Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to my counselling blog. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links at the top of this page
Often people come to counseling to find out more about themselves; to gain understand that, hopefully, will help them to do things differently in the future. If we carry on behaving in the way we’ve always behaved, history is likely to repeat itself.
Maybe you are prone to bouts of depression, perhaps you keep losing your job, or your relationships repeatedly fail. If the same things keep happening to you that’s probably not just chance, or bad luck, it’s probably got something to do with you – the way you’re behaving, the way you look at the world, the way you interact with other people.
You can seek to understand the repeating patterns in your life and your role in them. You can take responsibility for what is happening rather than blaming others, or circumstances, or the world. And then you can make changes that hopefully change those patterns, so that history no longer repeats itself.
Working to understand the patterns often feels to me like doing a jigsaw puzzle. Not a new jigsaw puzzle, but one you’ve found in the attic. The old box has disintegrated and the pieces are in a plastic bag. You hope that all the pieces are there but you don’t know for sure – quite possibly the puzzle may not be complete. Perhaps some of the pieces in the bag even belong to a different puzzle.
You start off with a lot of disconnected pieces. Memories, anecdotes from your past. How are they connected? You pick up a couple of bits of the same colour. Do they fit together, do they not? It may take a long time before the first few pieces start to join up. Then you start to see patterns in the jigsaw – in your past and your present. You start to see glimpses of the final picture – you start to understand yourself better.
It’s hard work, doing this jigsaw. It’s a strain on your eyes and your concentration. You need a break. But once you’ve started the jigsaw, it’s as if you carry on working at it as a background task. Clients talk about penny-drop moments: “I was out walking the dog and suddenly I realized….”; “I was just mowing the lawn and it occurred to me that…”
As a counselor, I haven’t got the answers. I don’t know what the jigsaw is meant to look like. I haven’t got the picture that used to be on the box. I can’t even see all the pieces. But I have done a lot of jigsaws before. So I can see how things might fit together; I have some ideas, some suggestions, some hunches. And so I can help you with the jigsaw you bring. I can spot a couple of pieces that look as if they may fit together, I can pick them out of the pile offer them to you. “Here, try this!” But if you don’t think they fit – if it doesn’t feel right to you, then we’ll need to try something else. Only you will know when the picture looks – feels – right. Only you will know when it starts to make sense.
It’s your jigsaw.