We all from time to time notice a dialogue within ourselves. This is where we are processing thoughts and feelings. Sometimes it's conscious and we really notice it and other times it's just out of our awareness and may be sensed or felt. So what is happening?
We all carry an internal story based on our past and the relationship we now have with ourselves. We are constantly trying to make sense of what is happening in the present based on the tools we created to cope in the past. This sometimes takes place as internal conversations, especially when we run into difficulty.
These conversations are complex thoughts which help us to relate to something happening for us in the here and now. The thoughts can sometimes be flawed. We may have made dysfunctional decisions as children as survival strategies to maintain attachments to parent figures, which can become outdated and unhelpful for us as adults in our decision making. The internal conversation is us trying to make sense of what is happening, especially when our expected feelings don't match an experience.
Some of these maladaptive thoughts fall to an out of awareness place leaving us to replay defective patterns of attachment, communication and behaviour we learned in childhood and play out in our current everyday lives.
For example - If a parent figure was particularly abusive, the unconscious decision that the child made will have had to be extreme to emotionally survive. This may appear as, 'No one is safe, therefore I will never be vulnerable or trust anyone ever!' 'The only safe option is to get them before they get me!'
The problem with these beliefs is they become rigid blocks to natural and healthy growth. The three complex 'voices' that we all hear and act out can be seen as a -
Parent - The beliefs we inherit from experiences of our family, culture and environment. Sometimes felt as critical.
Child - How we have individually reacted to these beliefs. This includes our reactions to traumatic experiences and unmet
needs and how we adapted to events in our lives.
Adult - How we respond to experiences in the here and now. This voice encourages us to be flexible, energetic and promote
Being able to notice, listen to and understand our internal dialogue helps us change our defective patterns. This can be quite difficult to make sense of, especially as we have been doing it the same way all our lives! A counsellor is someone trained to help you make sense of your feelings and the internal chatter, so you you can make positive changes to how life is for you in the here and now.
The counsellor will listen to you and help you challenge the maladaptive decisions. By uncovering the unconscious meanings you have attached to behaviours, you can re-write your old patterns into something new which supports you as an adult. Therapy stimulates change. The abusive internal voices which distort reality will be challenged and you will be supported to behave in a more self-nurturing way. You will develop new ways of thinking and feeling to create a more cohesive sense of self.