What does your life story sound like?
When I was getting my B.A. in psychology, I also minored in creative writing. My favorite classes were creative nonfiction– writing about our own lives using the same elements as fiction.
I was using a breakup as fuel for a short story I was particularly proud of. My professor was a big fan of raw emotion and I’d really bared my heart and soul. But when I got it back, it had one solitary bit of feedback written in her tiny, barely legible blue cursive. “This character has no agency.”
Wait, what?! I’d given her exactly what she always asked for!
Given time, of course I saw what she meant. My character just let things happen to her. She worked out because her boyfriend liked athletic girls (something I’d never be!). She left her dorm room unlocked, hoping a friend would magically pop in and see she was struggling.
And yes, I’d done exactly what was asked of me, as usual. But I didn’t excel because I wasn’t in control of the story of my own life that I’d written myself. The side character were. Hell, my professor was.
I used that feedback to take control of my story–claim my agency– and become a therapist. My expertise now helps others take control of their life stories. For example, I see individuals who’ve written themselves as the villain because of a mental illness. I see couples and families whose stories are so riddled with problems they can no longer see the potential for a happy ending. Therapy teaches them that they can re-write it all.
To be clear– this blog is not therapy. On this website, you will find educational material that may teach and empower you, but it is no substitute for your own personal therapist. Visit the “book an appointment” pages to learn more about starting your real therapy journey with me!