counseling

Dx: Anvil Anticipation

I think a lot of people suffer from it.*

It's a mental disorder in which a person expects to get smushed by life. They live life hunched over and shirking, ever observant and constantly processing, certain — even in (and especially in) their good times — that bad is going to come careening out of the sky with a weight and a force that destroys. They are Wylie Coyote and their destiny is to have anvils fall out of the sky upon them. Those unfortunate enough to have this disorder, find that trust does not come easily. Their joy is cautious, rarely fully realized. Defeat and depression are the homeland they must regularly wade through, push past and daily leave behind.

Treatment plans often feature leaps of faith, immersion therapy, supportive relationships with trustworthy people, regular vacations, hugs, analysis of past smushings, paying particular attention to the positives, sharing moments of delight, and time.

*this is not a real disorder.

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Does this "diagnosis" fit you? You're not alone ... and I'd love to help you work through it. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT!

Counseling is a Good Idea: Here's Why ...

We humans have an amazing capacity for NOT putting two and two together. It doesn't matter who you are — genius, successful, experienced, academic OR not — you miss something. Lots of somethings. We walk around with blinders on.

I'm no exception. Case and point:

I've always known I was a "southpaw." But, until recently, I thought eating and writing were the only things I did with my left hand. Turns out I brush my teeth left-handed, too. It took me more than 30 years to note something I've been doing for more than 30 years. Crazy, right? The discovery came out of a casual discussion with my in-laws about my left-handedness. Someone probed me about my habits and, forced to think about it, I was astonished by what I discovered.

I think we all do a lot of things out of habit. Whether it's muscle memory or instinct or learned coping behavior, we do an awful lot in life — spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically — without thinking about it or being aware of it. We don't always connect the dots. That's not always a bad thing, but it can be. That's where I think therapy can be helpful — in the cluing us in and clarifying of things.

No, you don't need to know that you brush your teeth with your left hand, but it may help you to know:

  • that you're attracted to chaotic relationships because that's what you grew up navigating.
  • that being uncomfortable is comforting to you and that that's why you sabotage all things good in your life.
  • that you eat excessively (or starve) because food is the one thing in life you've ever felt you had any power or control over.
  • that you drink alcohol to avoid being socially awkward because being socially awkward makes you feel what you've always felt and believed about yourself — that you're alone and unworthy of love and attention.
  • that [insert YOUR story here] ...

All of it, any of it, might help you to know that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE.

I think therapy is a lot about that stuff. Counseling is about the exploration of what we do and why we do it and why it matters. More importantly, therapy is about the hope generated by the exploration of self, life and God — a brand new opportunity to respond accordingly, to begin again … to be transformed.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
— Proverbs 9:10

Awareness is a requisite first step toward change. So, here's to taking the blinders off? Join me for a consultation session!

On Why You Should Get Uncomfortable

In our society, we have come to believe that discomfort always means something is wrong. We are conditioned to believe that feelings of distress, pain, deprivation, yearning and longing mean something is wrong with the way we are living our lives.

Conversely, we are convinced that a rightly lived life must give us serenity, completion and fulfillment. Comfort means “right” and distress means “wrong.” The influence of such convictions is stifling to the human spirit. Individually and collectively, we must somehow recover the truth. The truth is, we were never meant to be completely satisfied.
— Gerald May (as quoted by Jan Meyers in "The Allure of Hope")