In my free training, The Feminine Art of a Beautiful Life, I share the pathway to create your beautiful life ~ the life that fills your woman’s heart with joy. I teach the pathway I followed, that opened with the magical question I asked those years ago, so that those who take the training have a road-map to follow, in creating their own beautiful life.
While this is not a written repeat of that training, I do want to share some key ideas, specifically about the ideas of talk and insight, and why, frankly talk and insight alone are not enough to realize your dreams.
What then, does it take to realize the deeply loving marriage and fulfilling life you Desire?
I am sharing this with great love, because you deserve to know this. You deserve to know the truth about what is required to create the deep joy of a loving marriage and fulfilling life that ultimately is the beginning of fulfilling your destiny.
For several years, I practiced as a Marriage and Family Relationship Therapist. When I graduated with my master’s degree in 1988, Marriage and Family Therapy, (MFT) was the newest addition to the counseling world, and considered very progressive and cutting-edge. Older post-psychoanalytic era, professionals in the other counseling fields tended to look askance at us for some of our progressive and new ideas about what it took to help a couple or a family change and heal. It is interesting and somewhat ironic to me now, that almost all the counseling/psychology disciplines and training programs now incorporate some of what we as marriage and family therapists discovered and developed those years ago. Now almost all counselors and psychologists do a little “couple” or “family work” with many of their clients.
In A Nutshell, Here Is the Heart of the Basics of Counseling
- Help clients gain insight about themselves, their inner world, their lives and their relationships.
- Help them understand their feelings.
- Help clients talk about these insights and their feelings with you as the therapist and with others in their lives, especially their spouses and other family members.
- Help them take responsibility for their lives and their choices, and be motivated to change their behavior so they can be happier, and have less conflict and problems with others.
- Help them learn new behaviors and skills, such as communication skills, so they function better, become happier, and get along better with others.
The actual achievement of these broad objectives was much more complicated, difficult and circuitous than this short summary (for reasons I will get to), but the basics of what counseling is, is captured in this short summary paragraph above.
Two Big Breakthroughs
The two big breakthroughs in insight, theory and practical application about how we help people change that came during the classical era of Marriage and Family Therapy were these:
- Our thoughts contribute to our feelings. We can change our feelings, including even get over depression! by changing our thoughts. David Burns’ Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy was a block buster best seller and required reading. For many, it became a near Bible for the field of counseling.
We all learned how to help clients recognize “cognitive distortions” and gave them logs to track their thoughts, and helped them craft new ones, which they were to tell themselves whenever they caught themselves thinking one of their distorted ones.
Today’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) grew out of this insight and is still today, one of the most commonly used methods of therapy.
- The other big breakthrough and paradigm shift, and it was a paradigm shift! was the insight that relationships themselves have dynamics and what might be termed an identity that is separate from the individuals in the relationship. This is the genesis and grounding of systems theory and systems-based therapy.
Systems theory and therapy was the big up-leveling, the genius contribution that the field of Marriage and Family Therapy gifted the world back in the 50’s – 80’s. This is the reason that older, more conventionally trained professionals at the time looked askance at us, and why we were considered rebels and in some cases, near apostates to the field.
But you want to know what? Systems based MFT made a difference. Couples and families did begin to change and even to heal.
Why? Because systems-based therapy began to go deeper than outward consciously known symptoms alone into the reasons for why people had challenges and problems in their lives. Systems-based therapies began to go deeper in a way that was useful, that leveraged insights in useful ways to facilitate change (unlike classical Freudian or Jungian analysis, where insight was considered enough).
I feel grateful, honored and proud to this day, that I was a part of this exciting, progressive, cutting-edge era of Marriage and Family Therapy. It played a part in changing my life and I was blessed to facilitate change for many, many others as a Marriage and Family Relationship Therapist myself. It was what the world needed at the time, and I am grateful I was a part of it.
Coaching in a Micro-Nutshell
More recent life and relationship coaching is an outgrowth of therapy ~ largely Marriage and Family Therapy. In some ways, in fact, coaching is a return to some pre-medicalized models of earlier MFT. The focus in coaching, including business coaching, is on skills training and practice, and if they go deeper at all, a little on mindset; in other words, change your thoughts to change your life, your relationships or your business.
Coaching has its place. It helps women focus on their potential, not their problems, and this in itself is strengthening. Coaching helps clients move forward with their lives, and provides accountability structures that also support people to move forward. I use coaching elements in my work with clients for these very reasons.
