As I sit here and try to write a "welcome letter" or an "introduction letter" to this practice, I find the task overwhelming.
Why is that?
I think the answer is that I have no idea who I am writing this letter to.
So many people seek mental health for so many different reasons. They are on different places in their journeys.
How do I speak to all of them? Or at least to those we are able to assist.
Let's start with some questions to see if this is the right place for you.
Do you just need someone to refill medications and are not interested in long-term evaluation of them?
Oftentimes, people will come saying
Are you willing to work on yourself, make that your focus?
- If you spend the next year trying to figure out how to change the world, you'll likely end up disappointed.
- If you spend the next year trying to figure out how to change someone else, you'll like end up frustrated.
- If you spend the next year trying to change yourself, you'll be pleased with your progress.
Mostly, I can only help you change yourself and your responses to the world, therefore this is where you have to be willing to work.
Are you willing to improve skills in addition to seeking knowledge?
Most people come seeking knowledge. They want to "know" what's wrong with them. But that knowledge is often a small piece of the puzzle. Without the skill of self-awareness, you cannot implement, most knowledge. Most of what we try to teach is skill-based.
Can you try to give up some of your old ways of thinking?
It is very likely that how you think helped create some of your problems. Are you willing to try thinking in
a new direction, to let go of some important values or patterns you’ve had, maybe for decades?
Can you let go of some control as we guide you?
I know you want to be in charge. But can you give us a little control? Can you follow my guidance, my direction? Can you let me lead you out of the woods? I promise to listen to your feedback. And I promise to return control of your life soon. But I need you to follow my lead for the next window of time.
Can you try to give up the pursuit of excitement and seek serenity?
We all seek excitement and need a little of it in our lives but it cannot be the whole reason for living. Our electronic devices have addicted us to constant excitement.
Seek out peace just as frequently.
Stillness doesn’t have to be bad.
“Boring” doesn’t have to intolerable. Remind yourself repeatedly to enjoy peace and silence instead of always searching for that next exciting thing.
Is performance the only thing that matters?
Similar to above…I know you want to do more. We all do. But short-term performance isn't the only thing that matters. Long term stability and safety also count. As does increased awareness of strengths and limitations. Don’t just assume that getting more done means that you are getting better. Look at the price you’re paying in the long-term for that performance. Look at how much you’re learning about yourself. These are the questions you have to honestly ask yourself. These are the steps you must be willing to take to start living a better life. So often we seek assistance to keep living the same way. The truth is we often need help finding a different way to live.
So use these questions and your answers to ask yourself if we are the right provider for you.
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