Open Mornings

I rearranged my calendar to make it not so overwhelming looking. The thing I didn’t like was seeing how full the boxes looked. Last summer we attended a $3,500 marriage intensive weekend that was covered for us financially by a couple we’ve known since the days we both worked here. A special scholarship for pastors covered $3,000, and the couple who helped us covered the rest.

One of the action steps we were given was to be intentional about combining our lives on paper, that is, on our calendars. They wrote all of this down on a wall-sized sticky note. They divided the paper into two columns. Having a marriage is like owning a business in some ways. In both cases organization, communication, and planning are important to keep things running and functioning well.

Instead of writing in a size that filled the entire calendar box space, I erased what I’d originally penciled in and shrank the handwriting down so that the event/chapel visit/meeting fit into the bottom fourth of the date box. That one small change significantly opened my calendar back up. Now I could see my things and also see his things. I could see I wasn’t losing my present time with the boys.

When the mornings are open, I can then start to fill in those spaces with a general idea of when to work on what assignments. I felt much better about this major class project coming up on Monday when I saw I had several open mornings and afternoons to work on it. Today I spent a good portion of the daytime reading about and taking notes on Choice Theory/Reality Therapy, which is the theory I chose to present on.

One of the purposes of our theories class, in addition to learning the different theories, is to start to get an idea of who we are as a therapist (not sure I like that word). While there will be mixing and matching of theory application depending on the situation and person you are working with, our instructor says there will typically be at least one or two we find ourselves especially drawn to.

I’ve liked a lot of them. Over the past five weeks, there’ve been a few times when I’ve read again about the tested and familiar attachment theory, or we’ve talked about the three components of person-centered therapy, or someone gives their presentation on Gestalt therapy which is interested in knowing the happenings of the whole person. I read today and again was drawn to something about this one.

Rather than spending considerable amounts of time on the past, reality therapy focuses on the present. It assumes five encoded needs shared by all human beings. The needs are 1) Survival/self-preservation, 2) Love and belonging, 3) Power/inner control and feeling in control of one’s life, 4) Freedom/independence, and 5) Fun/enjoyment. The strength/presence of each need will vary with each person.

Reality therapy is based on the belief that insight alone is not enough to make a change. For example, the couple who worked with us at the marriage intensive helped to take our past and make a plan. They gave us the visual to bring home and keep as a reminder and reference. They helped us identify the areas where we could start to be intentional about becoming and choosing again our present life.

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