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Three questions that changed my professional career

Applied Metapsychology, Favorites, Featured, For Helping Professionals

I spent my adult academic years studying psychology. I obtained several degrees and learned copious amounts of theory with the goal of finding effective tools to help others improve their emotional wellbeing. As a new professional in the workforce, I struggled with imposter syndrome. My most excellent GPA, my graduation honors, and all the theory in my brain could not rescue me from a deep sense of inadequacy as I faced my clients’ stories of trauma, life stress, and pain.

People came seeking help with their emotional charge because it was affecting their quality of life. They needed help to resolve unwanted feelings, emotions, sensations, attitudes, pains, events, and fears of the future. Bumps and bruises had happened to them and they needed help to get back to enjoying life, instead of dreading it.

My clients saw me as the person who had the tools to help them; I saw myself as another therapist with great intentions, few effective tools, and slow results. I am grateful for the tools I did have, the powerful therapeutic alliance developed with each of them, and for my client’s resilient commitment towards their own journey. I however, wanted to offer them an effective service that was based less on good intentions and more on actual results.

I found myself lost in the myriad of trainings, theories, and methods available to new and seasoned therapist and helping professionals. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack as I tried to find something that I felt was compatible with my therapeutic style, my niche, and my then limited budget.

Fast forward multiple years, I was offered a last-minute chance to attend an unexpected trauma resolution training. It unpacked concepts, and a very defined trauma resolution protocol that aimed to obtain a degree of result each session. This seemed too good to be true and, as a die-hard skeptic, I immediately questioned everything about it.

By the end of the third day, we were set in pairs to practice “unblocking”, one of the techniques in the training. After choosing a general topic that had some emotional charge, and following very specific and simple communication cues, my partner was to lead me through a series of open-ended questions until I had reached a personally satisfying result.

All my walls were up. I had been matched with a stranger to practice a strange technique. My partner seemed confused and unsure of the mechanics of the practice, and I was determined to get through the practice unharmed. The topic I selected was “career”. My partner then formulated the first question on her printout. The question aimed to make me explore my inner world so that I could freely express any suppressed content about my career. As I elaborated on my response, my partner’s sole role was to hold the space and attentively listen.

Within seconds, a wave of thoughts and emotions overflowed as if this material had been at the edge of my brain waiting for this gentle but profound invitation. As I exhausted my response, my partner asked the same question again. A new wave of content emerged as if the question had not been exactly the same.

We repeated this process with the second and third questions which inquired about invalidations and judgements. By the third question, despite my greatest attempts, I was unable to keep myself from getting emotional. I was overwhelmed by the waves of thoughts and emotions that so gladly wanted to pour out of my mind. With each response, I experienced relief and significant cognitive shifts that quickly began to paint a completely new picture in my mind concerning my career. By the end of the third question, I felt I had arrived at a good endpoint. The activity ended, leaving me with a sense of completion that I had never experienced as a psychotherapy client. Dismissing the feeling as a transitory experience, I moved on with my week.

The following week I noticed things that struck me as odd. I began to feel the need to speak about my career with a few key people in my place of work. I somehow found myself sitting in my supervisor’s office freely disclosing to her certain professional credentials I had privately obtained. Just two weeks before, one of my greatest fears was that anyone in my office would know my full credentials. Months later, I agreed to help build a new therapy department at my job, and three years later I became the director of that same program.

Today, I am an entrepreneur building a system of symbiotic businesses related to emotional wellness. Those three simple questions in that Applied Metapsychology training transformed my career. They gave my brain the opportunity to process and close open cycles that were consuming my mental energy, keeping me from reaching important professional goals.

After this experience, my interest and confidence in these techniques grew. I went on to deepen my skills in Applied Metapsychology by becoming a certified facilitator and a trainer in these methods. I am now dedicated to helping others who are interested in processing unresolved burdens that are holding them back. I also provide trainings to helpers worldwide who are interested in learning these effective and novel techniques to bring healing to their local communities.

 

 

 

Picture of Natalia Gonzales, LMHC

Natalia Gonzales, LMHC

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