Sometimes we know we need to make changes…other times we have a vague sense of it. And every now and then we take action to effect that change. It’s always impressive to me to see someone commit to healing and change in therapy. It takes courage to face down difficult feelings and it takes fortitude to change our relationships and the way we relate to others, to the world, and even to ourselves.
But what happens after therapy? Or after you commit to a diet and lifestyle change? How do you make those changes stick? Too many people have a surgical hit approach—they “do” therapy, they gain insight, and they move on. Same with dieting. They set the goal to lose X number of pounds—they accomplish it, and they’re done. Until the next time, that is. It’s no secret that yo-yo dieting is all the rage here in America. Commercials abound with new fangled diet tricks and supplements designed to make it easy to shed those unwanted pounds. And many things do work—for a time.
Sustaining the Change
Speaking as a therapist, I can attest that many people do find healing and help through talking things out, especially when they bring the faith into the process. But sustaining that change long term may require some additional help and strategy.
As we continue our journey through Lent, we hope that some of the disciplines we employ will stick with us after Lent is over and the Easter season begins. But the sharp turn from penance to celebration can blow that plan out of the water if we don’t think ahead.
Whether it’s our spiritual practices, therapy, or dieting, unless two things change, we’re likely to find ourselves right back where we started from. And those two things are: our thinking and our habits.
So, rather than attacking the village, pillaging the land, and moving on, think about conquering the kingdom and taking up residence in a place where you’re king or queen.
I think, therefore I am.
Ponder the above quote. Sure, it speaks to existential theory…but let’s think of it as a fill in the blank exercise.
I think I’m a loser, will never keep this weight off, no one will love me therefore I am losing, overweight, and lonely.
You may not always live what you profess, but you will always live what you believe.
If you believe there’s a treasure in them thar hills, you’re more likely to look for it. But if you don’t believe it, those hills can be loaded with treasures that you’ll simply never find.
Your thoughts become habits. Sayings like “just my luck” are habitual thoughts that can completely derail you.
So imagine filling in the blanks like this:
I think I’m worthy, God is all powerful, He loves me and He wants to bless me, therefore I am hopeful, trusting, loved and expecting blessings.
Ah, easier said than done, huh?
Doing that takes some help at times. Old habits do tend to die hard…and often take hostages before they do.
How a Coach Can Help
Trying to change on your own is possible but having someone to help you set realistic goals and to keep you on track with new insights, observations, and little tweaks along the way to help you attain those goals can make a huge difference in your outcome. In fact, in many cases, a coach may be indispensable when old thought patterns and habits are rooted in very deeply.
Think about it, every great athlete has a coach, every great opera singer has a voice coach, and every successful business man has a mentor. Great rarely just happens.
Don’t your relationships, your marriage, your kids, and your health deserve the same advantage? Do you really want to settle for mediocre…or worse?
At The Raphael Remedy we offer several types of coaching:
An emotions coach can help you to identify your feelings and help you to learn how to more effectively guide those feelings by reason. After therapy is complete, or when therapy isn’t necessary, enlisting the help of a coach with expertise in understanding the emotional life and how it interplays with thoughts and reason can pay big dividends toward a happier you.
Whether you’re trying to make a good or average marriage better, or you’re single trying to navigate the dating world, a relationship coach can help you learn strategies and communication skills that can improve any relationship. If you find yourself in the same patterns and getting the same results, having another pair of eyes to view your situation with the expertise to enable positive change can mean the difference between frustrated, angry and alone, and happy and fulfilled in a dynamic relationship.
Let’s face it, parenting in this digital age is not for the faint of heart! So many new challenges that our parents didn’t deal with make it really hard to navigate. Teens can be particularly hard but relating successfully to young adult children can be a unique challenge given the current moral landscape. Engaging a parenting coach can be extremely helpful when walking those fine lines that are all too common today.
Health and Wellness Coach
Confused by all the conflicting health advice out there? Who isn’t? All the fad diets can be hard to figure out but more importantly understanding what will work best for you with your own unique physiology and health issues can seem all but impossible. Once you embark on a course of action, having some help making the necessary lifestyle changes that may in fact save your life plus your health is something you simply cannot put a price on.
So, as we move through Lent and toward the Easter season, consider enlisting the support of a coach to make your life truly glorious…and not just more of the same as last year. If you’d like to learn more about how coaching can help you, please contact us to set up a consultation.
Allison is also the Founder and President of www.CatholicTherapists.com, a nationwide network of dedicated Catholic therapists.