Ashwood Therapy Blog

Change: A Scary Prospect?

When it comes to the process of change, I have found during my counselling work that there tend to be two approaches; one, to push against it, and two, to embrace it.  The pushing against it may not be an openly violent reaction, and the embracing may not be a headlong rush into newness, and so I guess it might be more of a spectrum than an ‘on-off’ switch.  Nonetheless, all of the clients I see at Ashwood Therapy are somewhere on that scale of being more, or less, open to doing things differently.  When it comes to change, it might be a much better way of doing things to live your life like that, but it’s the getting there that often seems scary.  Crossing over from one way of doing things to another might be desirable, yet translating thoughts into actions can be a different matter.

When there is ‘resistance’, to employ the term used by psychotherapists to indicate a client’s reluctance to engage with the process (of therapy, and of change), this can be difficult to overcome.  What I have found helps is the realization that actually we’re all changing anyway, whether we want to or not!  As you look in the bathroom mirror every morning and are greeted by a familiar face you might contest this ‘change’ that I suggest is happening to us all.  Go to a family wedding around five years after the last one, however, and Uncle Bill or Auntie Flo will not hesitate to let you know that “wow, you’re looking well / have put on a few pounds / seem to be so much more [insert adjective here] than when we last saw you!”  Just because change is happening slowly, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

The key to unlocking our natural ability to adapt to our changing circumstances is, I would argue, to accept that opting to not do anything is actually a decision in itself.  Making this decision does not mean that we’ll stay the same, it just means that we’ve decided to try and hang on to how things are right now, which of course in a matter of only a few weeks or months might have changed anyway.  Once we can openly accept that just because we decide not to actively captain the ship, we’re still heading further out into our own personal ocean, we may more confidently take our place at the helm.

This acknowledgement, once made, is an irreversible process.  We never stop changing, all the way through our lives, and to deny this is to be in denial about what it means to be human.  I would argue that although contemplating change can be a scary prospect, resolving to look forward out of the windscreen more often than backwards in the rear-view mirror can be the start of a thrilling ride in which we can live more purposefully and with more passion.  Nothing is guaranteed, for sure, whether we like it or not.  Change, as the saying goes, is the only constant.  How would it be to say… bring it on!?

Rob Oglesby MBACP (Accred) B.A. (Hons) BSc | Ashwood Therapy

Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email.  More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at www.ashwoodtherapy.com

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Change - A Scary Prospect? | Ashwood Therapy Blog