Life is becoming more and more peculiar. We can find ourselves bewildered and perplexed by many of life’s occurrences. So when it all becomes a little too fragmented to contain and handle, what next? Can you handle this on your own or would you benefit from the help of a mental health clinician? So what do you do if your thoughts are:
- I can handle this on my own
- I don’t want to talk about it
- What can a therapist tell me about myself
- I don’t want to waste my time or money for something that may or may not work
Nevertheless, while you are having these thoughts, your soul is still aching from the present concerns that dominate your thoughts. So here is what to expect. The late Carl Rogers (1987) likened the process of partnering with a therapist as working with a wilderness guide.
As we become confused and lost in the forest of our own confusion, it helps to have a forest guide. Building upon this analogy, we can imagine a forest guide that doesn’t have all the answers or knows exactly which way will get you out of the forest. However, you are not alone in your state of confusion because your guide has not only been there before, but they have made it out. And while your guide does not know just which path to take, he or she does have a flashlight. A flashlight that helps to shed light as to the different paths that can be taken. And your guide will be with you as you decide which path to take.
Again, while the guide does not dictate which way to go or how to quickly get out of the forest, he or she does know how to survive the bleak conditions. Your guide also knows how to set a fire to fight off the cold if you find yourself stranded overnight. Finding your way out will be solely governed by you; however, you will not be alone. Your guide will serve as your companion and advocate.
Living in this new thought and way of seeing mental health may prove beneficial as you ponder reaching out for help. If you have been contemplating partnering with a therapist to assist with your current feelings of depression, confusion, pain, marital discord, past traumatic events, or thoughts that take a life of their own, you are on the right path. Now just image how helpful it may be to have someone with you who is carrying a flashlight.
― Carl Rogers