“The human heart cries out for help; the human soul implores us for deliverance; but we do not heed their cries, for we neither hear nor understand “
– Khalil Gibran
People talk about changing themselves, whether just some minor aspect (perhaps a habit, annoying trait, or particular behaviour), or perhaps revamping some aspect of their personality and approach to living.
But most people wanting this change who actually make the effort try to do so without a proper appreciation of what is actually required for change; how to go about doing this and succeding
Wanting to change is a good thing. It’s just not so easy.
Part of the difficulty is that we have become grossly confused with the proper understanding of what change is about. It is not hard to understand why.
At one level, change seems rather easy.
I change if I drink alcohol or take drugs. A few drinks or a few puffs and I think and feel differently about myself, the people I am with, and even the word I live in.
Or, I can change how I am feeling and thinking just by being around different people. If I am unhappy with one person I can find someone else to be with, someone who makes me feel better
It is therefore not surprising that when people want change in their life because it doesn’t feel right, they take vacations, or drink alcohol, or take drugs, or try to find new relationships, or seek any one of a number of different avenues.
This is the easy way, the superficial way, the temporary way. No wonder so many people take it.
Occasionally, these actions solve the problems, usually they don’t. Often this only prolong the problem, or even makes things worse.
The type of change I am interested in involves much more than altering my mood, or finding temporary relief. I am not talking about change by putting something into my body, or looking to the outside world, or just waiting and hoping for the time to pass.
The issue is more than just that these approaches are only likely to create temporary or superficial change. Rather, it is that for the most part, they have no functional purpose other than to make me feel better, or more accurately, to try and ensure I won’t feel bad.
My primary concern is with the issue of whether or not we can change our “self”, in terms of actually developing, maturing, and evolving psychologically, and IF that is even possible, how do we actually do that.
What works and what doesn’t? And even beyond that, the greater concern is how to effect such change so as to potentially to become a positive and constructive force for others and for the world around us. This is my area of interest.
The essence of my work as a therapist here in Vancouver is dedicated to helping anyone who is seriously seeking to “know thyself,” to find answers to such questions.
My own experience as a psychologist, and as one who meditates continually on life, is that people in general seem to have little curiosity or interest about such issues as they pertain to their life.
In fact, most people seem to operate as though they already know the answers to such questions. Yet I would maintain that for the most part we are actually quite confused and mystified by our own experiences, and know much less about what is going on with us than we realize.
One unfortunate outcome of this confusion is that when, for whatever reason, we do start asking such questions about our self, our relationships with others, or our life, we either won’t know how to go about finding such answers, or we will go completely down the wrong paths and get lost. That is truly unfortunate!
Teaching you how to learn about who you are and discovering what your life is about is the essence of my work with individuals.
As a therapist in Vancouver for more than 25 years I employ Mindfulness Therapy or Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy when it seems productive. However, I also use a wide range of other therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Existential Therapy, and emotionally based therapies if those approaches seem likely to be more productive.
For individual therapy and counselling please contact me directly at 604-488-9637 or email me at the link directly below.
Dr. Gordon Reid
Ph.D, R. Psych