The counseling process can provide the opportunity to see and to know that there are many ways to do anything. Learning to walk a different path and hear a different birdsong, learning to ask different questions, can bring new insights about concerns small and large. What is my purpose now, how can I improve my relationships with family and friends, how can I improve my emotional and physical health? It seems when we do things differently, a wider pathway opens and the opportunity for greater ease, calmness, and joy can enter our lives.
If I don’t consciously choose my thoughts, I allow the old patterns of thought and behaviors to be repeated in my life. We may think we are choosing our thoughts, only to find, on closer scrutiny, that some belong to our parents, teachers, the boss, our friends, or even our political party. It is quite understandable to see how it happens that we absorb the ideas of those with whom we live, upon whom we serve, and by whom we are taught.
Critical thinking is a concept inviting us to observe our thoughts, then feel our emotional response, and choose our actions. Counseling facilitates the process of critical thinking. A new choice. There is good in many things; some will fit us and some not. “Take what we like and leave the rest”, is a slogan that helps us break free from the binding norms of any old patterns or any group, be it family, friends, co-workers or culture. Practicing critical thinking moves us toward choice again. Counseling helps foster critical thinking.