Why or how?
I was reminded recently of such a simple truth about the power of two differing questions. So often, we spend our time soul searching, asking ourselves, why? Why did this happen? Why do I? Why don’t I? And on and on. These why questions take us deeper and deeper into a narrative sense of what is going on, and invest us further and further into the content of our story about ourselves and others. Depending on the way it is asked, why? can be a punitive question, a placing of blame. It sometimes has a tendency to close down, rather than open up, exploration.
To me a much more productive question to ask is How? How have I arrived here? How am I experiencing this? How else might I approach it? How is it possible to do that? How points us towards finding out about the way we and situations are constructed, and then opens us up to a sense of what is changeable, and possible.
How? is a dynamic question, which can bring focus to now. We can explore symptoms, thoughts, sensations, emotions and find out how they are arising just now, and we can disrupt and evolve what we are doing to come to a different outcome. It turns us into modellers, working out the mechanics, interactions and rhythms of what is occurring.
If you are interested to explore the hows that vex or stimulate you, then psychotherapy can be a useful place of support to do that. To hone your modelling skills and create a space of discovery, get in touch.