I cannot believe how long it has been since I’ve blogged and I can tell you I’ve really missed it. I need to take a leaf out of my own book and specifically put time aside to do things I enjoy and that I find beneficial. But, how and when does that happen? Week after week I preach to my supervisee’s stressing the importance of looking after ones self to be a good therapist. If we are not in a good place ourselves it is so much harder to be with the children 100%. Well, the same goes for being a mum, wife, friend surely. But, seriously, how? I’m asking for advice myself now! Currently, Poppi is sitting with me doing Duolingo (in Russian!!! ??♀️) whilst I type. She has now moved on to Bluey which is making it practically impossible to concentrate! Multitasking – not a strength of mine!
I guess that is something I have been absolutely blown away by over the last term. Knowing who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, can make such an incredible difference to the way you live your life. Some of you may have heard of the Enneagram – it comes in a number of shapes and sizes but the basic premise is nine personality types which we roughly fit into. (I say roughly, I fitted into personality type number 1 fairly neatly!) During lockdown I read the book The Road Back to You (Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile’s take on the Enneagram). It was so fascinating to read the chapter on my personality type as if someone was in my head. However, the point I’m making is that by knowing that who I am (and that that is ok) allowed me to accept parts of myself that I might not be too keen on and by accepting them allowed me to start to work on them in a positive way rather than constantly trying to dismiss them. Identity, who we are, is so important. I have found this so many times as a play therapist as well. A lot of the children I work with have had such disruptive lives they barely know who they are. The therapy journey is as much a journey of self-discovery as a healing process.
Recently I have seen this played out in such a beautiful way. A child found out the truth about who they are and firstly, their play changed dramatically. They were able to be totally who they needed to be. Secondly, at home, they just appeared so much more settled in their skin. Obviously, this will continue to be a process but the change was remarkable and it all happened after discovering a vital truth about their identity.
Having spent some time working on myself I am certainly much more aware of the good points about me. That is something I have always struggled to notice – oh the joys of being a number 1 (The Perfectionist). This has brought a sense of freedom to understand some of my ways are actually ok, and in fact, more than that, actually quite helpful. It has also helped me to separate those qualities which perhaps aren’t so favourable. This is always the first step. Once you know what they are you know what to start working on. Until then, you’re in the dark. The next steps may be slightly more difficult and may take a little longer. For some of us this may be a deeply painful process, and in these cases I wouldn’t recommend doing it alone, but perhaps seeking some professional help. I know I have got a long way to go but I can honestly say from observational and personal experience that finding out more about our identity sets us on the road to becoming better people. It grounds us. It frees us. And, surely, that is beneficial to not only those in close proximity to us but also ourselves.