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  • Fe Robinson

How are your mental health symptoms trying to help you?

Before you make a change, it is important to be clear about what the current situation gives you. Remember that odd old phrase ‘don’t throw the baby out with the bath water?!’

However awful your mental health symptoms may be, they were once an ideal solution to a problem that was arising for you. For example, your anxiety might help you avoid things you do not want to look at, or perhaps give you a reason to stay away from things you fear. At some point in the past your current symptom started happening because it helped in some way. It's now out-lived its usefulness, but it was originally well-intentioned.

Understanding the complexity of symptoms rather than just condemning them and wishing them away helps to sustain lasting change. There will be better, healthy ways to meet the outcome the symptom was trying to achieve, if that is still a need you have. Part of the role of psychotherapy is identifying ways forward that meet with what you now need and want, and they may well transcending the problem your symptom was once trying to fix.

It’s easy to wish away our symptoms, but if they really did go, we may well be left with an experience we don’t much want either. When we sponsor our experience, get underneath it and really understand how we come to do what we do, then we can set our stuck patterns and energy free, and move in the direction we want to go.

This does not need to be long term work. Focusing on what you want to have happen, and the differences between now, and those outcomes, can give a direction and an impetus to guide the interventions and approaches that might help.

If you are feeling stuck with behaviours, thoughts and feelings you no longer want, psychotherapy may be for you. If what I am saying resonates, get in touch.


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