Being yourself

Snow goose

‘The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.’

Just as we have developed our sense of self through relationships with significant people, so we can explore, accept and change ourselves within a caring, protective and supportive therapeutic relationship.

This does not mean that we can expect not to be challenged in the process, but that the relationship is built on a foundation of empathic understanding, acceptance of us as human beings with strengths and vulnerabilities and a commitment to honest open communication.

Our fundamental aims in therapy and counselling here in Stockport are to help you to fully know and accept who you are and to develop your unique potential in life. Eric Berne the founder of Transactional Analysis described his goals for people in therapy to become autonomous adults

  • with a capacity for full awareness of yourself and others
  • the ability to form and maintain close relationships
  • to live life with spontaneity

Many people find that they are not different at the end of therapy or counselling, but that they now see themselves and life differently.

We shall not cease from exploration,
And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started,
And know the place for the first time.”
TS Eliot

You may be asking yourself, “Sounds all very well, but how can I just be myself if I’m not happy with myself?”

In therapy you can explore your attitudes and beliefs about yourself and how they came into being. When people have ‘good enough’ experiences of being freely loved, cared for and nurtured, whilst being given an appropriate balance of protection and encouragement to explore the world, then they grow up with a fundamental sense of security and sense of entitlement. They are able to love themselves and others freely, whilst being realistic about their limitations, acknowledging and learning from mistakes and having a generally positive attitude to life.

As children we did our best to survive in a world that may have seemed hostile and rejecting. We constructed ‘maps’ or ‘scripts’ based on the territory at the time. We told ourselves that it must be our fault if our caretakers were angry with us or each other, left us or abused us and we tried to work out how to please them and keep their support and love.