The Million Dollar Question: Is Therapy Or Coaching Enough Now to Manifest Your Dreams?
As I was working hard to create a loving, lasting marriage, I had beau coup insight about my life and my marriage(s). I certainly was motivated to make changes and worked long and hard to do so, because I really, really wanted to be happily and securely married. I have skills galore. I use “active communication” skills as second nature, and have taught couples and families to talk to one another, especially about tender topics for 30 years and counting. I am known to be really good at that, and known to be really good at setting the climate and environment so they can.
Why was this not enough then, for me to realize my own deeply held Desire and dream of a fulfilling, loving marriage?
Insight and skills alone were not enough for me, and for countless clients who seek me out after years of therapy or coaching in some cases, because it doesn’t go the heart of the issues, nor to the hidden reasons for our patterns of struggle.
It Is Similar To This:
Years ago in Colorado, we had a problem with the carpet in the corner of my study being continuously damp, and beginning to develop mildew. We tried drying the carpet with towels, then a heat lamp. The moisture and mildew continued. It was a corner against the outside of the house, so we thought it might just be condensation somehow during the winter, and kept drying the carpet, and waited for warmer weather to see if it would clear up. It did not.
We called our builder who finally sent his customer service person to take a look at it. He found some small cracks around the window and a downspout, which he repaired with calking and told us the problem was fixed. We had high hopes it was. The moisture and mildew returned, even in the summer. We called the builder again. His guy came again, and put some more calking around other cracks, and assured us this time, the problem was fixed. The moisture returned yet again. We went around this cycle with the builder and his customer satisfaction person two more times. This cycle went on for 4 years.
We knew we were not getting to the source of the problem!
My husband, who is an engineer, went into his engineering problem resolution and project management mode. We hired an independent building inspector to come examine our home, to find the source of the water leaks to the inside. He used infra-red photography and other high tech tools, including inspecting the roof and drilling strategic examination holes in the stucco where the infra-red photography indicated there was high moisture content inside the stucco.
We found water; quite a lot of it actually. Some sections of the particle board underneath the stucco were crumbling from the water saturation and mold. We found that the water was getting inside the stucco and running down the front of the house because the roof flashing was improperly installed relative to the top of the stucco.
The upshot of all this was that sections of the front of our home had to have the stucco removed, the particle board replaced, along with the related substructure and insulation, and then re-stuccoed. Most importantly, a whole section of the roofing, including flashing had to be replaced and installed properly. We also had to have my office deep cleaned including mold and mildew removal by a highly trained specialist, then repainted and re-carpeted. (Thankfully, our home was still under warranty, so the builder paid for this major repair and rebuild.)
The water and mildew problem that showed up outwardly in my study was finally solved because we found the root cause of the problem ~ deeper in the structure of the house. It never returned because we did what was necessary to find the source of the problem, and to “heal” our home.
What It REALLY Takes to Manifest Your Dreams
It’s like this in our lives and marriages, especially when we are stepping up to a higher level ~ a higher octave ~ of joy, connection, fulfillment and love. Stepping up to a higher level is the zeitgeist and calling of this era, and the hunger of our souls, especially for women.
To do so, we must find, solve and heal the root of the issues and challenges that have held us down at a lower level of both functioning and “okayness” ~ a level frankly of accepting ordinariness. This means going to the origin of the issues AND going deeper into who we are, taking our Heroine’s Journey and doing our Inner Work.
Marriage and Family Therapy, and to a certain degree, coaching, met women’s’ needs in an earlier era. They set the stage, and were preparatory for the journey to joy.
With all love, I will tell you they do not, and cannot take you all the way. Talk and insight, managing your mindset, and radical self-responsibility, are not enough to facilitate the healing and transforming of hearts and lives and generational lines that is both the general calling and mission for our time as a whole, and what is required for you personally to rise up to a new level so you may truly flourish.
Flourishing requires a deeper level of healing, growth and spiritual transformation that goes to the heart of the issues and challenges and genuinely heals them, just like we did in “healing” our house.
Healing on this level provides the fuel to launch you forward and upward to the deepened level of love, joy and fulfillment you crave.
As one who embarked on her Heroine’s Journey some time ago, and having facilitated it for countless others, I can tell you the only way to get there is to take your Heroine’s Journey, and do the Inner Work your journey evokes within you.
This is what is REALLY required to manifest your heart’s Desires.
If this speaks to your heart, and you feel an inner resonance with Truth, then contact me today about beginning your Heroine Journey to the life, love, marriage and fulfillment your heart Desires to truly flourish.