Personal change needs more than just understanding

by Fe Robinson

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Psychological patterns run deep.  It seems to me that we each have one, or a few, core issues that recur and recur, that surface in many different ways over time and across contexts in our lives.

For example, if someone feels unworthy, this will likely influence their way of being in relationships with family, in romantic relationships, in friendships, in their work, and anywhere else they have human contact. It may show up differently, a lack of confidence at work perhaps, or a tendency to put others first at home, but it is likely to be an enduring theme.

Over time,  you come to know yourself better, andhopefully recognise more of the times when your pattern shows up.  Your understanding builds of your triggers, the behaviours that follow, and the feelings that result. It becomes familiar. Psychotherapy, and meditation, can help this process, and it is also something that can organically unfold.

Understanding however, in itself, won't change much. To have something different happen we need to do more than only have insight or understanding. Change happens when we begin to experiment.  When we try on different ways of thinking, when we do something out of the usual pattern, when we step outside what we have known and into what is unfamiliar.

Psychotherapy can be an initial place of experimentation and skills development, a place where something different happens. What is then needed is for a client to take this change out into the world and to act during the rest of the week.

Change is an organic, lively process that impacts each system of which we are a part. It is not a cognitive, academic exercise. It is embodied, messy, back and forth and contrary. Actions bring reactions, and out the ripples flow.

Change can be challenging. It takes application, tenacity, and at times courage to dare to be different. The people around you react and adjust when you evolve, sometimes accommodating your development, and sometimes finding it tricky.

Want to feel different? Then start with insight and understanding, and use them as a springboard to take you where you wish to go.

For compassionate psychotherapeutic support for your personal growth, get in touch at fejrobinson@gmail.com or leave a message on my confidential answer machine on 0191 3720318.

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