I read an article in ‘Therapy Today’, the BACP magazine, about man who had led a criminal lifestyle (drugs and viiolence) and ended up in prison. There he had the opportunity to have some counselling and, even though he had tried counselling previously and not found it helpful, this time he was ready for it. He described how he wanted to find out who he was: to understand how he’d reached this point in his life and to find a different way to be. Something his counsellor said to him when they were taking about change resonated deeply with him: change yourself and you change the world.
This deceptively simple phrase resonated with me too. It seems to capture the essense of counselling/therapy: the idea of promoting autonomy and choice. We need to explore, understand and truly experience what has led us to be the people we are, and how we carry this into all our relationships, in order to be able to make the choice to change. And when we change ourselves we change our worlds: our relationships, our perception, our actions, our impact.