Posted on January 22nd, 2013
Stuck! This is one of the most common things new clients say in counseling about themselves and their situations. It’s why they’re here—because they’re stuck.
The stream of life is always flowing. When you are at one with the flow, life seems easy, fulfilling, complete. When you are out of the flow, mired in a swamp or caught in the shallows for too long, you probably feel stuck.
Stuckness is a feeling of not having alternatives, being enmeshed in old rules and roles, being unable to move in new directions and achieve satisfying results. Being stuck is feeling at the effect of something or someone else, unable to be effectively self-determining.
Sometimes being stuck includes depression. Sometimes it’s just very frustrating, having no options, feeling hopeless or despairing. Stuckness can be persistent, intractable, immobilizing. It can go on for years.
Before you come to counseling, you’ve probably tried many other ways to get unstuck. Change your scene, change your actions, change your mind, ignore it and hope it goes away. None of these has worked.
How can counseling change this stuckness?
Stuckness is never complete. Life is movement, and even the greatest stuckness includes micro-movements. These may not seem productive, but they exist. Getting unstuck begins with building on these micro-movements, making them more productive and increasing their impact.
What are the tools for doing this?
Insight, planning, and support:
—Insight means looking more deeply at how you got where you are and why you’re stuck, and through this developing a fresh view of your situation.
—Planning is about identifying ways to move forward which fit who you are, both week-to-week and long range, changes you can make happen and from which you can see results.
—Support helps you build the courage to face and move past fears. Stuckness is often tied to fear of the unknown world you’ll face when you’re unstuck. Support whittles down this fear to make it manageable.
Together, insight, planning, and support can help you to move your life forward in a new, more fulfilling direction. Being stuck doesn’t have to become a way of life.