top of page

Unlocking Success: The Role of Therapy in New Year's Resolutions

January 29th, 2024

As we turn the page to a new year, many of us approach this time as an opportunity for renewal and change. The tradition of setting New Year's resolutions is rich with the spirit of rejuvenation, beckoning us to seek betterment in various facets of our lives. We might aspire to join a gym, cut ties with old vices, or engage more deeply in our spiritual lives. Despite these noble intentions, the reality often sets in that a significant number of these resolutions wane with the passing weeks. I have navigated this cycle more times than I can count — promising to better myself, to seek wellness, and to live in a way that honors the sacredness within and around me.

 

But in this earnest pursuit, I often found myself spiritually bypassing — sidestepping the necessary confrontation with the traumas that shaped me. Unknowingly, I was a vessel of unresolved turmoil, my inner peace disrupted by the dysregulation of a nervous system strained by the weight of unprocessed emotions. Choices made in the throes of such inner chaos were less than ideal, and self-blame became my shadow, a presence that grew from the roots of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) — a term and condition absent from the teachings of my youth, both in psychology and in religious education.

 

I learned of sin and its avoidance but was left pondering the weight of sins committed against me — the abuses and betrayals that remained unacknowledged by those duty-bound to protect and love. This uncharted territory of questions and pain was my unwitting companion through the years, even as I stood in that seventh-grade yearbook photo from 1983, a child of two worlds, spirited away from New York's concrete jungle to Florida's sun-drenched promises by a family I barely knew.


Mr. Tilghman, my Peer Counseling teacher, appears with me in that snapshot of time, a testament to the kindness and care that public schools offered amidst my turmoil. His wisdom and empathy became my anchor when tragedy struck as I navigated the death of peers — at Crystal Lake Middle and at Deerfield Beach High (Thank you, Mr. Hilton, for being a great peer counseling teacher at DBHS). Those heart-wrenching moments galvanized my path toward psychology, a journey that revealed my purpose and offered solace from the void of affection at home.

 

While I was taught the legalistic interpretations of sin, my questions about the suffering inflicted upon me by others often went unanswered. Yet, it was in these unexplored depths of my being that I found my calling to counsel and to heal, a lighthouse amidst the tumultuous seas of life.

 

Understanding the Resolution Rut

 

At the dawn of each new year, we stand before God with hearts full of aspirations, our resolutions crafted with the earnest desire to refine our souls and strengthen our walk in faith. These resolutions are our modern-day stones of remembrance, set down with the intent to mark a path of growth and spiritual maturity. Yet, despite our initial zeal, as life's relentless march resumes, our steadfastness may falter, and those very stones can seem to weigh us down, leading us into the all-too-familiar Resolution Rut.

 

This rut represents more than just a faltering of will; it is akin to the parable of the sower, where some seeds fall on rocky ground. Without the nurturing soil of continuous faith and the water of steadfast commitment, the sprouts of our resolutions wither before they can take root. In this metaphorical landscape, therapy serves not as a crutch but as a cultivator, preparing the ground of our heart to receive and nurture the seeds of change.

 

Integrative therapy, infused with Christian principles, offers not just an understanding of psychological patterns but a holistic approach that aligns with our spiritual values. It provides a sacred space to explore the underlying issues that may hinder our progress and to bring them before God in a setting of grace and understanding. Through this process, we learn to lean not solely on our strength, but on the unfailing strength of the Lord, allowing His wisdom to guide us through the valleys of discouragement and onto the paths of righteousness.

 

As a Christian Integrative Counselor, I understand that our journey to fulfillment is not just about achieving worldly goals but about nurturing a deeper connection with our Creator, aligning our lives with His purpose, and walking in the abundant life He promises. Embracing therapy is an act of humility and wisdom, recognizing that while God is the ultimate healer, He has provided us with tools and companions to aid us on our path to transformation.

 

So as we seek to transcend the Resolution Rut, let us remember that in Christ, we find the strength to renew our commitments each day, not as a ritual of the new year, but as a continuous act of devotion. Let us step forward with the assurance that our efforts are seen, our struggles are known, and our hearts are held in the hands of a God who delights in our pursuit of a life lived fully in His grace.


Therapy as a Catalyst for Change

 

1. Setting Realistic Goals: A therapist helps in sculpting achievable resolutions, shaping lofty goals into incremental, manageable milestones.

  

2. Accountability and Support: A therapeutic alliance provides the essential motivation and support to persevere, particularly through challenging periods.

  

3. Identifying Underlying Issues: Resolutions often touch on deeper emotional or psychological issues. Therapy reveals and addresses these, enhancing your likelihood of success.

  

4. Coping Strategies: Therapy arms you with robust strategies to confront and navigate setbacks, maintaining your course toward resolution fulfillment.

 

Mindfulness and Self-Reflection

 

In the gentle stillness that therapy invites, one finds the fertile ground for mindfulness and self-reflection — virtues extolled throughout the Scriptures and vital to the Christian walk. As we engage in therapeutic practices, we embark on a journey of cultivating a deeper self-awareness, a kind of holy introspection that allows us to discern the quiet stirrings of our hearts and the guiding whisper of the Holy Spirit. This pursuit of mindfulness is not merely about self-improvement; it's about sanctifying our entire being to align more closely with God’s will, creating room for His transformative work within us.

