Changes & Transitions, Counselling London
Resisting Change Before we change, we may need to work with, embrace, accept the part of us that (maybe unconsciously) doesn't want to change, e.g. when younger, to protect ourselves against being consumed by a controlling parent, we may have focused on resisting, not wanting to be controlled, and continue to do this now - learning to resist not only an authoritarian parent but also our own, authoritarian, controlling voice inside us. And this inner rebel, who is in reaction, may carry the voice of our resistant child: "Don't you tell me what to do" (not even me), "You can't make me", "I can do whatever I want", so we continuously end up in reaction between the part of us that wants to change and the part of us that doesn't want to. Melting away the blocks to our resistance may be explored in the therapy.
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.Heraclitus
Embracing, Processing Change Constant change, situations, people are ever present, unavoidable & is a natural continuous process with no beginning or end, like nature's seasons, the weather and us human beings can put our spin on the weather - good/bad, like we go for change, yet change (like impermanence) is inevitable. Everything changes. Our relationships change. Change is a fact at times, yet we may struggle with processing this, maybe experiencing some stress, fear, anxiety or doubt. For those of us that are neuro-diverse (e.g. dyslexic), processing change can be challenging. Everything is changing all the time and nothing stays still. Change happens anyway, anywhere. Circumstances nudge us to change. Our thoughts, feelings, moods, perceptions & bodies transform throughout our life. We, and the world, are in a constant flux, which requires us to move & respond. As Mohammed Ali once said: "If a man looks at the world when he is 50 the same way he looked at it when he was 20 and it hasn’t changed, then be has wasted 30 years of his life". Windows of opportunity present themselves, sometimes briefly. We can sometimes sense a wind of change in the air. And sometimes if we don't embrace & flexibly adapt to change, consider changing our approach and strategy, things may become stagnant, we may remain stuck, there can be a cost to our relationships, jobs & creativity. There is an anonymous quote "If plan A doesn't work, remember the alphabet has 25 more letters". Relaxing into change - being open to it (rather than resisting it), enjoying & embracing the process of change, being curious about it, may support our resilience, open up more opportunities, as we make the most of it. We can sometimes embrace change, allow change into our life in small ways, yet at other times change can call upon us to take a leap in order to make an impact. How to make tangible changes may be a challenge. It is understandable that some of us get anxious or procrastinate, waiting for change - even wanting it, but not making it happen. Some of us may fear change, not only because our own internal conflicts, but because we fear conflict with others. Knowing how to change, can be one challenge, turning towards change and doing it - another. We may have our own personal stumbling blocks, obstacles, reluctances. As we change, often others around us change in order to accommodate. Being in touch with our free spirit, yet accepting what we can't change may be important to us. (See also Freeing The Will)
Be the change you want to see in the world.Mahatma Gandhi
Some of us are ready for change yet don't know how. Others may struggle to see things through or tend to wait for a crisis. We are who we are, not only in spite of change but because of change. Some of us may believe that change is always bad, the same or worse. Acknowledging the brain's neuroplasticity and our ability to envision our future, the counselling for change explores these further.
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.Sun Tzu
Crisis As An Opportunity Sometimes change is forced upon us, because we need to respond to a crisis, make important choices. And what is happening (or not happening) in our life can also be viewed as symptoms (see also Therapy Approach - Working With You, Viewing Issues Also As Symptoms With A Backstory & Story Going Forward) pointing to a need for change, or adjusting to a new transition when we can't go on - "business as usual". We may experience a relationship crisis, an identity crisis, be in a life crisis or mid-life, existential crisis, have a sense of pointlessness, meaninglessness. We may assume that a crisis is negative, because it is painful and we may struggle to tolerate our uncomfortable feelings. However, as if at a turning point in life, crisis may indicate that something needs paying attention to, an opportunity for change or transformation, which may put us in touch us with our vulnerability, tenderness alongside our will, desire to change, the need to let go of something. Crisis can come upon us, showing us that something needs to become unstuck. Sometimes, in our heart of hearts, we know what we need to change.
