B Gilmore Counselling
Victoria region, Vancouver Island BC
778 350 3281      

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Just One Visit to Make a Change

Posted on 21 September, 2017 at 16:45
One Visit May be Enough Seeing a Counsellor just once can help with CHANGE. That is because you have CONTEMPLATED and PREPARED. You have put your thoughts and feelings into physical action and initiated a counselling session. A good counsellor sees that you have already done the first two stages of change. Then, processes such as looking at old or new perspectives; making decisions to accept and understand; and learning how to �??connect YOUR dots�?? can happen at that first meeting. In just an hour you can feel enabled to manage change. With the many changes expected of us during October (such as cool wet weather, much less daylight, Thanksgiving and Halloween social expectations), you may benefit from connecting with a counsellor for help, even just once. A single session with a counsellor can give you confidence with changes you have decided to make, and the ability to make the change where it appears without a choice. Here are some types of change and the stages we need to process through. Perspectives of Change - Change happens in different ways. Thoughtful consideration and contemplation, and being able to prepare a plan is always part of the process, however action happens in different ways. Sometimes very large significant changes are planned and occur over a long period of time such as quitting your job and going back to school for 2 or 3 years to start or enhance your career focus. Other changes are very quickly decided and happen over a short period of time, such as responses to physical injuries, dentist needs, or your car or mode of transportation. Changes can affect many people; just a few; or maybe only one person. Making change is affected by choice. Whether the change is 0ur own idea or someone elses�?? makes a difference. This in turn creates enthusiasm or reluctance. Transitioning Change - Talking about someone that is no longer in your life, (whether death, divorce or relocation), with a counsellor and other people that care about you is necessary. They may or may not care as much as you about the person, loss and change, but because they care about you, they will want to �??hear�?? your thoughts, memories and emotions. Life changes can be accepted with a sense of transition and completion when the change is talked about. Expected Change - There are environments where expected changes occur continuously. For example, working in a senior�??s residential setting where staff provide a caring and healthy setting for people that are quickly becoming less well both mentally and physically. Although it is sad when a resident dies and they will be missed, it is still a very big part of what is expected in this setting. After all, they have chosen this place to live and be cared for in their final days of life. Unexpected Change Even when you are managing well in your life, unexpected events happen and you may be forced to accept a change as soon as possible. Unexpected and sudden events, accidents, trauma, illness can suddenly present to us and we feel have very little choice about what must happen. It may be difficult to accept and we can often feel like a victim�?�.�?�why me?�?� Generally we all still go through the stages of change, but with a very different perspective and motivation. We can feel surprised or shocked; angry; unsafe or unstable; confused; or doubtful about decisions. This is understandable and when we talk about these feelings with someone, it often helps. Planned Change A variety of both internal and external influences stimulates thoughts of making changes in your life. It is common and healthy to make a decision to change something that significantly affects you and this often includes starting or stopping a particular action. There are some well-known stages of change (Prochaska & DeClemente, 2983) and recognizing them is important. Pre-contemplation: The time in your life when you are NOT thinking about a change. For example your co-worker may be talking about their success at quitting smoking, but the idea is NOT in your thoughts. Contemplation: You notice you ARE thinking about change. Perhaps someone else�??s experience has impacted you and you see a more urgent reason to change something within your life. Ideas of change start to occupy your mind and behaviours. Preparation / Determination: You develop your plan and prepare for setting it in motion with your motivation and intention. You talk about it and set the stage for success with your planned change. Action: You implement your change in your actions and thoughts. This may be a new experience and your feelings will be affected. You may need to modify plans if need be to continue your change. Maintenance: With a good plan you may be able to maintain your changed behaviour and way of thinking for many weeks, months, or forever. However if you cannot, a RELAPSE may occur and you go back to old behaviours and thoughts. A relapse can provide us with another opportunity to contemplate the change and modify plans to try the change again. Once again you act and implement new actions or thoughts into your life. You may relapse, contemplate, prepare and act a few times before getting the change to be a consistent part of your life long term. Termination: A change is considered as terminated when the change �??new thoughts, feelings and behaviours are a part of your life, without thinking about it. Think about the last significant change you made to your actions and thoughts and have you made it a normal part of your life? Did you contemplate how you relapsed or how you had to modify the plan? How long did it take? One year? Finally, the process of change always offers an outcome. It is not necessarily a success or failure, rather simply an outcome that offers an experience in the present and a worthy memory for the future. Barbara Gilmore October 2017

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