Powerful Memories

Funny story.  Years ago, my daughter told her preschool teacher that before moving to town, our home was in shambles and we ate our dinners on the living room floor.

Sort of.  Actually, we had removed our carpet to expose the hard wood floors and had packed up all the furniture in preparation for our move.

Apparently, our daughter believed at the time that the reason we moved at all was because our house was such a mess!

She was right, the house was a mess, but the mess was the result of the move, not the cause.

But can I argue with her recollection of the event? No, her memory was correct. The difference lies in our perspective.

After all, I was a child once too. I have my own childhood memories.  I know they are directly influenced by my perspective or point of view at the time. I also know that my memories are mine. They say a great deal about me, and they are important to me; right or wrong.

Here’s an example.  When I was around 10 or 12 years old, there was a TV advertising campaign for what was called “Crime Stoppers”. Now for whatever reason, I perceived that the ad was for “Crying Stoppers”.

From what I recall, the ad was saying that if you notice a “crier”, notify the police in order to interrupt the “cry”, and the individual will be quickly apprehended with your help.

This commercial sent me into a panic. I truly believed that if I were to cry, my parents could call the police, and they could take me away.

I had no knowledge of criminals or courts or the law or anything like that, so to me, I was the biggest problem facing our country; I cried too much.

I realized that I’d better get a handle on my problem, or I would be locked away for the rest of my life. So, the next time I got in trouble, no tears. I was strong. I was not going to show my upset or hurt because the consequences were too great.

I must say, it was impressive how I held it together.

From that experience I learned that the mind is a powerful thing. I learned that pain is fleeting, that eventually it will stop, and I will be okay.

These were important lessons for me and have a great deal to do with who I am today. The impact of that experience continues, even after I learned that my perceptions were completely wrong.

The point is, as parents we have no idea, nor do we have any control over how our children will remember or experience their childhood.

There is no question that sometimes they will be completely wrong in terms of the facts.  But one thing is certain. Both you as the parent and they as the child are entitled to your varied perspectives.

As hard as it may be to hear sometimes, there is a great deal to be learned from how each of you sees yourselves in your own lives. It is a way of communicating how each of you has come to be who you are.

Not only that, the key to any relationship is a shared reality. Once you can agree or accept each other’s reality, the possibilities are limitless.

Although my daughter’s perspective was that the mess was to blame for our move, she also remembered that she was together with her family in the midst of it all. We can at least agree on that. To me, that means everything.

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Psychological coaching is grounded in the art and science of psychology and is in many ways very similar to traditional psychotherapy.  They both utilize knowledge of human behavior, motivation, behavioral change, and interactive techniques in order to help a client move from where they are to an improved state of being. The differences between psychological coaching and traditional psychotherapy are related to their goals, focus, and perspective. Traditional psychotherapy seeks to diagnose and treat emotional and behavioral conditions, with the therapist serving as "expert" in support of the client. Unfortunately, many have considered the pursuit of traditional psychotherapy to be stigmatizing, in part because of this perspective of the client being "broken" and in need of repair.  Psychological  coaching offers a different point of view.  The coaching psychologist is more likely focused on developing a collaborative relationship, with the client in the "driver seat", with the perspective that the client is creative, whole, and resourceful.  The clients' capacity for wellness and healing is assumed, encouraging them to move more quickly and directly through obstacles to their happiness, success, and life satisfaction.  

As a Coaching Psychologist, my goal is to support you in creating awareness so that you can access your own skills and inner resources in order to manage the challenges you face now and into the future.  While our work together may touch on past traumas and psychiatric concerns, they will be addressed from the perspective of your strengths, rather than with a focus on ill-ness or disability.  In our larger community, it is not unusual for individuals to experience mild to moderate mental health issues, making psychological coaching an accessible and viable option.  If, in the course of our work together, either you or I have reason to believe that your mental or emotional health concerns are better addressed by another service provider, a referral will be made.  

As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, I have 20 years of ongoing training and experience providing, consulting and supervising others in the provision of psychological services.  However,  as of now, the life coaching field is unregulated, allowing anyone to be a life coach - even those without training in the behavioral sciences.  As well, the coaching field is considered to lack a solid base in research, creating disagreement on educational and training standards. The International Coach Federation (ICF) is working to change this.  In order to ensure that your coach is not counseling others beyond their expertise, it is suggested that when considering a life coach, individuals  should seek coaches who are trained or ICF certified.  Along with my license as a Clinical Psychologist, I am currently enrolled in MentorCoach® L.L.C., one of the oldest ICF accredited coach training programs, and one that will enable me to be an ICF certified coach.