When people think of therapy, all too often they visualize themselves lying on a couch and speaking in a stream of consciousness while a counselor nods and takes notes. Fortunately, therapy doesn’t have to be a slog through tragic memories and hurt feelings with little effect except disturbing recall. Counseling is meant to empower you, accentuate strengths and give you a positive outlook on life. Therapy can bring about a better future by bringing meaning and purpose to a difficult past. And, if you have a relatively good past, then growing into your gifts and strengths is often that much easier. The more a person can make peace and grow from their past and connect with their natural abilities, the more positive interactions will be between family members, friends, co-workers and others whom you encounter in life.
Strengths-based counseling is a collaborative form of therapy in which a client looks inward for strengths and also accepts limitations and vulnerabilities while the therapist mirrors back patterns of thought and behavior while encouraging new ways of thinking and relating with others. Most problems are related to relationship of some form and stem back to early experiences, fears and insecurities. By reflecting on the internal and external resources a client already possesses, a client can more positively re-frame the obstacle until it becomes something they grow through and from.
Change is difficult and can often take time. Change requires having the courage to move into places that feel uncomfortable and foreign and can initially feel worse than that which someone is trying to change or eradicate. But, when a person starts to feel discomfort from therapy, it’s usually a sign they are beginning to move towards a more peaceful and healthy place in life.
San Diego therapist Sylvia Flanagan, MFT has over 15 years of experience and can assist you if you want to reframe your past and grow into a more positive and vitalized future. She has a private practice in Mission Valley. For more information about San Diego Counseling, feel free to call or email her. Office hours are Monday through Thursday 10:00 am through 6:00 pm. and Fridays from 10 through 3pm.