Do your personal and public identities match, or are you experiencing an Identity Crisis?
Updated: Mar 3
Do you know who you are? You aren't the same person you were 5 years ago, are you? Do you like who you are? Do the people around you seem to understand who you are and where you are coming from? Do you wear a different mask for each situation or relationship? Your identity changes over time. It grows and adjusts according to your experiences, relationships, and changes in your environment. More than that, you actually have 2 separate, but hopefully related identities in each moment: your Internal Identity and your Public Identity.
You can split identity into 2 pieces: The unconsious and the consious. We call these processes your "I.D." or, "Inspiration" and "Determination." The Oxford Dictionary defines inspiration as, "The process of being mentally stimulated to think or do something, especially to do something creative."(1) Determination, on the other hand, is "The process of establishing something exactly, typically by calculation and research."(2) I like these definitions because they sum up how we become the people we are, in each moment. We first experience stimuli, which is processed, understood, and framed. That process moves us toward a decision, an establishment of intent, which directs our actions.
Counselors and therapists are tasked with helping you understand who you are in their offices so that you can create a more functional identity, both internally and publicly, out in the "real world." Counseling is an immensly diverse field. Everyone has their own take on what theories to work out of and which techniques to use. Specialties are defined and a counseling "point of view" is determined. If there is one thing that I've observed about the counseling community, it's that we are starting to realize that we have to widen our perspective, creating a counseling approach that addresses each client's independent needs and goals. That doesn't mean that specialties are not necessary, but even within a well defined population or diagnosis individuals respond differently based upon which step of their identity creation is dysregulated.
Integrative counseling is about more than just working out of a narrow point of view. It's about working with a person where they are at, in the moment, and helping them create and define their internal and public identity in a productive and healthy way.
Are you experiencing an Identity Crisis? Let's investigate where your dysregulation is. Call us for an initial consultation and let's start a journey toward creating the ID you want to be. (210)415-2542.