Perceptions are funny things | A thought provoking discussion that just may change yours.

Updated: May 24

Isn’t it interesting how what one person experiences as tragic or traumatizing can seem very normal and acceptable to someone else? Do you ever wonder why a conversation or situation that you thought was going well went so negatively for the other or others? And, what about how we as people gravitate to certain styles of life improvement or support? I’m going to try to steer away from clinical speak here, but there are some interesting facts I just think are important to share.

First thought, let’s make sure we are considering the vast extent of underlying issues and overlapping battles (even co-occurring disorders) that plague so many people. Isn’t it so true that people’s problems are simply not clear cut? For example; I have worked with people that have long histories of enduring personal abuse situations that aren’t as big of a stressor to them, as say, their impulsive shopping or passive aggressive nature in their intimate relationships. On the other side, I have also worked with people that these same things weigh in the completely opposite direction.

Interesting, right? Why do you suppose this is? Well, it’s their perception of what happened or is happening. See, those people that aren’t derailed by past abuse are able to see the abuse as something they survived, something that happened but is no longer active. But they are distressed about their constant and ongoing negative behaviors because they are active, in their face, and perceivably uncontrollable. They can’t leave themselves; they can’t seem to develop control of their sharp tongue or stop catering to everyone else’s demands.

Ok, so for those that go the other direction it can get a bit more complex. You see, these folks typically tend to have a need for attachment. Often, they just keep bundling everything up together. The past abuse keeps them untrusting and afraid, therefore they act impulsively to sooth themselves, aggressively to defend themselves, and passively to protect themselves.

Now I think it is important that we revisit those life improvement avenues that people gravitate to. But first, think for a minute, have you or anyone you know stayed in the same process (i.e. therapy, psychotropic medication, mindfulness, yoga,…) year after year with no real forward moving or continuous quality of life improvement, maybe just a status quo or stabilization. Have you ever wondered why? Did you ever think “how can this be the best it can get”?

Here’s the deal. There are statistical summaries and surveys that call out the fact that there is truly not any single type of psychotherapy the performs better than another. They actually solidify that unless the persons problem or situation is cut and dry, the outcome and method of treatment have little connection. What is fact is that the human mind is complex, and whether or not there is an improvement, regardless of the therapeutic process utilized, is largely determined by the perception of the precipitating event by that single individual. Therefore, the predictability of standardized treatment is quite difficult.

So, to keep this brief, engaging with a practitioner that integrates a vast array of research-based approaches and has the expertise to marry them with each client’s characteristics will provide the best opportunity for an individual seeking life improvement to reach their desired attainment. In other words, if we sit in just one type of healing process, we will just achieve one outcome.

At Turning Leaves, we focus on multifaceted psychological practices we merge with professional life coaching tactics that are effective, flexible and pliable. Meaning, Building Milestones, the foundation for The Master Climb is effective in producing attainment of life improvement goals on many levels. When a client comes to us for help in a distressing situation, they often return for more coaching just to learn how to apply these tactics and life skills during more standard life stressors or life transitions that didn’t come up during their initial program. Which isn’t to say that someone can’t get all that they need in the program to be life long manageable and maintainable. It is just human nature to have periods that benefit from engaging in forming new perspectives.

Perceptions are unique and personal. You never know when you will become baffled, stifled or even stuck in one you don’t care for. It’s what you do to shift it into something you do desire that matters. You don’t have to live with perceptions that make you unhappy, angry, uncomfortable or fearful forever.

Let’s talk.

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