Dr. Eric Powell
Do I Make a Change? The Fork in the Road
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
You have likely faced the “fork in the road” many times in your lifetime. It typically shows up when an important choice needs to be made. Maybe it was, “Should I go away to college or stay close to home?” or maybe “Should I take this job that pays better or this one that brings more satisfaction in the actual work I do?”. It often shows up when a change presents itself.
In life’s journey, this fork in the road also shows up when we deal with suffering, a problem, or some uncomfortableness. If we are depressed, maybe the choice is to continue to withdraw from others or make a change and participate. If we are anxious, the option may be to avoid the situation to decrease anxiety or to give it a try to see what happens. If we are angry, the choice may be to be right versus being wise. No one said the fork in the road is easy! As you tried your best to deal with your suffering, you have probably made some choices and some changes that led down one path or another.
It is our human nature to avoid, control, manage, or get rid of uncomfortable things. When we have painful emotions, thoughts, memories, or even physical sensations, our impulse is to get rid of this and escape. You could probably look at your personal experiences or in your environment to find several examples to support this. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone! Again, this is how most of us are wired.
When faced with the choice of doing therapy to help with your suffering, you again are at a fork in the road. You can choose to continue managing your suffering on your own or to make a change and work together with a therapist. Going to therapy can be a tough choice for many reasons that range from building trust to share your suffering with someone, to make a time commitment for regular therapy sessions, and even cost. Ultimately, it is a choice that you get to make. However, it is vital to keep in mind that despite pain, suffering, or uncomfortableness, we always have the gift of choice. Not necessarily the choice of whether we have suffering or pain, but rather a choice of what we do with it!
So here you are, at the fork in the road as how-to best work on your suffering, pain, or uncomfortableness. As you make this choice, it can help to create two columns and answer each of the following questions for each column.
Something like this:
What will things be like if I : What will things be like if I
DO NOT make a change : DO make a change
1. : 1.
2. : 2.
3. : 3.
…and so on as needed.
Keep in mind that psychotherapy is a journey and a process. It can be difficult and challenging at times, and it takes your resources to complete. Yet, it can also be rewarding, enriching, and a worthwhile investment in you! So here you are at the fork in the road. What do you want to do? If participating in therapy is the choice for you, know that we are here to work with you on your journey!
Dr. Eric Powell