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  • quinnwhiting

Trying to fix your problems? Try looking at them as challenges.

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

The view is set at the level of a paved road with yellow stripes running down the middle. A person's lower legs are visible wearing black jogging pants and olive green running shoes as if ready to go for a run.

Welcome to the blog portion of this site! While I'm still getting things ironed out on the site (and learning a lot in the process), the idea here is to provide you with tools and resources that clients and myself have found helpful in various challenges and life journeys. While I would love to work with everyone that comes to my site hoping for ideas on how to address their personal challenges, that isn't always possible. All the same, there are things I want to put out there so that they can find their way to the people that need them. Over time, you'll find things like tools and techniques people have found helpful, unique perspectives I've come across in my work, community resources - especially for Northwest Arkansas, book reviews, and more!

A lot of these will be the result of my work with clients but often also self-tested. Because, between you and me, even therapists have their own struggles in life and I'm no different! And one of the best ways I've found to learn about a new counseling tool is to apply it to my own challenges. After all, why should I offer an idea to a client that I'm not willing to try myself?

So why do I talk about "challenges" when I'm referring to our problems? After all, one of the most common questions we have when looking into counseling is, "How do I fix my problems?"

I try to refame our struggles as "challenges," because we're often used to viewing a "problem" as something that is set in place with little hope of change. To say, "I have a problem" can also bring a lot of feelings such as shame for having the problem, guilt for not doing something about it, or hopelessness because we don't know what to do. But most of the things we struggle with in terms our thoughts, our behaviors, how we feel in reaction to something - these all developed to protect us in some way at some point in time. You are not a problem to be solved. You are a person.

A challenge, on the other hand, is something we often take on with the intent and hope of overcoming it. It might be learning a new hobby or activity, or taking a class. Whatever the challenge is, we often have a sense of optimism about it.

For counseling, that means some of the work might involve looking at our struggles as challenges we are capable of overcoming - even if some of the work will be difficult. But just like learning a new hobby might involve learning new skills, counseling can involve learning new ways to address those things we find challenging.

It is my hope that you will come to have a sense of optimism about the challenges you are facing, even if just a little. It may be through you and I working together, it may be your work with another therapist, or you may find ideas elsewhere that really resonate with you.

Wherever you find the help you need, you can rise to the challenge ahead and create a life worth living.

I believe in you.


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