"The truth is that current psychological research and intervention takes aim at building a better brain, rather than labeling it with a psychopathological name. Today, therapy offices are filled with intellectually sharp individuals who are trying to harness the power of their brains." Jeffrey L. Brown, PsyD, ABPP.
As Eric Berne said, we don't have to be ill to get better. Whilst happy to defrost our fridges, keep our cars properly serviced and 'defrag' our computers, sometimes we are less aware of the benefits achievable from improving our mental skills.
Counselling and psychotherapy tend to be based on the individual with a 'bottom up' approach, seeking to help individuals find solutions and answers to current issues. Psychology can rather take a more general 'top down' approach - looking for trends across a wider population, predicting behaviours and looking for ways to generally improve our lives. There can be overlap and blurring between the boundaries of the different disciplines and I have found that being trained and qualified in both does help give a wider perspective.
Our bodies and minds are beautifully adapted to the role of hunter-gatherer. Unfortunately, our societies have mainly moved on at a much faster pace than evolution, and there is about a ten thousand year gap between what we are set up to do, and what we (and others) ask of ourselves. Hardly surprising than that there are times when it can all get too much for us.
As well as being able to help identify when there are deeper-rooted issues involved in causing stress, a competent therapist will also be able to help with techniques to help relieve the symptoms when life throws up problems.
Mandala are one fairly well known example - just concentrate on looking at the middle, and let your mind relax. Click here, or on the picture above for more images.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results. However sometimes we follow patterns - life scripts - that have been established from the time of our birth. It can take professional help to fill in the ruts of our established behaviour pattern, and open up fresh avenues of approach to solving problems.
Right from the first days in school, our lives can be determined by what ability we have to remember facts, figures and dates. One of the many benefits of taking a psychology degree is learning how our memories work, and understanding which techniques work. Whether for exams, hobbies, social contacts or developing a career, an effective memory can be a life-changing asset.
History is full of examples of the effects of both confidence, and the lack of it. Until May 6th, 1954, it was an established fact that it was impossible for any human to run a mile in less than four minutes. Yet once Roger Bannister showed that it was indeed possible, others realised that it was within their grasp as well - to the point that it is now the target to beat for all professional male middle distance runners.
How often do we discount our own abilities, fulfilling verdicts and predictions of parents, teachers, bosses and others? Motivational posters, coaching and slogans may help drown out those negative voices, but how much better would it be to silence them completely?
All may seem well at the moment, but sometimes the major negative events of life - moving house, a bereavement or divorce - can trigger a long standing issue. Is there anything you would like to resolve in your own time, and at your own pace?
Contact me if you would like to explore which of these could be useful to you.