Anglia Counselling therapist, Mike Lloyd, shares the first of a series of his posts to help inform and guide us through this difficult period.
In these uncertain times of Covid-19, social unrest, fear and uncertainty with no end in sight, we are all feeling something. But what are we feeling? Can you name the feelings and emotions that are being triggered right now? Can you ever name your feelings? Do you feel your resilience is being attacked every day? Are you lonely?
There are many reasons why we are feeling the way we are feeling at the moment, and many are perfectly natural. With an understanding of our psychological processes comes some relief. With continued effort, we can ultimately achieve our own “ideal.”
My Key Components For a Better Way of Living
Therapists around the world, regardless of their training and/or therapeutic philosophies and techniques, will often work to a broad methodology in their day-to-day practice.
Over my years in critical therapeutic care and today working with clients with a variety of needs, I’ve noticed three primary components that in most cases require some intervention, objective setting, planning and action for a person to function more effectively. These form the primary objectives of my therapeutic methodology.
Over the next three posts, I will go into more detail about the tools, techniques and tactics that can be deployed to achieve the seemingly unachievable “ideal.” I will be returning to “ideal” later.
How working on these three components can change everything, will be explained throughout this series.
The Three Core Components
➡ Crisis Resolution and Management
➡ Managing Emotions – Life’s Ups and Downs
➡ Connection, Meaning and Purpose
Crisis Management and Resolution:
“I Feel Out of Control and Overwhelmed”
Most clients present in some form or other and to varying degrees the impact on their lives in crisis. This may take the form of obsessive thoughts, anxiety, depression and a multitude of other presenting symptoms. The crisis may have been recent or bubbling along for years, dragging you down and desperately wishing there was something you could do.
To successfully venture into the next two components without managing the crisis at hand, one can be left with unresolved issues that are still demanding of our attention, even on a subconscious level. This is not “ideal.”
Without resolving the crisis, learning to manage emotions and developing a connection, meaning and purpose in your life could be much harder and also less than “ideal.”
“Life on Life’s Terms”
Managing Emotions – Life’s Ups and Downs
Managing our emotions is imperative, especially in a connected world such as ours.
Being able to understand our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours allow us to manage our emotions, engaging strategies, and successfully traverse life with more confidence, thought and care for ourselves and others.
Life presents great times, and not so great times. These are often out of our control, and one would logically expect us not to worry about the things over which we have no control. Often, however we do, we can’t help it sometimes, the same irrational, ruminating thought, worry and outcome, sometimes many outcomes; but all bad!
Our brains function in complex ways that we are only beginning to really understand. Understanding what we currently know about the brain can be applied in therapeutic interventions, and importantly resilience can be developed to weather the sunshine and the storms of “life on life’s terms.”
Having resolved the immediate crisis, and with an understanding of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, brimming with resilience, we sense something is missing.
Connection, Meaning and Purpose
“The Really Important, Long Haul Stuff”
Anthropologists and psychologists confirmed long ago that we are tribal creatures. There are real psychological, psychosocial, behavioural and physical consequences on our brains, bodies and emotions without adequate connection to other human beings.
Meaning is essentially doing a thing or things that give one a sense of motivation, a reason to get up in the morning and the realisation that you have a place in the world. Meaning leads to purpose, which can guide our decisions in life and creates more meaning.
Meaning and purpose can be derived from a multitude of sources: work, hobbies, creative pursuits, sport and much, much more. Activities that involve other people tick the box for connection too.
There is no “ideal.” What is ideal for one person may not be ideal to the other. There are too numerous reasons to mention why in this brief essay.
We have all developed our “ideal” from our experiences in life, what our parents taught us, and what they didn’t. What we have seen, heard, touched, read, tasted and smelt over the years have all contributed to our individual definition of “ideal,” amongst many, many other things.
What I can say is that for the vast majority of the human species, intervention, understanding, objective setting and action in these three key areas will bring us closer to our own definition of “ideal” whatever that may be.
Part Two – Crisis Resolution and Management in Focus
- What does it mean to be in crisis?
- What can be done to make this period more manageable and create space for resolution?
- What tools, techniques and tactics can be deployed?
- What does it feel like to manage a crisis like this?