In the recent few years I've observed changes in client concerns. Living in a world less steady, less predictable, surrounded by conflict and turmoil, stress is front of mind. Too much or too little in the way of choice and opportunity, loss of personal control, the unknown, fading trust in self, weakened trust in 'experts', all common themes.
Can I change my career in midlife? What is my purpose? Following breakups and disappointment, how do I behave in a new relationship? Why can't I make up my mind? I saw myself as confident - now I'm not sure. How do I cope with aging? I long for intimacy, but cherish independence. I earn a good living, but feel no passion for the work I do. If I make a mistake, everything will fall apart.
As we're affected in childhood by familial attitudes and values, so are we affected as adults by the character of those we come in contact with, those we observe in our personal lives and in the media. When what we knew and what is, no longer fit, how do we adapt? Times are changing. How do we gain the clarity we need to thrive? How do we find balance? How do we learn to trust our wishes and decisions?
Is it possible, nature, in its ability for continuous renewal, acts as both reminder and promise that reliable confidence is found not in competition and power, not in the drive to have more, to conquer and possess, but in humility, quiet strength, and freedom from the need for approval - trust in self.
Nature teaches the value of persistence, patience, cooperation and good will, no matter the strain. In its presence, imagination and curiosity are awakened. We're not separate from nature, but, of nature. It is what and who we are today as in our beginning, millions of years ago.
The foundations I use to guide and teach are expanded - trained in the practice of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, believing we are more than connections between thought, feeling, and action. The added backdrop of nature is to say, no matter the challenge, we find inspiration and a familiar 'knowing' in the purity of one bird's song, the life-seeking twist of a limb, steady earth underfoot. Rachel Carson's words put one's mind to rest - "There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter". Healing, then renewal.
In a psychology of wellness, coaching with possibility as a starting point, strength and optimism are found in reverence for all life. As a part of nature, we persist in the direction of growth and productivity.
Identify what matters, find purpose,
establish that steady earth underfoot...
I look forward to working with you.
Assistant Clinical Instructor, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine,
Founding Fellow Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT)