Ambivalence – A Brief Overview
Feeling ambivalent is having simultaneous conflicting feelings regarding an issue.
It can certainly be overwhelming to realize that you in fact are of two minds about an issue. The more I research this topic, I realize this is a feeling I’ve experienced on multiple occasions in my life.
As a counselor, I do feel some ambivalence about that thought, however, I know I am fallible, and sometimes lose my way or sense of direction.
Why are we torn to stay in two separate situations?
There is a reason to remain where you are and also most likely a good reason to move forward. It’s imperative to explore both sides thoroughly. Change can be exciting, however, with change it’s also important to realize that we in fact do experience loss in many ways. Loss of friends, environment, comfort, and familiarity. There are the complexities brought about by change that increases our resistance to change.
It is important for individuals to have freedom of choice. As a therapist, it is my role to assist in this journey. In the end, it is up to the client to accept and adapt to the change(s) or choose to remain status quo.
Individuals come to therapy at different levels of readiness for change. Feelings of shame, guilt, stigma, denial, fear of treatment and change are just some of the things that a client may be going through along this journey across ambivalence.
Quite often many clients express their wish to do something “on one hand” and realizing that “on the other hand” there are many different additional options to be considered. It is not about what is right and wrong, but what is holding the individual hostage. How to I as a therapist ensure that I am doing what is best for the client. It is a function of my professional support to guide my clients towards a safe path to a healthier and more peaceful existence.
There are often times when both sides of the indecision seem justified; this is what makes it so difficult to pro-actively move forward successfully. There is no doubt that it remains far easier to take the path of least resistance, however, it’s important to note that this path may not always be the most beneficial path to choose on our journey to good mental health.
Either way, whatever the decision, it may not be without guilt or remorse. The end goal is to ensure you are with a Counselor who is actively listening, and that you feel safe sharing their space. Lastly, it is important to realize that only YOU can comfortably reach a personal understanding of your ambivalence.
Leveraging the right techniques, positive treatment, and dynamic connections, can assist tremendously in supporting your journey through ambivalent thinking and enable the ‘Answer’ to shine through.