” A colleague of mine talked about how spring is a time for growth and newness and change. I love the idea of change and choice, however, I am all too aware that for many of my clients change and choice is hard to do. This is not some kind of will power concept but for some people the reality of choice is not always viable due to a number of circumstances such as limitations in terms of resources and ability. When one is faced with financial hardship, living with mental or physical disabilities, emotionally taxed from life”s blows and trauma, and just trying to keep themselves and their families surviving it can be hard to think of choice and one”s ability to have choice. So, when I speak about choice I clearly understand (as do my clients) that there are barriers sometimes to things such as choice, change, and will power. What I advocate for my clients is to start with little choices and changes within themselves with regards to how they take care of themselves in the simplest way. Today, try and make a choice that is nurturing for you regardless of your barriers and limitations. Choose to go for a walk or call a friend. Choose to listen to soothing music or watch a movie. Choose to treat yourself to your favourite herbal tea or flavoured coffee. Choose to read, write, or just sit and be. All these small choices are indeed the beginning path to your personal inner empowerment.
I think we all have trouble balancing equally work and play. There is often this focus and force of how much can we do and get done instead of finding time to just be. For many of my clients they feel their worth is emancipated through what they do both in life and in therapy. I often have to remind them that this is a process. A process of their life. Now do not get me wrong, I am all for people actively engaging in their lives and contributing, but I encourage clients to look at finding a balance between work and play and being and doing. It is difficult because the act of doing is intrinsically aligned in us from our families of origin and society as a whole. A beautiful moment for me is often a good hard day of work of being with and guiding people through pain, sorrow, and yes, even great joy, that I look forward to playing, being, resting so that the next time I have to be present with my clients I have the energy, strength, and presence to fully be with them. So, can you commit to yourself that you will find some balance in your life. Can you offer the gift of just being and believing that in moments of being you are truly okay.
It’s just not fair!” I often hear my clients say in reference to the negative experiences of their life journey that has brought them into my office. I agree that it is not fair. As a counsellor mostly helping individuals who have experienced trauma of some kind, I view the consequences as the devastating effects of abuse, neglect, and trauma as the real injury. And not just the consequences such as depression, anxiety, addiction, relationship difficulties; but the deeper struggle to re-unite my clients with themselves as we work to illuminate the defenses they use that no longer work and only prevent connection to self and other. My clients have to consciously pay attention to their bodies and, in turn, their emotions in a step by step manner. Sometimes getting it and sometimes not. They are re-learning something that is so natural and automatic for someone who had a supportive and nurturing environment growing up and who was allowed to express themselves and be greeted with acceptance and care. So, the consequence of trauma is at the core a loss of self and connection. Through therapy we work to re-integrate self and connections to others, all which is truly possible and beautiful.’, ‘It’s just not fair!
Counselling is a unique relationship between me as the therapist and you as the client. By definition, counselling or therapy is to heal, to support in healing, to guide. I help clients overcome their struggles by accessing your own personal inner strengths and by helping you come to a deeper understanding of the ways you have coped so far that are no longer working for you in a healthy and/or productive way. Through our relationship we work to unite and awake a deeper connection with yourself so that you have a deeper connection to others and to your life.