My looping thoughts were exhausting me. Dr. Henningsen taught me about “the bus” and many other mindfulness techniques. I also got a deeper insight into what caused my looping and cogitating.”
Temporary Relief vs. Lasting Solution
The problem my adult therapy clients bring to my office is typically not the one that’s causing all the trouble. The true issue often underlies the triggering event or circumstances. They seek help because they aren’t able to see the issue clearly enough to make a difference. Why is that?
We all look at things through a particular lens. That is, we tend to see and comprehend the world in our own unique way. So there are some things we just can’t see on our own. Therapy provides an opportunity to examine one’s self through a different lens. During a course of therapy sessions we can sketch a clear picture of the problem and develop an action plan for change.
This is the difference between therapy with a professional and sympathetic conversations with friends or loved ones: The loving, caring conversation doesn’t actually change anything. You feel better for a while, but nothing foundational changes. That’s because the way we react to difficulties at work or at home is tied to our emotional core—not our intelligence level. In other words, you can’t think your way to a lasting solution without guidance and professional insight.
Among my adult therapy clients I am particularly attuned to young women who are at the beginning of their careers. The years immediately after college can sometimes bring on a series of failed relationships—or no relationships. You see your friends pairing up. So what’s wrong with you? Nothing. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with you. You are not defective. We are all good enough as we are. It’s just that there are things you may be unconsciously doing that are getting in your way.
What kinds of things might you be doing to undermine yourself?
- Maybe it’s difficult for you to trust. So you never feel close to another—or when you do feel close, you push them away.
- You may feel the need to dominate or always be right. So it is difficult to have an easy conversation because of your unconscious need to control the outcome.
- Or, you may have trouble being direct because you want to be liked, or because you fear the other person will judge you. So you avoid saying what you think, what you feel or what you want for yourself.
So let’s see if we can find out what kinds of unconscious behaviors are running your life and change them.
Coping with loss
The death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job—any one of these can throw us into a tailspin.
The death of a parent or loved one can leave us with unfinished business, unresolved feelings, perhaps a missed opportunity to say goodbye. I find that forgiveness is often the big issue for my adult therapy clients. We need to find a way to forgive ourselves, to forgive them, and to find acceptance.
Job loss can have the effect of a death. We may suffer feelings of guilt or failure. “I’ve let everybody down.” Your confidence and self-esteem may hit a low point. It may be that your low feelings begin to interfere with your ability to present yourself well in job interviews. As your therapist I help you to hold onto yourself through an extremely stressful time.
Depression and Anxiety
Overwhelming sadness and anxiety can prevent us from living our lives to the fullest. I can help you go beneath the surface, to explore and understand the feelings underlying your depression and anxiety. Working together we can unleash your positive energy and direct that energy into step-by-step solutions that bring you up to your full potential.
Recommended Readings In Adult Therapy: Practicing Mindfulness As A Way To Deal With Depression Or Anxiety
Chase-Meng Tan (called Meng), Search Inside Yourself. A Google engineer and now head of Google Edu for personal growth, his book focuses on the way to foster self-confidence, empathy and inner joy. The best of the self-help books.
David Rico, How To Be An Adult In Relationships: The Five Keys To Mindful Loving. Drawing on the concept of mindfulness, this psychotherapist shows how a few commitments (acceptance, appreciation, etc) can lead to mature and lasting relationships.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever you Go, There you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. Also A lamp on the Darkness: Illuminating the path through difficult times. Contains a CD useful for meditation.
Joy Rains, Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to manage your Busy Mind. Available on Amazon, July 2013
Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy, How the mind can heal the heart. Describes the various schemes that can trigger us.