The individual counseling is a structured program designed to create the framework from which all of your future decisions will be made:
Individual work is essentially an investment you make in your “self”. It is one thing to want to know about who you are. This is one of the motivations that drives tens of thousands of undergraduates into psychology programs and on to graduate school. However, wanting to learn about yourself in an academic way is not sufficient motivation to affect permanent change in your personality and approach to the challenges of adult life. Nor is it personally sufficient to try and help others in place of helping yourself. You have to be willing to do the work on yourself first and that work involves changing behavior. Changing behavior requires establishing new habits, and changing habits is a difficult process.
It has been my experience after 18 years of practice that the human brain, despite the clever devices we use to help people, simply does not want to change of its own accord. It’s like a set of computer programs were programmed into your brain between the ages of 0 and 18, and those programs, which are mostly learned from interacting with your parents and family, become the guiding principles of your belief system. It is your belief system that carries you into and through adulthood and the remainder of your life.
If the psyche simply doesn’t want to change, because that’s the biological nature of the psyche, then coaching/therapy work has to be an individual commitment to changing the direction of your life. To put it simply, it’s hard work. You have to be willing to trust your therapist, and then follow instructions. Good coaching/therapy is not just about talking. It’s about doing. You have to be willing to do something different. You have to be willing to do something for yourself!
The individual counseling begins with a primary assumption: all brains are the same. All human brains are similar in gross structural construction, and they are all the same regarding the survival circuitry that involves our senses and our emotions. They are all, however, different at the level of micro-neurological circuitry, because these circuits are laid down after birth and formulate the psyche’s experience moving forward in life. While the major survival circuits are genetically laid down, the more personally relevant neurological networks are experientially influenced by your family and are constantly changing and adapting as you become an adult.
The individual process of coaching requires an understanding that from your date of birth through the first 12 years of life, you interface with your environment, utilizing the rudimentary circuits that were your genetic endowment. Beyond the age of six, as you acquire more experience interacting with your mother and father, your specific experiential outcomes, which grow as a result of your experiential endowment, become the micro neurological circuitry that makes you unique.
The individual process of coaching utilizes your genetically guided survival behavior to influence your unique experientially guided behavioral conclusions toward a new direction of self expression. This is accomplished by a process called Metaphorical Iconicity (MI). MI is designed to create an understanding regarding how and why you feel the way you do, and then implement a process of analysis of your emotional well-being. In other words, a complete and thorough understanding of how you feel about yourself and about the world forms the initial starting point for a more in-depth analysis and treatment program.
The individual coaching process begins with an initial consultation, where I explain the program and we discuss what brought you to PEAKS. A commitment minimum of one session per week of 60 minutes is expected.
The individual counseling process is divided into three phases:
1. The Intake Phase — we explore the parts of your emotional history that caused you to feel dissatisfied with your current state of being. We then introduce you to your natural emotional profile, which you use every day to re-create how you want to feel. The intake phase identifies your emotional patterns that you re-create every day, which helps to explain your social successes and failures.
- a total understanding of your experiential history brings your approach to life to the forefront of your awareness.
- This new level of awareness is accomplished through many questions and answers.
- The constant questioning creates the opportunity to implement the Metaphorical Iconicity tools, which will teach you what you need to thrive professionally and personally).
2. The Tools Phase — you will be given tools that will help you create a more satisfying life for yourself. These tools come in the form of new definitions, new explanations of past behavior and motivations as well as exercises that you can do in-between sessions, which will encourage you to perform new behaviors.
- Performing these new behaviors on a regular basis will improve the way you approach your daily life and subsequently how you feel on a daily basis.
- After several weeks of consistent behavior modification, these new perspectives will become automatic and will go on to serve you for the rest of your life.
3. The Practice Phase — during our hourly sessions, we will practice applying the tools to your personal and professional life. It takes practice to apply new information and techniques to the point where it feels natural to behave differently.
- It is the Practice Phase of this process that takes the longest and requires the greatest amount of commitment.
- During the practice phase, you will discover the complexity of your personal life, as you are encouraged to examine all the innuendos of your interactions with your family, as well as your interactions at the level of your personal and professional relationships.
In conclusion, there are many models out in the world offering emotional support to people who are suffering emotional difficulties. Some of these models work for some people, and none of the models work for everyone. Finding a good coach/therapist is the first step, and you never know who is a good coach/therapist unless you try them out for at least 3 to 6 months. The bottom line is that you should make progress within that timeframe. You should notice a difference in your behavior in that time period in order to justify staying with the program