Hello, Beautiful Thinkers...
I’m one of the talk practitioners who only works with people ready, willing and able to engage in talk therapy. Not every practitioner out there will agree with this stance so if you’re reading this and you think ‘this doesn’t apply to me, does that mean I can’t get help?’ – don’t worry, the beauty of you being your unique self is that there is also a unique practitioner out there who’s best suited for you, it might just not be me.
Ready – it might seem quite self-explanatory but a surprising amount of people wanting change in their lives aren’t actually ready. But being ready can mean many things. It can be that they’re not ready to commit time-wise to therapy. Much like, if you wanted to get fit, but you only wanted to dedicate one hour once a month to it, you’re unlikely to see any significant results. And I don’t say that because I want your money and want you to commit to seeing me once a week for the next few years. Because, you can get fit by hiring a personal trainer you see once a month (or less, or not at all) as you as you keep going to the gym and applying what you know about getting fit. But if you just sit on the sofa, hoping you’ll get fit by watching exercise videos, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Likewise, if you were to only talk to a personal trainer about your fitness programme every week, you still won’t get fit if you don’t actually apply the training programme. So, being ready to talk to a practitioner like me, doesn’t necessarily mean making the time to see me weekly, but it does mean taking your change process seriously and wanting to apply yourself, wanting to make changes in your life and having the time to do so. Because, if you work full-time and you’re a mum of two, and you’re doing most of the housework and you think going to the gym is more important than taking care of your mental health, then you might, realistically, not have the time to apply what you learn when talking to someone like me. And there’s no shame in that. There’s no judgement from me. All I’m saying is that you have to be ready – ready to commit, ready to do the work, ready to step into discomfort and apply changes. Because if you don’t change anything, nothing will change.
Willing – again, it’s pretty explanatory and relates to my first point about being ready. But again, sometimes we think we’re ready and then when it comes to making difficult choices, we’re just not ready. And again, there is zero shame in that and no judgement on my part. I’ve been there! I’ve been the one desperately wanting life to change, really wanting to feel better about myself but I wasn’t willing to face the facts of what was making me unhappy and change it. I was in a relationship where I felt lonely and unaccepted which made me feel unloved a lot of the time but I was also so in love and so worried about living a life alone that I refused to acknowledge that my problems stemmed from the relationship I was in. I wasn’t willing to go there. Even when my body started to shut down, physically as well, I still refused to acknowledge the role of my relationship.
Working with me I don’t expect you to be ready and willing to blow up your entire life. But I do expect you to be willing to face some hard truths even if you’re not ready to make any changes yet. To be willing to acknowledge your role in your stuckness. To be willing to talk about it and not avoid uncomfortable conversations and feelings.
Again, not all practitioners will share this stance, so if you’re having any kind of negative feelings towards me or my words as you read this, I’m probably not the right person for you. And there’ll be someone else, ready and willing to work with you and hold you where you’re currently at and what you’re needing but you also have to be honest with yourself about what you’re wanting to get from talk therapy – no shame, and no judgement – is it simply someone to listen with no changes applied? Is it someone who’ll push you and challenge you? Is it someone who’ll teach you new perspectives? Is it advice or a compassionate ear? Be honest with yourself so you can find the perfect match for you and your needs at this moment in time.
Able – this one is tricky!
Able can mean many things.
Are you able to financially cover therapy?
Are you able to physically and mentally apply changes just now?
Are you able to find the time to commit to this process?
Are you in a relationship or family dynamic where you’re able to attend therapy?
Are you in a situation where there’s external support to help you during your therapeutic journey?
Are you able to do the work?
If you had to make an entry in the Manual of You, what might you put down under each category
Are you ready, willing and able to change?
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, or didn't, or want to add something or have a question, feel free to comment below (but try and be kind about it - I'm a terribly sensitive soul).
Don't forget that this is just my opinion. You don't have to agree. These pieces of writing are just here to make you think and take from it what you like and find helpful and ignore the rest. At the end of the day, it's your life and, therefore, what you consume, what you believe, and what you think and feel is your choice.
Also, this article has been brought to you by a perfectly imperfect, flawsome dyslexic. I hope any potential spelling or grammar mistakes didn't take away from your enjoyment.
Meandering thoughts about life and the meaning of everything, from a know-it-not-all!