Most of us are aware of how we approach the things in life that we enjoy and how we approach the things in life that we do not enjoy? But are we aware of why we are enjoying ourselves or not enjoying the things we have going on in our lives?
Let us start with the things that we do enjoy.
A simple example, I know how I work as a therapist and why I enjoy it?
I know how I work by using the guiding principles and the skills that I learnt whilst training and then I know why I work as a therapist and this is because I have a desire to want to help others based on some of my own life experiences?
What about the How and Why of what we don’t enjoy?
I know how I could learn to swim after all these years and that would be by enrolling in swimming lessons but also know why I don’t and that is because I fear water?
The How and Why of client problems?
A client will often say that they know how they are maintaining their unhelpful behaviours, but they do not understand the Why?
How we maintain unhelpful behaviours is often rooted in a need for safety, comfort, familiarity, and learnt behaviour but a client might not automatically know this otherwise they would not be coming to therapy. Clients will tell me that that how they behave can make them feel angry, or upset, or depressed leading to angry outbursts, tears of withdrawal from others and the things they like doing.
The question I ask them is Why do you think you behave in this way?
Together we will work together to uncover what it is the client is telling themselves and often the answer they will come up with will be something like “ because I fear the situation and don’t think that I have the capacity to deal with it myself so I avoid anything that I don’t like”
How would you change this and why?
Clients are willing to try and change their how they behave to why they behave in a positive way. How they behave impacts on the outcome of situations and why they chose to behave in a positive manner is linked to personal goals and ambitions.