Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Counseling can be like computer coding and here’s why

When I was in primary school, I was into computer coding. Some may find this surprising because most of the things I like to explore, are about feelings and emotions of the human experience.

Having said that, it was initially more about a shared interest with a close friend of mine at the time, rather than a pure computer interest.

Then I started to code certain programs/spreadsheets to help my parents out. They had a small family business but didn’t have Excel at the time.

Of course, I was not very successful at it, but through many failures, I have learnt many things. The most important being, when the code is not well written, multiple error codes will pop up, and the program will freeze regularly. So through many hours of sweats but not so much tears, I would have to decode the error codes, zoom out, reassess, recode, and improve the programs for better workability.

Fast forward that to many years, I became a Family Doctor, and realized that human psychology/CBT is not too dissimilar to that.

We all have “codes” in our “feeling mind” or subconscious, making up of values, beliefs, and internal rules.

When we have an “emotional trigger”, it’s like an error code popping up.
We then have to decode that.

What is that “emotional trigger” telling us? It’s hard isn’t it, because we can’t simply look up a table for these codes.

We then need to zoom out to get a bigger picture. 

We can then reassess. 

What are the external factors that is contributing to this feeling?

What are our internal factors that are contributing to this feeling?

Then we try to fix what we can through assertiveness. Hold space for the stuff that we can’t through acceptance. And try to change our internal rules and beliefs but maintain our values, to update our “codes” for better workability.

Like other humans of course, I still struggle with this significantly, but through this framework, it has made it a little bit easier.

I hope you will find it helpful too.

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