Sometimes people come counselling or psychotherapy without “anything wrong”.
They are neither really happy nor unhappy with the way their lives are going and are not experiencing any particular mental health or physical health problems. They may describe the reasons for coming as being that they feel like they are “stuck in a rut” or that they “don’t really know what I want or where my life is going”. Some describe experiencing just a feeling or boredom or that
“there must be more to life than this”.
Equally sometimes people realise that they want more from their lives but they know that there is something about them that is stopping them but they just can’t put their finger on what that is. In some cases they have an idea about what they want and feel that they have the skills to make it happen but are struggling with the complexity of their thoughts or where to start and need help getting clarity and order to these thoughts so that they can get their needs met and have the choice over their lives that they desire.
In all these examples people are looking for support to stretch, challenge and equip themselves with the life skills, thought patterns and mental resilience to create the fulfilling life they want and to be the person they wish to be. Doing this kind of work using talk therapies enables people to address and take responsibility and control of their psychological needs thereby protecting them from mental and emotional issues in the future.
The need to do this kind of work often occurs when we have been in a particular role for a long time or if there is a change to our lives.
E.g. If we have been in the same type of job for many years or if in the case of parents when the children leave home after 20 years. This latter example is typical in that the question here for the individual is “who am I now and what can I be?” Doing personal development work in this instance could focus on assisting the person to give themselves permission to rediscover who they are as an individual rather than as “Mum” or “Dad” and give them the time and space to explore what they now want out of life.
This work is especially effective as someone approaches a change to their lives to enable them to plan and work out what they now need. So in the case of retirement a person can be looking forward to no longer having to work and if they have their pension in place they may well imagine that they are set fair. However, work provides much of our psychological needs in that it gives us recognition, structure, interaction with others, stimulation and a sense of belonging. Personal development work can assist in making sure that all these needs are met in other ways so that you have the retirement you anticipated with great delight.