Making Opportunities Happen Some of us may wait for opportunities to come along, yet being in touch with our authenticity, sense of presence, making the most of where we are now, what we see in front of us, weighing up whether opportunities are worth our time and effort may also be an important, as may seizing opportunities and making them happen (see also Counselling For Motivation & Will Power).
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.Heraclitus
Wanting To Change Others, Situations In the Paul Simon song "The Boxer", there is the line: "It isn't strange after changes upon changes we are more or less the same, after changes we are more or less the same." We may want to bring change into our life through changing jobs, relationship, moving home, yet may find ourself in a similar situation like before. Although we have moved away, we may not have moved on. We are free to change things, yet nothing will change unless we change. We may want to change our partner, or others, control them, yet often, as we change our behaviour, like the domino effect others frequently change their response, we become a catalyst for others to change, yet cannot expect others to do so, see and do things our way, owning our own helplessness over this. Accepting what things we can't change - things out of our control may be important. Yet just because we can't change certain situations, it doesn't mean we can't adjust, make the most of things, be flexible, respond creatively when we need to. Giving others the space to explore their own way, embracing alternative ways of seeing, doing things, may support us and also them.
The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.Nathaniel Branden
Inertia Sometimes we have a clear wakeup call - we are ready for change or are in touch with a wind of change, other times we feel stuck in some sort of inertia and may experience part of our life as stagnant, lost, stuck. Staying in our inertia, stuckness, stasis or frozen inside can keep us safe. Overwhelmed by something we may experience inertia and procrastinate - be in a state of paralysis, struggle to act - find our momentum (see also Discomfort Inside, Dissociation). We may feel low or emotionally blocked as if watching ourself from afar. We may be in a fog and have numbed our feelings as if stuck, lost and drifting or have a sense of boredom, pointing us towards change. Counselling and psychotherapy can explore what else may be happening inside for us that stops change and this may include a sense of neglect, apathy, inertia in our relationship. We may struggle to acknowledge that life, our life and the outside world is in constant flux.
Change your thoughts and you change your world.Norman Vincent Peale
How Our Past May Impact Upon Change We may not have been able to change things when younger, because we didn't have the tools, resources. Yet we do have the ability to change our past conditioning now. Some may discover that we want to completely change whole aspects of life, maybe our relationship, work, lifestyle, because we recognise we have been living from a wounded part of our self, which no longer helps us. Mourning our losses, grieving these, may also facilitate change, transformation.
You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.John C. Maxwell
Wind Of Change Moments, opportunities can present themselves where unexpected pointers arrive in our life, nudging us, as if from nowhere, or have been around for many a moon and maybe we weren't conscious of them. As if life calls upon us to respond (see also Therapy Approach - Working With You, Viewing Issues Also As Symptoms With A Backstory & Story Going Forward), sometimes it can be as if a wind of change has blown our way, offering us fresh possibilities (see also Consciousness In & Beyond Us). These experiences (maybe in the guise of uncomfortable emotions) may be experienced as a storm, needing us to ride it out, or a gentle whispering, subtle breeze (see also Energy & Quality Of Trees). These winds of change may test our courage, mental, emotional and spiritual skills, and we can have choice to embrace these winds - working with them, adjust our sails, and set forth, with its momentum towards change. And in these moments, when we are ready to catch these winds of change, believing them and feeling them (see also Life Transformation, Alchemy)it can seen like we are intuitively in the zone, and maybe sense an interconnectedness and feel more alive, as if the time is right for us. Sometimes our consistency maybe called for, other times - our initiative & spontaneity. On other occasions it may be important not to work on change, reflect, allowing for something else to emerge (see also Healthy Side Of Doubt). Change happens, and these changes can be perceived as positive, negative or simply part of life. We can sometimes be faced with the choice of doing what we've always done or changing this - choosing to do something different, changing our behaviour, helped by building & maintaining supportive habits. What change and choice means to us, and how we respond to it affects change, the nature of our free will and relationship to fatalism, determinism, indeterminism and randomness, karma can be included in the counselling & psychotherapy.
