Often clients who come to counseling are thinking in ways they didn't realize. As they share in therapy what they are going through or how they are struggling, a list of "should's" starts to make itself known. "I should be married by now." "I shouldn't be so upset." "I should be stronger than this." In all kinds of areas these "should's" appear: emotions, relationships, career, confidence. We work to identify the should-statements and address them. We evaluate how true they are and whether or not thinking them is actually effective. By thinking these should-statements, are you moving toward or away your desired goals? Are these building confidence or eating at your confidence? Are the statements based on truth or real evidence? Do they line up with wisdom or common sense? Most often clients find that these should-statements are unhelpful, ineffective or unkind. We work to find healthy statements to replace them. "I'd like to be married now but I'm OK being on my own and can find fulfillment in a variety of interests and friendships." "I don't want to always be this sad but I know I'm taking steps to work on my emotions." As clients evaluate their "should's" and replace them with more healthy and effective statements, they begin to feel more confident, have more energy to work towards their goals and report feeling less stuck. It's not easy to identify the should-statements nor is it easy to replace them with truthful statements but it's doable and so helpful!