Events have no inherent meaning.
This is a tough one to comprehend, especially at first. Yet it forms the cornerstone of counselling, and indeed any attempts to improve mental health.
The thing is, meaning is flexible. Meaning is 100% in the eye of the beholder.
There will be external triggers in your life (as there are for everyone) that cause an internal feeling of (e.g.) fear.
By definition therefore, the emotion of fear is not *in the event itself* - it is a *meaning* we have ascribed *to* the event...that causes the fear.
There is no event in the external world that inherently causes fear (or any other emotion.) Events are events - and have no *inherent* meaning within them.
And, if an event itself, does not inherently cause fear - then by definition we can change how we view it - change the conclusion we make about the event - to dissolve the fear.
This is an important distinction to make.
In the fast pace of everyday work, life, and relationships, decisions and internal conclusions occur at lightning speed, at an entirely unconscious level - so unconscious that we would deny we are in even in charge of assigning meaning to any events at all.
Yet, those same friends we spoke about earlier, are still there, drawing different conclusions, from the same events, we're both seeing.
This can be difficult to accept.
Many resist this, as it could mean:
If you changed a belief about event X - you would still be "you" - yes?
You would not lose your identity, of who you are, because you had changed your mind about what one event means.
And, if we repeated this, such that you changed your conclusions about a myriad of life factors, like money, relationships, food, work - still, you would be "you".
But...who is this "you" - that is making all these decisions?
If the original event we spoke about had no fear within the event itself - and we ascribed the meaning of threat or fear to it - then who is it, that is ascribing meaning all the time, to all these meaningless events?
The answer is...
Over time, we assign meaning automatically to events, without realising it.
We assume that the right meanings are being ascribed. Most of the time we don't even realise we have a choice.
Yet, the meanings we give to meaningless events ARE the beliefs about ourself, life, and the world, that ultimately determine what we do, feel, and become.
What you conclude about an event, person, circumstance, job, etc will later determine your behaviour around that thing...correct?
These beliefs determine our behaviour, values, motivations, actions, and ultimately, the outcomes in our lives.
So...how does this fit with counselling in Newcastle?
Most folks arrive at counselling after all of the above has happened, on auto-pilot, for so long, that *some* conclusions slipped through the net, that just...weren't useful.
In some way, that affected our health or mental health, relationships, finances, or work maybe, we arrived at a place where the outcomes we're experiencing from those conclusions, is now causing too much pain, to continue. It has to be addressed.
As part of your counselling journey, wherever that may be, our hope is that your counsellor will help you understand the web of meanings that has occurred over time, such that you arrived where you are, and that you're able to move forward, much more informed, more aware of your ability and power in this world, and more positive.
Hope it helps.
Our counsellors adhere to the BACP code of ethics and practice.
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