Damage hurts, change liberates.

Throughout my work, I often get to be creative. Analogies, metaphors and summary phrases will come to me in therapy that articulates the new way of thinking that the client is struggling to achieve. Sometimes these articulations will come to me outside of therapy. Recently I was reflecting on a day at work and thought that people are so afraid of feeling that they fear permanent damage. Then it came to me; "damage is change not yet healed". We all know that time heals. However, how often do you look back at a painful experience and deliberately find what you learnt about yourself. How did that painful experience lead to other positive things in your life. This does not mean you overlook or immediately forgive those that slighted you. However, if you are frequently brought down by the negative, perhaps it is time to start focussing on a different perspective. This can be quite difficult, but ultimately liberating.

It might seem like a tired old cliche but have you actually sat at a desk and written those positives down? Do you consciously choose to turn your thoughts in a different direction when you find yourself thinking in a downward spiral. I would not be suprised if you answered "no". Psychological Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in particular is certainly not about only considering the positive side of life. Negative impacts should not be dismissed. That said, have you forgotten the positive perspective and intergrated that into your understanding of the event. Have you forgotten the positive aspects of your life around you because of the overwhelming negativity that you feel. If there are no clear positives (particularly in regards to a severe trauma), then there is more detailed work to do. Work that only a one to one counselling session can provide. However, other events and thinking habits can be effectively challenged, and new perspectives worked on until they become a natural way of thinking.