Depart from Equilibrium

Depart from Equilibrium

Individual Therapy Bethesda, MD

Let’s begin with an overview of three basic life facts:

  1. Change is hard.
  2. Change is extremely hard when it means shifting away from behaviors and thought processes that developed over the course of many months or years.
  3. Change is a necessary prerequisite for growth, enlightenment, and life satisfaction.

When clients sit on the couch across from me for the first time, we spend a good deal of the session discussing what brings them to therapy and the antecedents to their decision to actively pursue treatment. Approximately 99.873243% of the time, clients tell me that it took them months or years to pick up the phone and make the call to begin therapy. Why? Because doing so signals some level of commitment to change—and (as we’ve already established) change is hard!

As humans, we strive for equilibrium. Interestingly, it is our preferred state of being, even when life circumstances are far from ideal. If you feel disconnected from your partner or unfulfilled at work, perhaps you consider a couple of options: 1) you do something differently; 2) the other involved party does something differently. Which one do you choose?

I’m going to guess the latter.

And if that’s true, it’s okay. Awareness is the first step.

Here’s another fact for you: changing yourself is the only option that’s entirely within your purview. Waiting for someone else to do something differently will likely result in disappointment, frustration, and resentment.

If a change in your life is what you most desire (whether that’s in your relationship, your career, your personal interests, etc.), one of the key things to assess is this: what will it take for you to depart from equilibrium?

Consider what will serve as your primary source of motivation. Are you intrinsically or extrinsically motivated? Then think about what barriers have presented as the most significant challenges in the past (e.g., refraining from protecting time for yourself, abandoning the goal at the first sign of a roadblock, etc.). How can you work to make sure that those things don’t derail you this time?

Once you’ve answered the questions above, the next step is to begin to engage in actions and thought processes that move you closer to your goal. It’s much easier said than done, so expect to be uncomfortable, particularly at first. (It may also be very helpful to work with an experienced therapist who can walk this journey alongside you.) Trust in the process, keep your eyes on the prize, and know that that initial discomfort will reap powerful rewards.

Shy Porter, MS, LGMFT, provides individual, couple, and family therapy in our downtown Bethesda, MD office. Call or email today to set up your first appointment or a complimentary telephone consultation with Shy.