Being cut off from others does not make for a happy life. We try to be strong because we have learned that others will attack our weaknesses. So, we buck up--we present an air of being tough and invulnerable to keep ourselves from being hurt. Where does this leave us? We end up faking it, or worse, buying into the myth of invulnerability.
The myth of invulnerability results in us missing opportunities to connect with others in a way that supports both of us in our relationships--Relational Cultural Therapists call these healthy relationships Growth Fostering Relationships. Without Growth Fostering Relationships, we have to go it alone and, so, we are alone, isolated, exhausted and depleted from having to do it all ourselves.
Counseling can present an opportunity to try out new ways of existing in relationships. In fact, counseling with me means that I will be vulnerable with you in ways that support your growth and invite you to be vulnerable with me. Why? This approach is a step to creating relationships that you really want and feeling like you truly matter.
Creating Growth Fostering Relationships outside of counseling isn't easy--let's be honest, some relationships are just not good or strong enough to support you in this way. So, it may be that you will grow out of some relationships as a part of your relational and personal growth in counseling. That's scary but it is also the best way to get what you really want and need. We can work on it together.
Dr. Jason Patton