I work out with a trainer and I am always amazed when I am able to go beyond where I thought I had reached my limit. My trainer says I am not at my limit at all; I am simply in a muscle confusion phase and my body is learning new cell and muscle memory. Even though I often look at him like he is trying to trick me, I later find out that he is exactly right. The movement or activity that once confounded and exhausted me soon becomes so easy and like I have been doing it for so long. It becomes a part of me so to speak. I am thrilled because my body is now doing things it seemingly could not do before. My boredom, my plateau and my rut is broken and I am renewed!
I compare this to exposing myself to new ways of working with my clients. I find that it is so important for me as a professional to not get bored and in a “same ole, same ole” kind of an energy. This is not as common for a newer professional where the basics themselves are a part of the learning curve. But when one has been at it for 10 plus years, the danger for boredom is there. When I am there, I usually miss important clues or there is a tuning out type of interaction. The “new” learning curve stimulates a relationship to the present moment that is very attuned and in tune as well to the client before me.
For me getting into learning curve mode involves trying on a new technique or modality. I am passionate about learning so there is no shortage of material to draw from. Recently I read a wonderful book about brain plasticity by Dr. Norman Doidge. (The Brain That Changes Itself) and I also attended his seminar.
I learned that visualization is a simple and powerful way to stimulate new neural pathways. The clients that I am working with are very delighted that I use closed eyes visualization to assist with mitigating anxiety responses to some of the events they talk about. So we interrupt the dialogue to bring on the relaxation response with visual imagery and journeys. With this we are able to couple a stressor with a calm state of being. It is a way to create plastic change in the brain every time the client instinctively becomes anxious with certain topics.
For me this has been a learning curve that initially was a bit uncomfortable but is now an integral part of my work.
Using new techniques, concepts and input can stimulate a bit of discomfort at the beginning but is a learning curve that I encourage one to go on. It makes for an excited relationship to ones profession.
By Victoria Lorient-Faibish MEd, CCC Holistic Psychotherapist
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA