Individual therapy is a process in which clients work one-on-one with a counselor in an environment that fosters safety, accountability, insight and empowerment. The counselor and client explore feelings, perceptions, thoughts and actions in order to gain awareness and insight into what “drives” them in their lives towards consequences they may not desire, and identify beliefs that may be old and unhelpful. Individual therapy takes courage and support.
Support is what our children need as they grow. We all want results in our lives and to believe we are authors of our own story, and co-authors in our children narratives.
Parenting is perhaps the most difficult and most important job any of us will ever undertake. For most of us, we haven’t really looked at our own memory system and narrative systems from the past. Many of the parents that come to see us want to see change in their children.
This makes sense. They (we) love their (our) children very much, and want the best for them. It can be quite freeing and hopeful to hear that how we, as parents, relate to our own past determines how are children relate to us. At first it is painful, none of us wanted to hurt our children in any way, but as we accept that we were trained to be parents too, often without even knowing what we were taught, and as we make sense and new meaning of our own past, we become solutions to the things that bother us about our children.
In individual therapy we can begin to look at some questions, such as:
The first step is asking for help. When we were little, we needed our parents to be our mirrors and help us know ourselves. We needed them to help us understand our inner lives, and to be consistently warm, responsive, nurturing and limit setting so we could grow up to be thriving adults.
Don’t worry if this wasn’t what you grew up in. Again, being a parent is tough.
Just because we are grown up now doesn’t mean we don’t need our own mirrors. The first step is making the call, coming in and learning new skills if needed and reparenting yourself. As you do this, the children change and both of you become authors in your own lives.