Personal Growth Counseling
Awareness Of Your Self Is The First Step To Personal Growth
Whatever issues bring you to seek counseling, our initial focus will be on improving your self-awareness. Why? Because if you want to make changes, you need to understand what's going on inside yourself. We'll focus on three areas of self-awareness:
- Somatic self-awareness- the ability to pinpoint sensation (tension, temperature, movement, heaviness) in your body.
- Can you distinguish between tension and relaxation in different parts of your body?
- Do you notice when a spot of your body feels warmer or colder than other spots?
- Are you able to notice when part of your body wants to move (for example, do your fists want to clench sometimes)?
- Can you sense lightness or heaviness in different parts of your body?
- Do you know what somatic patterns correspond to your emotional states?
- Emotional self-awareness- the ability to discern what your emotions are in any given moment.
- Are you happy, sad, scared, angry, jealous, content, or something else?
- Does the intensity of your emotional response match the situation?
- Do you want to feel this way or would you like to feel another way?
- Are you able to accept what you’re feeling even if you don’t like it?
- Cognitive self-awareness- the ability to identify your beliefs about how you, your family, and the world should work.
- What do you expect from yourself, your child, your partner, your family, your parents, you friends, and your neighbors?
- What do you believe about yourself and others when those expectations aren’t met?
- Do these beliefs support you or do they prevent you from becoming the person you really want to be?
People often tell me that simply knowing that, for example, they're tensing their shoulders, or feeling angry, or ruminating on an unpleasant experience is enough to help them change their behavior. It's amazing how much of that stuff humans are able to do without realizing that's what they're doing. Freud described some of these things as that which occurs in our unconscious, but I prefer to think of them as things outside of our awareness. Once brought into our awareness we're able to exert some control over them.
Personal Growth Continues Through Identifying Unmet Needs and Improving Relationship Skills
As you increase your self-awareness, we will also explore your unmet needs and relationship skills. Often these unmet needs are things we've been carrying around since childhood.
For example, someone I worked with was frustrated by her difficulty with making new friends. As we worked together it became clear that she struggled with a need to be validated and affirmed as significant. This is a basic relational need to simply be recognized as a valuable person. Because of her temperament and other experiences as a child, she often felt overlooked in social situations. And because she had so many experiences of feeling overlooked, she developed a habit of withdrawing in social situations. Once she was aware of this need she was able to get it met and she could give herself some support in these social situations. And, she finally found herself making the friends she wanted.
Distress tolerance, presence, and contact skills are the other pieces of the foundation for change and becoming yourself.
Get A Free Consultation
If you'd like to get started with personal growth counseling, give me a call at 614-398-2051. We'll find time for your free 15 minute consultation. During the consultation, you can ask your questions and we will explore if we'd be a good match. Call or email anytime to talk with me and find out more.