Do the basics. The rest will follow. Meeting with F.
There is a bit of me, the bit that’s not on the journey, that wonders whether I am making any progress at all. The principles of NLP are all very admirable but I’m starting to think that you need to be a saint to live your life by them. Trying to follow such high ideals inevitably sets you up for failure when you have setbacks. Although NLP says ‘there is no failure, only feedback’, it is hard to feel like I’m on track for mental wellbeing, spiritual growth, behavioural amenity, examplary rapport skills and mastery over my mind. I guess that is part of the challenge.
The weekend held yet more conflict and turmoil and has left me feeling confused and alone. I did battle with the voices in my head that tell me to pick, poke, nag – and lost. I need so much validation when I spend a long time upsetting the balance, then I wonder why. The reason why I feel like all this might be in vain is because I know what I’m meant to be thinking and saying, I’m meant to be focussing on what I’m trying to achieve, which is rapport, behavioural flexibility and sensory awareness. I’m meant to be nurturing my mind with great thoughts! Instead I’m allowing myself to feel distressed when conflict arises and to demand resolution, which is counter-productive and was inappropriate given the circumstances.
I had an insight during my first session with a brand new therapist today. It’s a thought I’ve had before but worth reiterating. Why have my relationships comprised high levels of conflict? Surely there must be something in common with my relationships.The answer is of course, me! Conflict arises because of my sabotaging a happy status quo. My pattern is to believe that I am not worthy of the relationship I find myself in. I have low self-esteem and a shaky sense of self-worth. I think that my partner deserves better – someone more attractive, happier, more intelligent, more interesting or whatever – and to show him that I am not as great as he delusionally thinks I am, I show him my worst possible traits. I dare my partner to see me at my absolute worst. I push the boundaries of a relationship again and again until they break. Either that or I am afraid to show that I care, afraid of coming across weak and needy.
Why do I say really mean things to my partner? That’s what I’d like to find out. My new therapist, F, would like to understand what’s going on in my mind when I have the compulsion to be vicious. I know I am doing it, so why do I carry on effectuating thought into word/action? This has established itself as a pattern in my programming and it needs to be unwritten. Though F’s approach isn’t to delve deep into the past (which suits me as I don’t need to be psychoanalysed), the roots of my behaviour probably stretch back to early childhood.
The new therapist F’s approach veers away from the prescriptive medical model and he was keen to point out that there are no guarantees, and he isn’t a miracle worker after all. That was a good disclaimer to put in, as I turned up there guns blazing with my list of desired outcomes and my first blog post printed out, both of which I read to him. He said that was very good, clear and brave. I also am of the mind that if you are in a position to be clear about what you need, then you will probably get a better result.
I feel very positive about my meeting with F and hope that our rapport builds over time, as this is a key factor in determining which therapist ‘feels’ right. What drew me to him specifically is that he’s a member of at least five counselling and psychotherapy organisations, is a Master Practitioner in NLP, experienced hypnotherapist, and also an expert in conflict resolution and mediation. So that gives me great hope and reassurance – others may not feel that it’s so important to do a lot of reading up on the person you’re potentially baring your soul to – but I do!
During the initial sessions I think there’s nothing wrong with asking the practitioner for their immediate reaction to your issues. Ask specific questions about their approach, and don’t be afraid to ask whether they think they can help, or not. Their reaction to these on the spot questions can be quite telling! I guess it’s always a challenge for them to meet with a potential new client and to be looked upon to provide solutions, so view the experience as a two-way exchange.
Ultimately for me, whether my mindset and behaviour actually change is a matter yet to be seen. With all the best will in the world from both the practitioner and myself, nothing will change unless I am ready and willing to accept it.