I remember when I was a kid thinking that the dandelions growing all around our yard were flowers! Imagine my horror the first time I saw my dad push the lawn mower right over them. How could he?
I was equally surprised when—the very next week—those lovely ‘flowers’ reappeared. Only then did my dad explain that they were really weeds, and that to rid our yard of them, we needed to dig them up by their roots.
My experience with dandelions as a child is a wonderful metaphor for addressing one’s goals when seeking counseling services. You come into the counseling setting with a mess of weeds in your life or relationships. We can certainly address the immediate issues with some cursory insights and a few basic new skills, and you can be on your way. However, over time you’ll come to realize that the root of your problem is still present and that you haven’t really resolved or changed anything permanently.
Or, we can set our sights on getting to the origin of your problems, by digging deep with our bigger therapeutic tools: trust, vulnerability, psycho-education, commitment to change, insight, and adjustments to your thinking that lead to changes in your behaviors. It may take more time and more attention to address your counseling needs in this manner, but the results have the power to last a lifetime. Is your life and your happiness worth the effort to dig a little deeper?