An Alternative to Traditional Counselling – what does that mean?

An Alternative to Traditional Counselling
What does that mean and how does it work?

You may have tried traditional counselling in the past with varying results.  Or seen that I publicise my sessions are “An Alternative to Traditional Counselling”.

Do you wonder what that means?

People have said to me: “I tried counselling once and it didn’t work so I’m not doing it again”.

I find that interesting.

After all, if you get a bad haircut, awful pizza or terrible pub meal, you don’t stop getting your hair cut, buying pizza or eating out, do you? Of course not, you go somewhere else.

Why would you stop doing something beneficial because of one negative experience? Maybe you expected results in the first session, but it was mostly filling out forms and doing paperwork? Was the therapist simply not right for you? Or maybe you have some other negative views of therapy and if it could even help you.

With counselling, therapy, and healing you need to find your person.
How do you know someone is right for you?

Firstly, you will probably just know – because you will feel comfortable and safe with them. After all you are going to need someone, you feel safe with so that you can be vulnerable.

Then you need to be aware of the way they work, the modalities they use, what results you can expect and what your input needs to be for it to be successful.

That’s the first difference between my service and traditional counselling.

The first session is free so you can decide if I’m the right person for you. Please know that I will not pressure you into anything.  There is no point, if you must be pressured into therapy it will likely be hard work for both of us and not be successful.

So how do I work differently?

I’m glad you asked.

Traditional therapy works with the conscious mind, whereas I work with the unconscious or subconscious mind to uncover the root cause of the/your problem. 

If you work with a traditional therapist, discussing the/your problem and looking for solutions they are working with the conscious mind – which is around 10% of the mind.  It’s the logical part of the brain, where our awareness resides.  The thoughts, memories and feelings that we are aware of are there, along with the logical mental processing and critical thinking.

The unconscious mind is the primary source of human behaviour, especially reactions that we can’t really explain, understand or control.

Also stored there are unpleasant, or unacceptable things, such as anxiety, limiting beliefs and old emotional pain.  It’s like the bottom part of an iceberg, hidden under the water.  Or maybe it is everything you have put in the too hard basket, all that emotional baggage that is difficult to deal with.

Our Sessions

In our sessions we explore the unconscious with different processes that are a bit like a guided meditation.  I help you relax, then guide you on a journey that gently explores the unconscious to find the root cause of the problem.  A root cause of a problem is buried so deep we usually aren’t even aware of what it is, or that it is even there.

My clients are often stunned that something so mundane has had such a huge, negative impact on their lives. For example, negative emotions or triggers that you are experiencing today could be caused by a situation in childhood, in the womb, or beforehand, that was so minor it’s crazy that it has caused the problem.  At other times it is a trauma, that we can explore gently without having to go too far into the feelings.

Your Unconscious

The thing is, your unconscious stores misinterpretations of situations, forever, then spends your whole life proving that belief is right by allowing you to only see or experience situations that prove the belief is correct.  It won’t let you see evidence that proves it wrong, or you ignore any evidence to the contrary or brush it off.

The unconscious mind likes to be right, ALL the time.

An example of this is during childhood. If someone’s parents worked long hours to provide a better life for them, but the child interpreted that as they weren’t lovable because their parents didn’t spend much time with them.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The parents worked hard because they loved their child. They wanted their child to have a better life than they did.  But the child decided they weren’t loveable, stored the belief in the unconscious, and then it is trotted out at every available opportunity to show that person they aren’t loveable. All the while ignoring the evidence that they are truly loveable and valued.

The person would consciously know that they were loved by their parents, but they unconsciously have doubts about themselves.  And guess which part of the mind has the control!  That’s right, the unconscious.  So, this person spends their whole life unconsciously believing they are not loveable and experiencing all sorts of problems because of this belief.

Itty-Bitty Shitty Committee

Another way the unconscious mind shows up is as the Monkey Mind, or the Itty-Bitty Shitty Committee.

That voice that is negative, perhaps sitting on your shoulder, talking into your ear all day telling you something is terrible, or that you aren’t enough in some way.  It goes on and on.

Once we clear the root cause, this voice stops in its tracks.  And you start to believe in yourself, knowing you are loveable. Sounds impossible?  That’s because your conscious mind doesn’t logically believe it and the unconscious wants to protect you and keep you safe.  It thinks by keeping all these negative beliefs and emotions you are safe because you know how to survive it and that you will be able to avoid triggers.

Let’s explore how much better life could be after a clean out of that too hard basket and removing the root cause so it no longer exists.

So, who would you be without the problem? That’s a blog for another day.