Sometimes we shy away from making big changes in life, even-though we know deep down that things are not right – that we are just not happy. Now might be a good time to take another look at the big decisions facing you – as our willingness and openness to change can be high at certain times of year.
It might be career, relationship, family, abode, the list goes on. No doubt the issues are challenging and stressful. That is the nature of adult life – things are generally complicated. There may be other people to consider. Financial considerations might limit choices and the risks might be too great to make changes.
But sometimes it’s our discomfort with vulnerability that keeps us in a rut. We fear doing something different. We fear changing something that has become habitual and familiar, even if we resent it. We might attribute our fear to others – as in “what will my family or friends say?” But essentially, it is our fear.
In the therapy world, post-traumatic stress is commonplace. If we do not have the right emotional support during and after traumatic events, then we will carry the trauma and the effects can escalate. Typical traumatic events are accident, emotional/physical/sexual violence or abuse, rejection, death of someone close etc. Un-healed trauma will be re-triggered later in our lives – particularly when stress is high – and mostly in an unhelpful way, and it can wreak havoc in our lives and relationships.
Unresolved issues can keep us stuck in a rut and unable to overcome our own inertia. We’ll feel as though we are incapable or undeserving of taking big steps and making bold moves – that our hearts and minds desire. The truth is that life often dents our ability to face challenges. But it is also true that we each have the power to make changes – and grow.
Talking therapy can help us access, deal with and heal from, earlier trauma and unresolved issues. It also helps with re-integrating “lost” parts of ourselves, and building a healthy “inner” relationship with Self. There’s a piece at the core of therapy, called “inner child work”. It’s about examining the inner relationship – between our adult self and our earlier “inner-child” part. The work concentrates on healing the child-part that might have suffered emotional and psychological trauma earlier in life. Therapy for such issues can be hugely rewarding and life changing.
And yes, sometimes in therapy, there isn’t an identifiable event or obvious reason for our being “stuck”. We may just need to hear ourselves think, and talk through our fears. The benefits of talking therapy are profound, and the rewards come at many levels. Once the inner relationship is healthy, all else follows.
Tom Evans is a Counsellor & Psychotherapist in Midleton, Cork, Ireland.
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