I often will see people come for psychotherapy because they are experiencing a sense of being lost, trapped or stuck in their lives. You feel as if no matter what you do, you cannot make the progress towards the things that give you fulfillment. You want to make the changes that will get you out of the “stuckness” but you get into a spiral of ambivalence and procrastination. It is possible that you’ve ended up in this purgatory state simply out of being too busy to address it. The basis for your sense of “stuckness” may be varied but the source tends to be a fear of uncertainty that comes with making changes to our lives.
Once you’ve identified the uncertainty and fear preventing you from making the necessary changes to remove you from the purgatory of “stuckness” perhaps you also want to discover what it means for you to live your truth and achieve flourishing. Within the literature, there are two types of happiness described eudaimonic wellbeing, which describes long-lasting and meaning driven growth that individuals experience, and hedonic wellbeing, which is more related to subjective, discreet happiness. The concept of eudaimonia and the related concept of self-actualization come from a desire to achieve personally meaningful interests. Eudaimonia is thought of as a way of living and a eudaimonic person is thought to be consciously engaged in self-awareness and self-reflection seeking to facilitate development of personal growth and self-actualisation. The promotion of this eudaimonic happiness comes from an individual’s ability to engage in self-regulation, goal-setting and personal growth to prevent maladaptation.
Psychotherapy helps you uncover the long-held (sometimes hidden) negative beliefs, emotions, and behaviour patterns that drive your resistance to change. It involves collaboratively identifying these negative beliefs and thought patterns and challenging them. In psychotherapy you are tasked with discovering your values and using those to commit to a plan of action. Further, psychotherapy is effective in strengthening self-compassion, self-worth, and ability to bounce back after setbacks. As old wounds emerge in the context of a safe, compassionate relationship, the therapist and client respond to the wounds in a more benign, understanding manner; and gradually the conversation with the clinician is internalized by the client as their own compassionate voice. And, over time, this cultivation of a compassionate inner voice allows the therapy to become portable.
When we achieve improvements to our self-efficacy, it promotes overall flourishing and personal growth beyond the areas targeted and results in a long-term impact on eudaimonic wellbeing through the setting and achievement of personal growth goals. The setting of personal growth goals that are specific, measurable, and achievable is supported by the literature as a means of increasing self-efficacy and attaining client-led, goal-related changes. Achieving success is predicated upon self-knowledge of your interests, values, strengths and understanding what drives you. The combination of these factors are the blueprint for building self-efficacy. It is important to engage in regular reflection activities to achieve these goals and generate motivation towards these goals. If you need any help in identifying your uncertainty towards change, developing goals for change, or building up your toolbox for resiliency feel free to reach out.