 

Self-awareness is the compass that guides us through the tumultuous seas of our thoughts, triggers, and motivations, steering us towards the haven of informed choices and steadfast commitment to change. It's akin to the Biblical call to "examine ourselves" (2 Corinthians 13:5), to look within with honesty and courage, identifying the patterns that lead us away from the path of righteousness and towards the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2).

 

A valuable resource in this endeavor is the wisdom found in various texts that echo Biblical principles, such as the practical guidance offered in 'The Four Agreements.' Though not a Christian book, its insights can complement our faith by simplifying complex ideas into actionable wisdom, much like the parables of Christ make profound truths accessible to all. Coupled with the Living Word of God, such resources can serve to sharpen our understanding and fortify our resolve.

 

In my practice, tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, available through various online platforms, assist in laying the groundwork for this self-discovery. Though secular in creation, such assessments can be used within a Christian framework to better understand the unique way God has wired each of us, helping to identify our strengths and areas for growth as we strive to become more Christ-like in our thoughts and actions.

 

As we pursue mindfulness and self-reflection, we don't merely set resolutions; we offer ourselves as living sacrifices, honed and refined through the wisdom of scripture and the discerning eye of therapy. This holistic approach not only aids in adhering to New Year's resolutions but also draws us closer to the One who calls us to a life of purpose and peace.

 

Professional Guidance for a Brighter Future

As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional, I have witnessed the transformative power of therapy on individuals striving to realize their New Year's resolutions. Professional guidance not only elevates your likelihood of success but is a cornerstone of enduring well-being.

 

As we reflect on our resolutions, consider the empowering role of therapy. It is a testament to strength, not weakness, and an instrument for surmounting obstacles, unlocking potential, and paving the way for a year of meaningful transformation.

 

In this sacred journey of life, we are called to take ownership of our actions with courage and humility, as taught in Christian doctrine. Acknowledging our sins — the times we miss the mark — is a personal odyssey of introspection and repentance. It's about extending the grace we seek from the Almighty to ourselves, even as we navigate the aftermath of others' sins against us. True to our faith, we are called to not only seek forgiveness but also to embody it, to make peace with our past, and to step into a future that honors the teachings of Christ.

 

Taking ownership is an act of transformation, mending not only our spirits but also our relationships with others and with God. It is an affirmation that, while we cannot direct the actions of others, we hold the reins of grace and forgiveness in our own hands. Walking in the redemptive footsteps of Christ, we carry our cross toward a horizon brimming with hope and the promise of renewal.

 

A Simple Prayer for Us

 

Everlasting Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. As we journey through this life, we come before You with open hearts. In the quiet moments of self-reflection, we invite You to search us, O God, as we echo the words of Psalm 139:23-24.

 

 

Lord, illuminate the hidden corners of our souls and guide us in Your eternal ways. Show us the path where Your light outshines the shadows of our doubts and fears. Lead us in Your righteousness, so our lives may be a testament to Your unfailing love and grace.

 

In the name of Jesus, we lay our thoughts bare before You, trusting in Your mercy to renew our spirits. Help us to walk in the assurance of Your truths, steadfast in our resolutions, and anchored in Your divine wisdom.

 

In Jesus' name, Amen.

 

Remember, the path to self-improvement is perpetual, with therapy as the guiding light toward your goals. Together, let's turn resolutions into tangible achievements.

 

Stay tuned for more insights and strategies to maintain your resolutions throughout the year, ensuring a transformative journey ahead.

 

Wishing you a year of profound growth and joyous victories in the light of His love.

 

In Service, Faith, Hope, and Love,

Diana


P.S. Don't forget to check out The Holistic Counselor podcast.



And now for the disclaimer to make sure you understand that YOU are responsible for YOU:

 

Disclaimer: The content provided on "Liberation Lunes" is for entertainment and informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this blog. The views expressed on this blog are my personal opinions and do not represent the views of any professional organizations I am affiliated with. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, 911, or 988 immediately. "Liberation Lunes" does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the blog. Reliance on any information provided by "Liberation Lunes," others appearing on the blog at the invitation of "Liberation Lunes," or other visitors to the blog is solely at your own risk.

 

Confidentiality Notice: If you choose to engage with "Liberation Lunes" by commenting or posting and you are a client, please be aware that you may be revealing information that could compromise your confidentiality. Remember that disclosure of your identity or personal details can potentially be linked back to your clinical material. As a therapist, I am bound by confidentiality and will not respond to any disclosures of this nature on this blog. I am committed to upholding the ethics and confidentiality of the therapeutic relationship, which extends to all forms of communication, in accordance with the laws and professional guidelines that govern mental health professionals. Your privacy is of utmost importance, and it is your responsibility to protect it when interacting on this platform or any other public forum.

 

 

 

 

39 views1 comment

1 comentário


Jen T
Jen T
29 de jan.

This post resonated with me and made me realize that I've been trying to skip over some essential things in my life. God used this post to confirm things He has been attempting to tell me.

One part that stood out to me was extending grace to ourselves, especially when dealing with the consequences of other people's actions. As people of faith, we are called to forgive and make peace with our past to move forward and honor God's teachings.

I am truly grateful for this blog and the message it brings. Thank you!

Curtir
bottom of page