The idea that counselling will unravel the “root cause” of ones core issues, or will unearth the “underlying issue” somewhat troubles me.
As a practicing counsellor and psychotherapist of many years, I worry that this sentiment over simplifies the complex nature of being human.
These ideas run the risk of clients feeling frustrated, and more worryingly, feeling like they have failed at counselling if they did not get an outcome of finding the elusive root cause of all their worries and concerns. It raises the question of managing misguided expectations both of self, and of the counselling process. It is my observation we have a multitude of underlying reasons for our struggles, and to think we can get to the very bottom of this by identifying a singular root cause and all will be ok, may be over simplifying the process.
We are complex and multi layered beings, and come to counselling with rich and abundant layers of self.
The self that has developed not in isolation, but with relationships with families, friends, cultures, value systems, beliefs, our own unique personalities, frailties, strengths, traumas, genetics, life experiences and historical experiences, not to mention neurological and developmental considerations.
It is rare that a single revelation will change ones inner turmoil or struggles. A revelation could be amazing and meaningful and helpful but it is not necessarily the key to “forever” changes and inner peace. I am not saying it never is, just that it may not be, and that does not mean you are missing something or are in anyway failing the exploration of self and your struggles.
Sometimes counselling might involve one step forward and a few steps back one week, and the next week a few steps forward and no steps back.
Peeling back the layers and identifying and creating new strategies for challenges we have can be very helpful for a more peaceful life.
However, sometimes we just need to feel safe and to be heard without being judged, analyzed or fixed.
Ginette 2017 ©