I Want To Change AND I Don’t Want To Change

May is Mental Health Awareness Month so I thought I’d do something a little different.

SITUATION: You’ve been thinking about what you want for years and you’ve finally made the phone call, got the appointment, and have even been to several sessions-but you still feel the same. What could be going on?
This is very common and several things could be going on but for this month, I only want to talk about 2 possibilities. It’s something for you to consider if you’re seeing a mental health professional or are considering seeing one.

I Want To Change AND I Don’t Want To Change

Before I accept someone to work with, I ask do they have emotional energy, time, and the finances to support what they’re about to undertake. Engaging in therapy is NOT easy, it’s not a walk in the park where the clinician waves a magic wand over you and ‘poof’, life is shiny and brand new.
It takes serious work, a commitment of time, and emotional energy, and financial resources to take you from A to Z – and you have to do the work.
But maybe you don’t want to: Here are 2 possibilities using examples:
1. Perhaps you’re the type of person who worries. A lot. You’ve been worrying for years and you say, “I’m tired of all this worrying”. You go to some sessions but you’re feeling frustrated that you’re still worrying. And your mental health provider may be feeling a little frustrated too.
What could be going on?: It could be that a part of you believes your worrying actually serves a protective function, a purpose,  and if you don’t worry, a lot, something bad will truly happen. So you worry to keep the bad situations away. And you’re afraid to give up the worrying for what you fear will replace it – something bad. So right now you’ve got some good reasons to keep the anxiety going – the worrying keeps you or someone you love safe. 
Or perhaps this situation:
2. Someone else is worrying too and like the person above, says she wants positive change, but unlike above, she doesn’t want to do the work necessary to address her anxiety symptoms. Bottom line, she doesn’t want to do the work, like homework, truly engage in the sessions, or investigate where the symptoms could be coming from. Again frustration on both the client’s and the clinician’s part.
There’s nothing wrong with being in either state –it’s just where you are- but if you truly want that shift, you and the clinician will need to figure out what’s truly going on for you and that could allow you to make the shift you say you want. 
To your mental health!
As always, I love helping women live happier lives. Whether you call it depression, anxiety, stress, or nerves, I’d like to help. I invite you to call me at 512.680.2874 for your free 15-minute phone consultation. Let’s discuss how I may be able to help. If we decide to meet, I’ll have tea and chocolate waiting for you. 
Looking forward to hearing your story and helping you feel better, 

Dr. B. 

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