Now then, anyone who is familiar with such concepts as the “Grief Curve” or the “Change Cycle” will realise that life doesn’t really go in straight lines.

In coaching terms, there’s also the “GROW Model” and “Egan’s 3-Stage Model” which outline a specific step by step process for exploring and resolving issues.  But it’s really not that simple is it!  What starts out as a straight line process from start to finish, invariably takes twists and turns between the beginning and the ending.

It can be quite daunting to realise that the theory that we learn isn’t quite the same in reality.  It’s challenging.  It can be anxiety-provoking.  And there’s always that feeling of “will we ever get to the end of this?”

And, of course, there are some situations where we may feel like we are, or we really are, going round in circles.

It takes confidence and a bold move to interrupt that process, and suggest going back to basics, asking the question, “what is the real need here?”

A neighbour of mine constantly talks about events from the past as if they just happened yesterday.  In great detail.  Repeatedly.  Every time we meet.

Sometimes I just sigh, take a deep breath, and listen.

Sometimes, I encourage myself to reflect on what this person really needs.  Is it someone to talk to?  Or is it some unresolved tension from those past events?  Is it a need that goes unfulfilled now that those situations are gone?

But this is not a therapy setting.  This is normal everyday stuff.

Within therapy, that “going round in circles” feeling is important to recognise and acknowledge.  Recognising it may highlight a deeper need is hindering a resolution.  Addressing that will interrupt the flow, quite literally at times.  And enable both therapist and client to get back on the straight and narrow.

Just sometimes, we need to go round in circles and fall down giddy before we can recover sufficiently to get up and finally get straight to the point.