Happiness seems complicated because we are.
My quick answer to the initial question is that most people come to see a counsellor because they are unhappy with their lot or experience life as lacking meaning or their life isn’t turning out as they expected. Again there are myriads of reasons to come to see a counsellor.
Generally speaking I just want to be happy and I suspect most people want the same. The problem with this happiness malarky is that it’s a complicated business. On the surface it seems straight forward enough – if I do this or have that I’ll feel happy. However, its not usually that straight forward because our lives are generally busy, complicated tricky affairs which is compounded by our complex personalities. The end result is that ‘life’ is experienced in a multitude of ways that bring a variety of possibilities – some good and others not so good.
In my opinion counselling provides skills to help cope with life’s trials and tribulations. It is also a process that helps individuals to align themselves to their values and aims in life which can ultimately bring a sense of connection to themselves and those around them. This in turn brings meaning to ones life and hopefully generate that sense of happiness we all desire.
Happiness seems complicated because we are. I mean that in a positive way. We are all things and it is how we deal with our complicatedness that allows more freedom to be who and what we are - which I think cultivates increased happiness and well being.
Part of the counselling process is understanding how we tick. Many times we act from repeated patterns that don’t necessarily work in all situations, which can create problems that can lead to not feeling good about oneself or the life we are living or want. This is where I believe counselling can play an effective role in changing peoples lives and perspectives. Understanding our psychology can give use greater freedom to make different choices depending on the situation or circumstance.
Counselling and therapy has the possibility of helping a wide range of issues from short term work where someone feels stuck with a particular issue and wants to discuss it, and hopefully leaves feeling heard, has increased self understanding and feels motivated to move forward. Another person on the other hand can come along and has the desire to journey deep into their psychology to understand more existential issues about their life, which can take much longer.
My own experience tells me that when I’m out of tune with myself my external life will often mirror this, whether that’s through my relationships becoming rocky, employment seems lifeless and there seems to be less joy with activities that I previously did. Again in speaking from my own experience, going to counselling or assisting others as a therapist, the process of exploring issues and receiving support has only had a beneficial impact on myself and others.
May this day find you well and happy