Whatever begins, also ends.Seneca
Wakeup Call Life or discontentment at times can give us a wakeup call to face what we need to face and the therapy can support us in exploring this process.
A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.Virginia Woolf
The counselling for change explores whether the change we require is about external change - what's happening outside of us or internal change, from the inside out - how do we need to change ourselves, the ingrained way we think, feel, behave, etc., is our heart open, exploration of being a different kind of self - being the person we want to be, and our capacity to change.
We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.Carl Jung
Capacity To Change Alongside our sense of coherence, inner continuity and biology, we may want to develop the person we want to be, evolve as a person, change who and how we are (see also Navigating Between Being & Doing), our future supported by what we envision. Throughout our life we are constantly learning through our actions, which helps create our self. Our brain creates neural pathways, associations, connections and as we change the way we think clear out what's no longer supportive (see also Releasing Ourselves & Letting Go), this opens up new pathways, new potential futures, which may also include redirecting our priorities, exploring other options, new possibilities. Allowing our imagination to run wild, the possibility of change - believing in it, can boost our discipline, determination to make things happen.
By changing nothing, nothing changes.Tony Robbins
Internal Reactions To Change The experiences and challenges of being human involves change, growth, learning, healing, ageing. Yet we are all creatures of habit and many of us don't like change, feeling uncomfortable with it, worry about it, yet as we change, we evolve. This may also include facets of our personality. Others may want to change yet fear it. Our brains can be wired for things to stay the same or safe, especially if we feel comfortable with the familiar. We may start worrying to stop bad things happening. The prospect of change may be stressful, evoking fear, anxiety, and can evoke our flight, flight, freeze reactions, panic attacks or we may have a sense of impending doom. We may feel lost, stuck and procrastinate. The sands of life shift (see also Uncertainty & The Unexpected). Taking fresh steps, choosing to take the less familiar, long way home may be a consideration, as may learning to adapt, be flexible and stay open to change, being realistic about what is possible, patient and compassionate, alongside being prepared for the unexpected, being part of the change - interacting with it, making the change, being the change (see also Building, Maintaining, Scheduling Supportive Habits, Routines, Rituals, Patterns), and this can enhance our muscle memory.
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.Rumi
How Change Tests Us Change in life affects us all, managing change can be challenging. Our resources can get tested as we face new challenges. Practising change in small and specific steps, can help us, supported by our will. Sometimes we can be comfortable in our life, enjoying things, coasting, doing the things we've always done. We may feel settled, yet uneasy, pointing us towards change. Contemplating change, and making it happen, stretching ourselves by entering into unfamiliar territories, stepping outside our comfort zone and taking risks, may threaten our sense of safety & security. Yet if we don't change or adapt, continue to do things the way we have always done, expect, we may become stuck, stagnant or unable to grow. Sometimes we can reach a crossroads or turning point, are faced with choices. Our attitude to change may be important as we become more positive, confidently crate possibilities, take decisions and actions. What we tell ourselves may also be explored (e.g. we may believe if we change, this doesn't make us real, so we may struggle to experiment with other ways of being), as well as our challenge to be real. Fear of failure or success can prevent us changing. We are creatures of habit & routine, yet some of our routines may be hindering us. So some, usually familiar changes - the ones we tend to anticipate & expect, can be easier to manage, than the unpredictable, unexpected or unfamiliar changes - ones we can't plan or anticipate. Such questions as "Where am I in my life?", "Why am I here?" and "What do I really want?" can bring us up against important existential concerns. Change can affect us, testing our deepest sense of who we are - our centre, as we give up what is familiar & plunge into what is unknown. As we let go of old ways of being, redundant thoughts, beliefs, habits, codependency, our rhythm & flow of life may be disturbed. And this disturbance or chaos at times, can be a catalyst for transformation. When we are in transition, we are often between stages and identities, and we can become disorientated, uncertain or more vulnerable because we are leaving behind the familiar. It may also be that our vulnerability can be our catalyst for change, creativity. For some, it may be painful to let go of friendships, which no longer serve or support us. Our flexible healthy boundaries, resilience & hardiness can support us with changes. The effects of change - in our own hands, accountability & our own responsibility can challenge our confidence. The therapy offers support in taking positive control of our behaviours, mastering them. We can't change something we don't know we are doing and counselling & psychotherapy also acknowledges the role of the unconscious. For example: outwardly we may want to change, yet inwardly something may stop us and the counselling & psychotherapy can explore this alongside how we can get more comfortable with change - embracing it into our lives, so it also energises us, provides opportunities, exploring what changes we will need to make.
Nothing changes if nothing changes.Courtney Stevens
Clarifying What It Is That Needs To Change Acknowledging what we can't change, clarifying and setting our intention on changing what we can, need and want to change may be important. It may include:
- Our relationship
- Our partner
- Our thoughts & beliefs, attitude
- Our feelings
- Our behaviour
- The connections we need & make
- Healing what we need to heal
- How we see the world
- Shifting the patterns in our life
- Releasing ourselves & letting go
- Inner authority, own authority
- Our evolution as a person
- The future
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.Carl Rogers
Change - Our Challenges The way we think about what we want can influence the outcome, so stating something positive in what we want right now - our intention can support change alongside other factors. Coming up against change we may be faced with certain challenges:
- How we respond to the part of us who is invested in not changing (see also Chasm)
- Why are we making the change (e.g. what is our purpose for change)?
- What are the advantages & disadvantages of making changes (e.g. spending less time on other tasks)?
- Does this change reflect who we are, our identity?
- That we are who we are not only in spite of change but because of change
- What's regressive, what's progressive
- Does this change match our values & beliefs?
- What to change (what do we specifically want to happen, e.g. our behaviour)?
- What is the worthwhileness of what we want to do (e.g. is it worth this effort)?
- How to change (e.g. our beliefs)?
- What are our capabilities & skills?
- How do we need any others to be involved, do we need any external services, equipment?
- How do we respond to the saying "You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs"?
- What is the context for change (e.g. where & when do we want this change, what area of our life will it affect)? Where to change (e.g. what specific circumstances, areas in our life)?
- How clear are we of the outcome (e.g. how will we know when we've achieved what we want, what is the evidence, what will be different, what will have changed, how will we feel)?
- Is the change we are seeking behavioural (rarely permanent - especially if coming from our wounded self) or authentic? (The energy of which is felt differently when we come from being our own strong loving adult), being in touch with our (loving) intention, taking responsibility for our feelings rather than trying to control others.
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.Maya Angelou
Life Transitions All our experiences are temporary. Situations change calling upon us to transcend them, yet we may hold back if we fear the unknown. Not wanting to change, some of us may hold on to things, yet life is transient and when our life is in transition, memories of previous transitions often occur. Transitions are the time of uncertainty loss & of letting go. Endings, loss and grief reignite previous ones. Sometimes the temporariness of situations and of life are realised (see also Life Transition & Existential Concerns) and this can be a positive force for change. Change also gets thrust upon us, needs our response. Staying present, being in the moment may support us.
If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself.Norman Vincent Peale
Time For Renewal Life is full of many stages & we learn to adapt & transform through each new phase. It may be our time to create space & quiet time, take pauses, observe, reflect, do something differently, connect & share with others. The time might be right to renew the way we have been, freshening our emotions, mind & consciousness, so we are able to adapt to a new phase or path in life, not always sure where this takes us. This may or may not also point to our existential struggles or re-examining our own meaning, purpose and direction. And new perspectives may emerge as we open the space in our mind, where we embrace the flow of life's inevitable change.
