JAN: Help People Change By Doing Things Differently In Session
As the new year starts, thoughts of resolutions and goals are on our minds. As helpers and caregivers, we desire to see and effect change in the lives of those we walk with and care about. But how do we do that?
In recent years, there’s been lot of talk of neuroplasticity - that our brains are capable of change even into our late years. Those findings show that people can change no matter how old they are by creating new neural pathways in their brains by doing something different and then strengthening those pathways with practice. For instance, if we want to play the piano well, we don’t go to piano lessons to talk about playing the piano. Change happens when we play the piano and correct mistakes in the lesson, and then practice more at home.
In the same way, change can occur in our clients when we practice doing something different in our sessions, such as relating differently or making sense of their histories differently. As clients regularly encounter and engage in new experiences in the sessions, we can gradually encourage them to live differently outside of the sessions as well. Our interactions with our clients can significantly affect their growth and strengthen the work God is doing in their lives. For that reason, we should be thoughtful and intentional about how to utilize our time with clients. This month’s tool will highlight ways you can help them do things differently in sessions to foster change in their lives.
Ellen Lee, LMHC
Clinical Director and Counselor