We humans have a very valuable gift: the ability to make long-term estimates of what will happen, or what might happen if certain circumstances occur.
We can make predictions based on our imaginative capacity, in which we combine information about the past and present to make projections about the future. And that, of course, is a big part of what has allowed us to be a species with so much ability to adapt to diverse environments around the planet, as well as to establish very complex societies based on trust and consensus.
However, with this skill comes a series of responsibilities that often put a lot of pressure on us. We are faced with the need to make important decisions that will determine how our lives will be for months or even years to come.
That is, as our mind projects into the future, even if we don’t do it on purpose, we have to deal with the emotional implications of making decisions about each of the important dilemmas. with which we are faced. And sometimes those decisions are so big that we feel emotionally overwhelmed. Fortunately From psychology, strategies have been developed to deal adequately with this kind of experience so complicated.
This is how psychologists support important decision making
Many people go to the psychologist without realizing that they have developed psychopathology, simply to “clear their minds” when faced with a major dilemma, or several of them. Relatively common examples are: doubting whether or not to leave work, deciding to end a relationship or continue to offer opportunities, reaching a collusion on whether to stay with family or move to another country or another city, etc. .
Faced with such dilemmas, however Psychologists do not give advice on which option to choose (it’s not our job, and the decision must be made entirely by the person), we provide resources to deal with the decision in the most constructive and psychologically healthy way, without hesitation and without letting the ” I will decide at another time”. postpones the question indefinitely.
So… By what process does the psychologist help those who have to make an important decision? Let’s see.
1. Supports the process of self-knowledge
In the first stage of the process, it is necessary that the person is fully aware of his values, the ideas and ethical foundations on which their way of approaching life rests. That way your decision will be what the person thinks is acceptable, what defines good behavior, what they are comfortable with.
To do this, the person is trained in certain techniques of introspection which help him to analyze and order his ideas, and the beliefs from which he interprets reality.
2. Helps detect strengths and weaknesses
A slightly more technical part of knowing yourself is being aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to discover the risks and opportunities which involve the different options that the person has to choose from.
3. Train in anxiety management techniques
Knowing how to make important decisions does not mean completely blocking the discomfort caused by anxiety and stress. We have to assume that we will feel some discomfort just by dealing with a high degree of uncertainty. Therefore, in psychotherapy, he trains himself in the use of anxiety management techniques, to prevent it from paralyzing the person.
4. Teach time management techniques to get ahead
It is important to set specific goals in the final decision-making process. Gather information, check the status of our skills that we would need to use in case of choosing one of the options, etc. To do this, psychologists teach ways to segment behavior patterns with clear temporal referents beginning and end.
5. Helps Detect Self-Sabotage Thoughts
Finally, this type of psychotherapeutic support also helps people to identify and predict the emergence of self-sabotage trap thoughts, which are those that arise in our consciousness unexpectedly and serve as an excuse to fall into the short easy term (which is generally detrimental in the medium and long term). Usually these thoughts They bring us back to our comfort zone and they erode our self-esteem so much that we dare not take risks and show ourselves what we are capable of.
Are you interested in having professional psychological assistance?
If you are looking for psychology services to meet the challenges of daily life or to start an emotionally demanding project in the personal or professional field, I invite you to contact me.
My name is Tomas Santa Cecilia, I am a psychologist, and I work from the strategies and techniques of the cognitive-behavioral intervention model applied to adults, adolescents and business teams. You can rely on my services in person or online via video call.