People come to therapy for a variety of reasons. Dr. Dawson has found that the most common reasons include some form of loss or trauma. One person has lost a part of herself because she just can’t talk to her partner anymore. The part of her who was happy with her partner has gone. Another is enduring an identity crisis. Either way, the question of “who am I” looms large.
Still another person has suffered an accident, maybe even endured physically disabling injuries. This person quickly becomes frustrated, discouraged, and feels isolated from activities and people once enjoyed. Psychological injury has also been done.
Yet another has lost someone he has depended on for his whole life. A parent, spouse, or friend has passed on or simply left without saying goodbye. It can feel like a part of who he is has died.
All of these people are searching to understand the unfairness of it all – to answer the question “why me?” – and to foster the hope of finding a “new normal” in which one can be oneself again.
Individual therapy can help you identify the strengths and resources you still have and move forward with your life with a renewed sense of self, acceptance, and commitment to yourself and others.
Whether your life and relationships are disrupted by trauma or loss, trying to cope on your own can be very difficult. Medication can help with the symptoms, but the psychological injury can’t be addressed with medication alone. In the self who looks back at us when we look in the mirror, psychological – sometimes even spiritual change – is necessary.
It can be a real struggle to move forward. We might wish to get back to normal overnight, but to heal, we need to learn from going through the struggle. As much as we might wish it not to be, the unexpected is an intrinsic part of life. We need to adjust our expectations and go easier on ourselves – be gentler with ourselves and forgive ourselves for failing to be perfect. We may have spent our lives giving all we can to others, but that’s left us with little to replenish ourselves. It’s time to refocus on us.
We might need to acknowledge we can’t save the world while we attend to healing ourselves. We might need to take a step back, give ourselves the gift of a little time, and even do what others might call “a little selfish”, while we rediscover who we are. In this way, we can replenish the energy we need to devote to others in the future.
How can we redefine ourselves? The answer is:
- Recognize you can’t do it all yourself – you need help,
- Be willing to invest time in yourself,
- Learn some ways to calm those physical and emotional impacts,
- Develop a vision for the new person you can become, and, last but not least,
- Build your NEW YOU in the world.
The Resources menu has strategies, approaches, and tools that will support you through all these steps! But if you don't use them, you won't reap the rewards!