What? You’re seeing a shrink?
The oft spoken observation made by therapists is that clients come into counseling too late and leave too soon. When one of them finally breaks the impasse and signals for help, the damage is severe, sometimes irreparable. And by the time a couple arrives in therapy, they have spent many months, even years, attempting to resolve their issues in the same unfruitful ways, the effect of which is to create deep ruts in their communication and scars in their relationship. Embarrassment, fear, shame, pride, old wounds–there are many reasons why they are reluctant to seek help from outside the marriage. As counseling progresses, pain may increase as unresolved issues are uncovered, new ways of being and communicating are explored. A client may lose heart and simply quit.
When I meet with them, I offer hope. No one who sincerely wants improvement is beyond redemption. My mantra is: Dum spiro spero–Latin for “As long as I breathe, I hope!”
So, imagine you’re sitting with me, having worked up the courage to admit that your efforts to effect change in a given situation have failed and that you “need input.” Having listened to your story and gotten a grasp on your dilemma, I will say the following to you:
“I can help you. You’ve done the right thing in reaching out. I believe I can bring you some good things, if you will commit to a new way of problem solving and conflict resolution. It’s taken you this long to get to this point in your life and relationship…it’s going to take some time to undo the damage and to come into a new way of being–with yourself and with your partner/family member. It will take commitment, effort and time. I will make the commitment, the effort and the time and I invite you to do the same. My suggestion is that we make a six-session commitment to this process, come hell or high water. You may feel indifferent, disappointed or even disillusioned with an apparent lack of progress, a potential deepening of pain or no obvious light at the end of the tunnel. But if you allow me to be your guide, we’ll make some headway. In our sixth session, we’ll evaluate our progress and make decisions about continuing. Are you up for it?”
If you’re thinking about getting help for your relationship, why not connect with me? I’ll hold out hope for you until you have hope for yourself! Connect with me, Clair Jantzen, for online counseling. For an in-office session, call 236.420.4360 or book it yourself online at Third Space Mind Counselling.