My name is Nora and I’m starting this blog as a way for myself and everyone who reads this to start a self-exploration process! Now, I know the term “self-exploration” is vague and sounds a little new-age-y, but bare with me. The goal I hope all of us achieve is simply happiness.
So, what makes me so great that I can tell people how to be happy? Nothing more than some realizations I just happened to stumble upon. My story is this…
To start, I recently finished my Master’s in Clinical Psychology. During my program, I had to complete a traineeship as a therapist. Although I will come out and tell you right now that I only have a year of being a therapist under my belt, I learned a few things along the way and observed some pretty interesting themes. Such as…
-A lot of people have not been single for more than a month since they were teenagers.
-When in relationships, many people take on the likes and dislikes of their significant other and abandon their own.
-A large number of people have difficulty articulating their favorite color, food, and hobby.
-A weak sense of self can lead to depression, anxiety, anger, and loneliness.
After seeing these patterns over and over again with my clients, I began to wonder if starting at the very foundation of people (their sense of self) could ease psychological symptoms and promote mental health and wellness. Of course as a new therapist, I had to use tried and true techniques under the supervision of licensed psychologists, but I did manage to put my own plans into action at times.
For example, I had a client who had undergone a break-up after being with their significant other for many years. The client exhibited depressive symptoms: crying a lot, feeling guilty and worthless, having trouble eating, losing weight without trying. As our sessions progressed, I came to learn that this person took no time for themself. In the relationship, they had always catered to the other person’s needs. As the oldest in their family, they constantly helped out and took on many household duties. At work, they took on more responsibility than was asked of them.
After seeing this pattern, I asked, “And what do you do to take care of you?” The client laughed and gave an answer I have heard many times:
“There isn’t TIME for me!”
WRONG! YOU must be a main priority in your life to be happy. To learn more about how I know this personally, see my About Me page.
The client and I explored their hobbies, likes, dislikes, and aspirations. Each week, their homework was to do something for themself. They reported that they had an amazing time rediscovering hobbies from childhood, taking trips by themself, and exploring new career paths. By the end of our sessions, they considered themself happy and confident. Best of all, they said that they knew who they were and liked that person.
I’m currently in the limbo between graduate school and full-time employment, a perfect time for some personal growth, and I want to be more like the client mentioned above.
So begins my newest journey of self-discovery…
Won’t you join me?