Is It Me? Am I The Problem?

Is It Me? Am I The Problem?

When teenagers come into my office they usually feel that the depression they are experiencing is a reflection of who they really are. They may have tried in the past to resolve their problems, but it just makes the situation worse. This happens because if you believe you are the problem then there is very little that can be done outside of taking action against yourself!

You Are Not The Problem

Much of the world we live in today internalizes problems as a part of our “essence”. However, at Insight, I believe that “the person is not the problem but that the problem is the problem”. That in order to minimize the problems in our lives, we must change the relationship we have with the problems we are experiencing.

Externalizing Conversations

One way this orientation to counselling can be seen is in how narrative therapists speak. For example, if a client said:

“I am depressed”

I would say something like:

“You are experiencing depression” or “The depression is wreaking havoc in your life”

This way of speaking allows people to see themselves as separate from the problem. And when you are no longer the problem, other options for problem resolution suddenly become visible and accessible!

(Of course, there is a lot more to narrative therapy than the way we speak)

Not Taking Responsibility For Your Actions

Just a side note that I thought should be made clear:

By separating yourself from the problem does NOT mean that you are not responsible for your actions. In narrative therapy, the problem is externalized NOT your actions or the effects of your actions.

Ready to get help and stop depression from affecting your life?

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To book a counselling appointment at my downtown Halifax counselling office today!

Learn more about externalizing and what to expect from a narrative therapist by visiting The Dulwich Centre http://dulwichcentre.com.au/articles-about-narrative-therapy/externalising/

Until next time!

Julia

     Meet Julia Smith

Julia Smith, MEd, RCT-C, CCC, is a mental health counsellor in downtown Halifax. She helps kids, teens, and young adults who are struggling with anxiety, stress, and depression. Click here to learn more about her downtown Halifax counsellor practice!

Insight Mental Health Counselling