Counseling & Untangling Knots


Michael Altman, LPC

Been depressed? Has your get-up and go gotten-up and went? Anxious and panicky when you think you know better? Feel like no one understands you, perhaps getting into trouble? You and your spouse living on different planets and colliding in space? Haunted by your dreams? Starting to worry that an addiction is getting the better of you? Feel like your life is tied up in knots? Well, counseling might be described as the art of untangling knots.

We all know the feeling when the occasional complaint or problem morphs into that dreadful feeling of being stuck. Sometimes we hold on and wait for things to change by themselves. Sometimes we go into denial and pretend that things aren’t so bad. Sometimes we defiantly decide that we can handle our own issues. More likely, these are the circumstances that warrant the help of a trained counselor.

Well, how is that counselor supposed to help when you’ve already tried so many things? For one thing, a counselor is outside your problem thereby having a clearer view and broader perspective. Sometimes for you it’s like you can’t see the forest for the trees. The counselor is schooled to see differently, seeing light when you see tunnels. It is important to state that the counselor doesn’t fix or rescue you from your problems…only you can do this. The counselor might more accurately be described as a facilitator. With a keen eye, the counselor examines the “knot” and looking at all facets of how you’re tied-up, takes inventory of your strengths and resources and suggest ways to begin the untangling. Once you’ve got a little more breathing room, a little more distance from your knotted problem, your own vision becomes clearer and you find the encouragement to pursue a different course of action, one that affords you more harmony in your life.

Of course, it is also crucial to feel a sense of trust and connection with your counselor and know that confidentiality is guaranteed. It’s tough and courageous enough to divulge your innermost struggles. You need to be sure no one else is going to hear about it.