Can Psychotherapy Help Me? (Part II)

(In Part I of this blog we discussed which feelings and painful emotions indicate that you could benefit from psychotherapy.

Here we look at behaviour patterns that stop people from developing and learning.)

Break Patterns of Behaviour

Old habits die hard and some of them can keep us trapped. They affect our communication and connection to others, they hamper our ability to learn and grow, and they keep our horizon narrow.

Good psychotherapy helps break those shackles; it frees up physical and emotional energy and lifts us out of this confinement. Good therapy gives us the power to steer our own passage more accurately.

Survival Strategies that No Longer Serve Us

Think of it this way: some of our most habitual (unconscious) behavioural responses to life are merely repeats of strategies that once successfully helped us survive. Played out in adult life, they stunt our development.

A child who can’t keep up in class or who feels undervalued academically might find success in being funny or daring. If that strategy works he might be encouraged to keep it up until it has become as ingrained a habit as breathing.

Desperation to belong might lead someone to become endlessly pleasing and accommodating. Fine perhaps in the moment, but not if twenty years later you still continually make room for others at your own expense.

Survival strategies that have become habitual over time, will stop us from responding in novels ways. We even mistake them for character traits and think them typical of who we are.

Examine closely this list of habits:

  •  Not committing yourself to an opinion; avoidance of confrontation
  • The need to be liked; playing at the class clown or court jester
  • Perfectionism
  • Being over-powering and controlling - perhaps by ignoring others
  • Avoidance of responsibility; blaming and pointing the finger at others
  • Telling ‘little white lies’
  • Sarcasm

Once these traits have become habits, they keep us stuck in the past. They stop us being present in the moment, because we disengage there and then.

Perhaps you recognise some of these behaviours in yourself?

I’d love to hear of other unhelpful habits you have come across in yourself or others.

If you feel trapped by some of your habits, I recommend you consult a well-trained Human Givens therapist who will help you to break the patterns of your behaviour and to improve quality of your relationships and fire up a new sense of wonder and adventure. With the right attitude you’ll truly enjoy the ride.

Find out in my next blog why I so highly recommend Human Givens Therapy. What Can I Expect from Human Givens Therapy?