Friend A: “So, what are you doing for your New Year’s Resolution?”
Friend B: “Oh, I’ve given that a lot of thought and I have decided to delve into my most painful memories and experiences and go to counseling.”
Friend A: “You what?”
Friend B: “Yup. I want to talk about my life’s traumatic events, my heartbreak over Betty Lu and how my parents shamed me into behaving when I was a kid. What about you? What’s your New Year’s Resolution?”
Friend A: “Ahh … I thought I’d join a gym.”
Okay, I’ll admit, this conversation is not typical … okay, maybe it’s rare … okay, maybe no one has ever said they actually want to go to counseling as a resolution. Nevertheless, it’s a great New Year’s Resolution!
The concept of a New Year’s Resolution is the notion of taking charge of an issue on the first day of the brand new year. January 1 represents a fresh, exciting and hopeful beginning. There is a belief that this will be the year where we finally overcome those things that trouble us and we can move forward unhindered.
Then, there is reality. How many years have you tried to accomplish a New Year’s Resolution only to have it crushed under the weight of entrenched habits and beliefs? Did the resolution really stand a chance in the first place?
Even with sincere effort, making lasting change can be difficult. Is it plausible that there are hidden, underlying experiences, feelings and beliefs that prevent you from successfully accomplishing your resolutions? Too, what if the likelihood of your success today was torpedoed years ago and you are not consciously aware that something happened? Being derailed by negative messaging from our parents, teachers, church and community may affect your today.
What would it be like if you were to explore the reasons why year after year your New Years Resolutions do not materialize? When we understand better the underlying causes that derail us from success, we are better able to approach our goals from a healthier place. Counseling opens that door.
My 2019 wish for you is that you be the first one to say, “My New Year’s Resolution is therapy”.
Angela Grace MA, BCC