One of my clients recently asked me why my practice was called Grow Your Potential and I explained that seeking out our own potential is a really fundamental drive behind our work together in therapy.
As a Transpersonal Psychotherapist, I am specifically looking for the qualities that make my clients their wonderful selves. So often these go unrecognised and unnoticed in everyday life, as we strive to be our ‘best’ selves. These might be kindness, awareness of others, humour, vision, sensitivity or inner resolve to carry on however hard things are. Mostly when I mention the qualities that I see my clients look slightly surprised and bewildered, often they squirm a bit.
This always makes me feel so sad, as good mirroring from parents in childhood makes us understand that our authentic selves are just great and we are inherently special. So often parents (who were brought up the same way, so no judgement here) are better at making children feel like they would be great…. but only if they behave, or stop being shy, stop stuttering or basically stop being who they truly are!
When things in our lives are challenging, we often lose sight of ourselves. It is my experience, that it is often then when these deeper qualities, that give us resilience and strength to overcome our challenges, emerge. It is our role as therapists to mirror these qualities to our clients to help them see themselves more clearly.
When we begin to see our complexities and qualities, we can be kinder and more compassionate to ourselves and even feel pride in our achievements.
In therapy we often hold the qualities of our clients close, my supervisor used to say it was like holding a candle in the dark. When our clients are ready to accept themselves fully, we hand the light back to them for them to light their own way and embrace all parts of themselves.
I believe we can all do this for those we love, telling them how special they are and how much we appreciate their intricacies and qualities. It never too late to love someone unconditionally, just tell them what you see and feel when you are with them.
As we enter the new year I would love it if we could all see some of our great qualities and stop judging ourselves. This is why my resolution this year is to be kinder to myself and accept myself fully, to gently coax out my potential whenever I can.
Have a great New Year!