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
People come to counselling for many reasons, some with a focus on dealing with past events, some to deal with present problems, others to think about the future and what that may hold.
These three time “divisions” – past, present and future, are intertwined. Our past experiences influence us in the present and shape our view of the future. We are a product our all our experiences, whether we see them as positive or negative. The way we deal with the things that happen to us in the present is based on the results of past behaviour. So if, for example, you have always been good at languages, you are likely to be confident about learning a new language now. If your past partners have always cheated on you, you are likely to be more suspicious of a new partner. If the last Christmas dinner you cooked was not up to your expectations, you’ll probably try to do some things differently next Christmas.
But as well as the past influencing the present and the future, in a sense the present and future also influence the past. Of course, we cannot alter the events of the past, but we can change our view of the past, our interpretation of past events. We see historians do this in their work – they may find new information, or question the reliability of some sources of information. Or they may offer alternative ways at looking at things, which challenge existing accounts of the past.
We are our own historians, and so we too can offer alternative interpretations of our own history. Our brothers or sisters may remember things a little differently. They may assign different motives to people’s actions and conversations with them can enable us to look at the past in a different light. We can choose the stories we tell about ourselves, and the lessons we take from past events.
Our view of the future influences our view of the past. If we feel optimistic about that’s to come, bad experiences from the past will seem less significant – which will leave us feeling happier in the present and in our vision of the future. If we are looking at the future with foreboding, that will tend to mean that past events take on more significance, perhaps even leaving us with a feeling that we lack control over our future because so many things have gone wrong in the past.
Exploring these three time divisions, and how they interrelate can be an important part of counselling….and it can be a very rich and surprising experience!