I recently went to a talk by Felipe N Garcia, MA, LPC, LMFT, TSTA. He spoke on dysfunctional relational patterns and the impact of hellos and goodbyes. Hellos are those moments when we meet someone, start something new, etc. and goodbyes are those moments we end a relationship, lose a loved one, quit a job, etc. He suggested that it is important to recognize these moments and make them meaningful in a conscious way. For hellos, he notes the importance of accepting, knowing, and loving the self, as well as understandng good relationship tools that preven unhealthy hello patterns from dominanting exchanges. For goodbyes, he notes that we need to recognize losses, process grief and forgiveness, embrace learning and then let go and move on.
As an experiential therapist, I wholeheartedly agree. In session, I might process hello / goodbye experiences via history taking and introspection work. Then I would likely do empty chair or role play exercises to redo unhealthy goodbyes and practice healthy hellos. I have often used emotion and need focused coaching to help clients through the exercises. Of course, this occurs over several sessions. The point of this kind work is to free people from repeating relational patterns that have been unsatisfying.
Any goodbyes that come to mind that might still be bothering you?
Any hellos that have been rocky?
For more from Mr. Garcia, check out his webpage:
For Therapy Services: The Key Counseling of SA