My crystal ball just doesn't work, even though people think it should. I often quip that I have had it in for repair many times, but no matter what, I just can see the future. People come to my office and say "fix me, something is wrong." But they have no clue about what. Sometimes they sit there stoically and answer with one word answers in spite of vast open end questions. It's almost as if they think their 22 1/2 yes's and no's will lead me to some sort of hidden answer. I just love the folks that want to argue with each and every thing I say or suggest. But yet they still come, or sometimes don't. They are invested in their challenges and for the most part, don't want to change. Most are there because someone said they need to be. And then they just sit there and expect me to pull out some pixie dust and poof, it's all better.
Yes, of course I know all about what it takes to be a successful therapist. Rapport, trust and knowledge, among other things, are critical to helping a client to change. But change can't happen with out motivation, just like sitting in a garage doesn't make you a car, "going to therapy" mean's nothing unless you invest in the process.
Change is hard. For most of us, we didn't develop our emotional challenges overnight and, surprise, they won't go away over night. They also won't get better unless you want them to. Even in the fabled analysis, you have to be an active participant, and for many months or years even.
In order to change, you have to think differently about something. Your past, your present and clearly your future. That takes time AND effort. If you always do what you always have done then you will always get what you always got, or worse.
Does that mean you have to go to electric shock therapy? Not at all. Just slight changes in thinking, or actually many slight changes in thinking, will help you to get to where you want to go. But just watching the train pull out of the station isn't gong to do anything except make you long for the journey.
So why go to counseling? Well, good question. I think the best answer is that if you could change yourself, you would. Sometimes it just takes the eyes, ears,and support of someone you trust to help you see things different.
So if you want to change, look to someone who can help AND put some effort into it. Look for someone who can be independent, someone who isn't laden with biases or expectations. Be wary of friends, relatives and bartenders... they all need or want something. But regardless, no one can make you do something you don't want to do. The answers are there, and you don't need a crystal ball or a shrunken head.
Be the change that you want to be. Challenge yourself, your thoughts and actions. If you put real effort into being more of what you want to be, you can be more fulfilled