Monthly Archives: February 2020

“My Why”

I have frequently seen on social media people sharing their why around things they want to change or have been doing for some time. Sharing my why is something I have never done. Why did I get into working with couples as a therapist? I will tell you.

Beginning my career in mental health almost ten years ago this July, I always knew the influence of people on people in multiple settings and various ages. Relationships are the driving force in everything we do and everywhere we do things. I learned early on to create meaning and have an agent for change, there had to be a “dyad” present-two or more (i.e., parent/child, friend/friend, spouse/spouse, sibling/sibling). There is more change that can happen for someone struggling when there is another trusted person present to contain and validate what he/she is experiencing good or bad. Our past hurts and pain did not develop in a vacuum, so the healing will not either; it takes the “dyad,” in my opinion. In the “dyad” an experience happens. An experience where the person suffering and sharing feels accepted for who they are at that moment without judgement, sarcasm, advice, or dismissal. It is so powerful. It is an essential moment that does not happen enough in this world.

My why is because it deeply saddens me how we in today’s society speak to one another, because we do not know how to express our thoughts in a healthy way. My why is because the art of listening is lost, and I am teaching and modeling its importance in each session with couples. My why is if we choose and maintain healthy relationships around us, our mental health symptoms will have a safe place to open up, get healthy attention, feel supported, and accepted. My why is because we are already good at judging, giving advice, talking too much, monopolizing conversations, and not asking for what we need, that I MUST be an advocate for these many couples that were not taught early on how to communicate with active listening and boundaries. I do this to stop generational unhealthy communication among families and couples.

Alyson Pena, LPCC

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