One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.Friedrich Nietzsche
Life Transformation, Alchemy On the one hand, our belief in the alchemy of change, transformation, could be seen as mysterious, magical thinking, yet on the other hand something important, not quite tangible or logical may be emerging for us, as we transform our energies - even through setbacks as we recognise the value of everything, focusing on the pure gold within. Some of us may be at an important turning point, where the ingredients of our life come together, acting as a catalyst, simmering away, and are brought to the boil (see also Wind Of Change). The issues & concerns we have (some may be of an existential nature), important though they are (including our uncomfortable emotions), may also be seen as symptoms, carrying messages or experienced as a force of energy, the momentum of which may be pointing towards something (often unconsciously) on the cusp of changing for us. New perspectives may emerge as we transform any limiting beliefs, concrete thinking. Counselling & psychotherapy considers not only our immediate concerns, underlying symptoms (see also Therapy Approach - Working With You, Viewing Issues Also As Symptoms With A Backstory & Story Going Forward), blind spots but also our imagination, what else might be happening & emerging, transforming for us in our life, pointing to our growth, so we can become who we want to be. And as we transform, so too may our relationship. Before we transform, trusting the process of change may be important. Some may have likened this moment of readiness to change as similar to an alchemical process, as if things align between personal energy and universal energy (see also Physical Wellbeing - Body Vitality & Breathing), crystallising something apparently worthless, transmuting into something precious, powerful, important, yet unknown. In this space our concept of time may bend and we may sense an interconnectedness between our past, present & future. How we experience our senses & reality may be different. These important moments, transformations, through the readiness of time, like nature rejuvenating itself, through its seasons (for example winters' gestations, springs' renewal, summers' growth, autumns' harvest and the return of winter), darkness (see also Inconsolable, Dark Night Of The Soul) & light, from losses & little deaths (in the form of disappointments, partings, separations (see also Overcoming Fear Of Rejection, Fear Of Loss, Abandonment Issues), endings, each evening and sunset, the ending of a day, each exhalation and transition), deaths - literal & non-literal, may also point towards renewal, births & rebirths occurring and regenerating throughout our life. Opening to these unknown or even chaotic roads - some of this may be connected to our past. (As Friedrich Nietzsche stated: "One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star"), having the courage to include & allow this chaos (and our suffering, shadow, life crisis), remaining centred and grounded, holding our grace, may be an important, vital part of our alchemical journey towards change, insight and transforming our life, our physical, emotional (e.g. transforming certain emotions - anger, frustration, irritation, guilt, shame), psychological, sexual (see also Union & Orgasmic Experiences) or spiritual energies into creative and imaginary forms - see also Relaxing Into Our Being - Being In Our Being, Being Fully Human, Soulful (e.g. stress into excitement or calmness, frustration towards positive action) and developing limitless fresh possibilities in everything sometimes through life's paradoxes, contradictions, conflicts, contrasts, dilemmas, ambivalence. This may now matter to us as may being open to the potential of love in its many forms, being a catalyst for transformation. A letting go of something in order for something else to emerge, transform, may be relevant to us. As we learn to mourn our losses, grieve, let go, transform negative thoughts, feelings, beliefs, behaviours (supported by us transforming attitude and perceptions maybe overlooking the visible in order to seek the hidden gold), we can take charge of our own script, relationship style & sense of identity, develop supportive habits, and a new phase of life, sense of personal power may emerge. For some, this transformation may be about living in the permanent tension between being authentic and inauthentic, changing what we are doing for the highest good, utilising our free will, journeying into our beliefs and thoughts, surrendering, allowing for something new to emerge, opening our heart, which for others may lead to spiritual enquiry. When given space, love itself, when we tune into it, can be transformational, healing and the therapy can be a containing space to explore these movements, moments where we change & transform, expanding, integrating, yet consolidate and stay the same. (For some our experience of transformation can be experienced as enlightenment - whether a process or a event, and either way take us closer to our essence.) Where we place our attention is where we place, transmute our energy, so utilising our focus, attention, concentration towards what we envision may also be part of our transformation.
The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.Joseph Campbell
The ability to manage & embrace change can be assisted by:
- Acknowledging that change is inevitable
- Acknowledging that change can be good or positive & lead to growth
- Accepting that change sometimes won't be easy or painless
- Acknowledging and embracing sacrifices, challenges & letting go
- Acknowledging that there may be a part of us which doesn't want to change or sabotage change
- Managing our anxiety & internal conflicts
- Accepting that many things are not predictable, accepting the unknown, uncertainty
- Responding to the unforeseen, life's confusions, dilemmas, ambiguities, double-binds, paradox
- Tolerating uncomfortable feelings
- Viewing problems & crises also as opportunities
- Being in touch with our intention to change
- Acknowledging if we want things to change, we have to change something
- Making the change happen usually not with force but with love so we remain patient and determined throughout the process
- Distinguishing between "could", "should", "must" & "will"
- Defining why we really want this change
- Being clear what it is we want & what needs to change
- Accepting what is in our control, and what isn't
- Accepting "what is" & that some things can't be changed
- Changing simple routines or habits (can be good training to cope with the unexpected, unfamiliar or uncontrollable)
- Keeping some routine, giving us a sense of stability & security, providing support for us during unexpected changes
- Finding a balance (centred) between the habits & routines we keep and those we can let go of
- Unlearning, relearning
- Acknowledging our basic abilities to adapt
- Having courage
- Acknowledging our limitations & willingness to take risks
- Being inquisitive, open about change, wondering & being curious what the challenge of change might mean for us & what needs to be transformed
- Being willing to move physically, emotionally & psychologically
- Checking that the direction we head in, is getting us where we want to be
- Stepping through our defences when we need to
- Having an adaptable, creative way of thinking
- Having tools to face & overcome the challenges of change
- Having our own plan, goals (taking one change at a time), looking to the next steps, timescale
- Monitoring & measuring our progress
- Working out what will support, sustain the change
- Being able to see a bigger picture
- Being clear about what will not change in us, e.g. our values - knowing what we value
- Knowing what's really important for us in the world, what we appreciate
- Connecting to what matters & our own purpose
- Being mindful
- Being with positive, supportive people
- Optimising our health, lifestyle
- Looking after ourself, taking rest
It isn't strange after changes upon changes we are more or less the same,Paul Simon
after changes we are more or less the same.
All things in nature, even the universe itself, have their span of existence, birth and death, beginning and ending.from Amaravati Buddhist monastery writing of the meditation teachings of Ajahn Sumedho
All that we perceive, and can conceive of, is change, it is impermanent. So it can never permanently satisfy you.
Specific Counselling Questions You may have questions about change in life, transition in life, e.g.:
- Change of life - are changes in life difficult?
- I want to change my life - is changing in life possible?
- Managing change - how to manage change?
- Life transition - how can I make a smooth transition in life?
- Transformation or change - I'm in some sort of life transformation, how can I manage my confusion?
- I want to change my life - how can I make responding to change easy?
- I'm at a crossroads in life - which way should I go down?
- Why do people change?
- Can a person change?
- How do people change?
- Can people really change?
- How do you change yourself?
- Can people change who they are?
FAQs about the Counselling for Change London practice based in Kings Cross, Camden:
- What is the frequency of counselling in London, Kings Cross?
- How many counselling in London sessions do I need?
- How much does counselling London cost?
- Must I visit your London counselling practice in Camden or do you offer Skype counselling, online counselling or Telephone counselling?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of offering online counselling, Skype counselling or in-person counselling in London, Camden, Kings Cross
- Do you only offer counselling in London, Camden or Kings Cross?
- What times do you offer counselling in London, Kings Cross or Camden?
- How do I contact a counsellor in London, Camden, or near Kings Cross?
- How effective is counselling in London, Kings Cross, Camden?
- What can I expect from the initial session of counselling London?
- What to expect from the other counselling London sessions?
- What is the typical duration of the London counselling services in Camden, Kings Cross