Why Seek Counselling? Part 2
Now you’ve arrived here – thank you – I’m hoping you’ve read Part 1 of this Blog, which will make sense of this Part 2 and may help you to recognise character elements of yourself, which may be failing to serve you well as an adult in the here and now.
In Part 1, I mentioned the stories which we write as very young children, about how we need to stay safe in our world; how we need to ‘be’ to survive. And that these stories are known as Script in Transactional Analysis.
In our Script, some of the messages we’ll have embedded for how we need to be will be made up of Injunctions. An injunction is like an inner voice or voices telling us: Don’t be important, Don’t feel, Don’t be you, Don’t exist, Don’t succeed, or Don’t be well. These injunctions will have been developed by the style and manner by which we were raised by our Parents/Caregivers.
When we were very little, in order to receive the love and affection we needed from these caregivers, we may have had to abide by their rules, rather than just ‘be’. This is how we develop injunctions, for example, ’Don’t be you’.
To counteract the injunctions from our script, to ensure we survive to live our lives, we’ll have developed Drivers, and these will enable us to receive the nurturing every Human Being requires. We may have the ‘Be strong’ driver counteracting the ‘Don’t feel’ injunction, or the ‘Please Others’ driver, counteracting the ‘Don’t be you’ injunction. As Human Beings, we are programmed to do whatever it takes to get our needs met and it’s our drivers that can validate our existence.
Drivers are what balance injunctions out (our Counterscript). You may recognise your own from the diagram. This is adapted from Adrienne Lee’s ‘Drowning Person’ diagram*. Drivers and Injunctions may serve us well in times of emergency, but when we’re living our lives in the here and now, they can often feel like burdens, indeed blockages to what we really want, and how we want to be in the world.
In the diagram, the sea represents the drowning person's script. Above the water line is what they need to think, feel and behave to stay afloat (drivers). They're trying not to drown in the sea, but there are concrete blocks tied to their ankles dragging them down under the water. The concrete blocks represent their injunctions. For them to remain above the water level and survive, they're relying on the helium balloons tied to their wrists, and these balloons represent their drivers which keep them afloat by counter-acting the effects of being dragged under the water by the concrete blocks. Untie the concrete blocks and the person would float away. Burst the balloons and the person would sink. Remove the concrete blocks AND the balloons and they're free to swim in the sea of life, to live their life unencumbered.
Counselling can help you make that happen. So what are you waiting for? I’m here. I’m listening.