When Change Doesn’t Happen


There is an old joke:  “How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?”

Answer:  “Only one.  But the light bulb has to want to change.”

This is the standard safety net for the therapeutic community.  “My tools work, so it has to be your fault when they don’t work.”

In that light, I was discussing a “Sally” today with someone who is trying to help her.  Sally has been stuck for years over a push/pull regarding enabling.  There is a person she enables regularly.  She knows she does it.  She knows there are alternatives.  She has had sundry people who have exhorted her, scolded her or even been angry at her.

Sally does not defend her enabling at all.  It is just that when push comes to shove, she is not able to make the decision to allow the reproofs of life to be visited on the other person.

My suggestion to Sally’s coach was that this might be the result of an AHS in Sally.

My logic was this.  Most soul issues are malleable.  AHS generally are quite resistant to any sort of counseling.  So the mere fact that Sally did not like what she did (clearly not in denial here) but kept on doing it anyway, relentlessly, suggested that it might be an AHS controlling the decision making process.

She will explore that option with Sally.

My main point here is that when something doesn’t work that you think should, don’t default to blaming the person.  Sure, there are lots of times when the client doesn’t want to change and going to therapy is just a smoke screen to pretend they are working on the issue.  I know that situation DOES exist.

However, when they want to change and don’t, at least check and see if you are dealing with an AHS in the decision making center, not their own soul.

Copyright June 2015 by Arthur Burk

From home, clobbered with jet lag

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