Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tracks in the Snow

I couldn't resist the tyre tracks. Somewhere in a recent office development behind Morehampton Road in Donnybrook, cars had made a distinctive design in the snow. There was something pleasing about the tread. Same tyre, same car - three point turn? Every contact leaves a trace, as forensic scientists say. Psychotherapists tend to look at past traces. But cognitive psychotherapists believe that although things in the past may affect us strongly, we don't have to continue coping with them in the same way as we have always done. We build up patterns like the tyre tracks in the picture and the decisions we make can become automatic. So we need to learn from past experiences but not become overly attached to them. By identifying the way we respond to things we can begin to change. Metaphorically, it's time for a new set of tyres with a different tread.