© September 2010 by Fabienne Lopez
This post was inspired by the Elsa P. and her 1 Minute Astrology post of August 16, 2010, and by Donna Cunningham and her problem-solving process, excerpted from her e-book, Counseling Principles for Astrologers – 2006.
Should I stay or should I go?
I get this relationship question a lot from my clients these days. Not surprising since, until October 2012, Saturn in Libra is having us question all our relationships.
My clients ask me this because they’re confused. I understand, and I also know that this confusion is not conducive to decision-making. Most often, she is torn between what her intuition is whispering to her — “Time to go! This relationship is wrong!” — and what her logical mind is shouting at them — “There are so many good things about this relationship! Maybe we can work it out.”
This merry-go-round can spin and drain a person until she finally makes a decision.
So how does an astrologer help her clients who find themselves in this situation? How does the astrologer help them make a decision? I can lead clients to explore their major issues through the insights their astrological chart provides. In doing this, I can give them a more detached perspective and motivate them to take action to resolve the difficulties they face.
Here’s a problem-solving process, devised by Donna Cunningham, that can help my clients make a decision and follow through with it.
The process consists of asking these four questions:
Question #1 – What is the problem?
This is often where people struggle. They often list the symptoms rather than the problem, then react to what they think the problem is.
Instead of just reacting, I help them understand more about why they think there’s a problem, and what the problem really is.
A client might say she feels depressed because of a lack of intimacy and affection with her spouse when the real problem is the spouse is having an affair.
Just clarifying the real problem can already bring relief to my client.
Question #2 – What is your contribution to the problem?
Often people get caught up in symptoms or effects of a problem without ever getting down to the real cause. They get mad at someone’s attitude, anger or actions, which are not the cause of the problem. In turn, her own reaction to the other person’s attitude perpetuates the problem.
For example, people with a strong Pluto in the 7th House of Relationships will often have strong power issues with their partners that can be traced back to twisted power plays between Mom and Dad.
Until the client acknowledges the existence of the power play pattern, the issues will keep repeating themselves with each new relationship.
Question #3 – What resources do you bring in dealing with the situation?
When dealing with deeply emotional problems, clients often forget that they have resources they can draw upon to help them deal with the situation.
Helping the client brainstorm new approaches and solutions and consider the consequences of the various existing options can shake them out of their rigid thinking (should I go or should I stay?) and generate new possible solutions.
Question #4 – Where can you turn for help?
The decision of leaving or staying in a relationship can be overwhelming. Much of the time, clients have no idea where to turn for help. They may all have a support system that they forget to turn to. Asking for support is a big step, and can prepare them for the upcoming change they are creating in their lives. Turning to a support system — family, friends or church — can help them make a definitive decision, and then what steps to take after they’ve decided.
Recently, I asked one of my clients these questions. Once we explored the topic thoroughly, she felt relieved and was able to start creating a vision of what a new relationship, with her current boyfriend, could be like. She felt clear about her next steps, and thanked me for guiding her to that clarity.
This may not be the last time my client questions her relationships. At least now she’s practiced in how she can process her decisions.
How do you make difficult decisions within your intimate relationships?
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Photos: Credits: Flickr Creative Commons ( Number 4 image by Leo Reynolds)