When thinking of one problem it can be very easy to begin to think of all our other current problems. Once this is happening the feeling of being overwhelmed can be just around the corner. When we feel overwhelmed anxious it is easy to jump to a belief conclusion such as......
"I am hopeless", "I cant cope" "I will never get through this", "She / he never listens to me", "I cant do it", "It wont work out" "Why bother trying"?
This article will describe an alternative process in dealing with problem.
Think of a problem where you seem to be stuck... then....
List everything that is currently not a problem for you. The purpose in doing this is to remind you of strengths and resources that you may have forgotten. For example...
- I have a career
- I am in a relationship where I feel loved and appreciated
- I have had good health
- I have close supportive friends
- I have interesting annual vacations
- Im strong and fit
- My finances are ok
- Anything else?
Look at everything that is not a problem, everything!
Then consider ......
How did you do that ? Why are these areas not a problem ?
- I have a career ( evidence is ... because I stayed motivated, studied, budgeted, planned organised)
- I am in a relationship where I feel loved and appreciated (because I am a good partner, I listen, I'm generous and honest)
- I have had good health (because I make good decisions about what I put in my mouth)
- I have close supportive friends (because I make time for my friends)
- I have interesting annual holidays (because I am good at planning)
- Im strong and fit (because I motivate myself to go to the gym 3 times a week)
- Finances ok (because I am careful about spending on things that I don't need)
The things that are not a problem in your life are probably nearly all there because you made it that way ! You are a strong and resourceful person AND you have resources. (motivation, values, strengths, skills, support, experience). Your are competent and are becoming more competent at solving problems .
Think of the problem again ..... does it still feel as BIG after you recall past problems, challenges, successes. Also, can you think of exceptions to "the problem"... times when the problem was not there.
These exceptions can often be the key to a solution but more often than not you will see yourself as more motivated when you can reflect on your competence and resources in dealing with previous problems.
Counselling can help you get an overview of all your strengths and resources and increase your motivation and confidence to meet life challenges even when you feel you have no skills, no experience and no resources.
*** The above is part of the process often used in Solution Based Brief Therapy.