Survival requires change

So does thriving.

I am fascinated when two articles come together about the same time totally unconnected as to how I got them.  Facebook for one and an email for the other.  I am recognizing in myself a need for more change.  I equate my experience in counseling as doing something similar to changing my car engine while driving down the freeway.  The very core of counseling is presenting the client with new ideas that require change.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Henry Ford

The first article is from the counselor’s perspective on how to facilitate real change.
I experienced this approach many times from my counselor.  Some ideas were presented many times before I could wrap my mind around the concept.  I struggled with the belief that I could make the changes he recommended.
Which brings me to the second article.  Originally I wasn’t going to use it because the approach of the writer is in-your-face and for some people a bit offensive….please be warned if you follow this link.
I decided to use the link anyway because it brings up something extremely important in the process of change, how minds accept or not accept new ideas.
The psychology word for getting new information that does not fit in my paradigm (belief system) is cognitive dissonance.  I will be spending several posts sharing my thoughts on this for one important reason.  Childhood abuse, trauma, and other difficult life experiences may distort our world view and self-concept.  I had a difficult time believing my counselor when he told me I was a good person.  So simple but so outside of what I believed.  I was regularly told I was stupid, inadequate, and hard to teach.  I made mistakes and those mistakes were pointed out and highlighted on a regular basis.  This new information that I was a good person, I rejected the idea completely because it didn’t fit the words I heard growing up.  It created cognitive dissonance.  I squirmed away.  But I was desperate too.  The reason I was in counseling in the first place because after I had cancer and lived, I didn’t want to live the life I was living any more.  I reached the change or die vortex.  I chose to change.  Counseling was the avenue I used.  I was blessed with an amazing counselor that understood PTSD.  I now understand how difficult it is to find a counselor that understands PTSD.  Better yet, he understood me without a lot of explanation.  However, he spent a lot of time overcoming my cognitive dissonance.  That was why I needed to change my engine in the first place.  I needed to rebuild myself from the ground up starting with, “I am a good person.”

4 thoughts on “Survival requires change

  1. As a CSA survivor with PTSD, I can relate very well to what you shared. This statement: “I rejected the idea completely because it didn’t fit the words I heard growing up.” was so true for me and I think one of the things that makes it so hard to change. In some ways, I’d gotten to the place where I wouldn’t even let myself notice the good because it was so out of context with my self-concept. But things can change. Thanks for sharing!

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