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  • Writer's pictureLouise Diffey

How do we start to grow?

Working on ourselves in counselling always has the potential to raise self-awareness if we are open to it. This often leads us to thinking more deeply about who we are. In order to change or grow, we need to be ready to accept who we are right now. The person we are now chose to go ahead with counselling to give us a chance to feel better, so perhaps we are OK after all. If we are unable to accept ourselves as we are in the present, if we have shut parts of ourselves off, then it becomes more difficult to move forward. We can inadvertently shut parts of ourselves away in shame, embarrassment, or fear. For example, the way we look, the person we are in social situations, or the person who went through a traumatic experience. But in order to grow as a person, we need to take all those parts of ourselves with us, and to recognise that in shutting parts of ourselves away, we also shut away the skills and strengths those parts employ to survive. We need not focus too closely on the details that led us to protect ourselves by shutting the difficult versions of ourselves away, but more on what the shadow parts of ourselves can teach us and how we can grow by acknowledging them.

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