When You’re “Not Ready For Change”

From a professional viewpoint

Tina Simpson


Photo by Danie Franco on Unsplash

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it”

— — Rumi (1207–1274)

I work with clients every day who are in a position where they have to make life changing choices.

My clients have experienced abuse at the hands of someone they trusted. This can be physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or a myriad of all of these forms of abuse.

When my clients have finally built up enough strength to deal with the situation that knocked them off their feet, they have often endured a traumatic response for an extended period of time.

Trauma makes it really hard to trust. No one can fully understand the dynamics of another person’s grief.

When someone experiences an incident (or many incidents) that lead to the building up of emotional walls for protection, it is very hard to knock these walls down. As a mental health care support worker, I can see the importance of these walls, and do NOT recommend knocking them down before a client is ready.

The real internal problems arise once safety has been reached;

“Why can’t I trust? Why can’t I move forward?”

The conflicting feelings of wanting to be in isolation to avoid any pain, and the deep ache of loneliness in the heart, create anxiety and depression. Forward momentum seems impossible, and sometimes this leads to falling backwards.

Understanding these dynamics is a crucial component to helping someone (including yourself) through tumultuous times.

From a professional standpoint, there are indicators that someone is not yet ready for change, and there are ways to help overcome these barriers once it is safe emotionally to do so.

The biggest indicator that someone is in “lock down” emotionally, is the refusal to see anything outside of their own experience.



Tina Simpson

Mediator. Supporting humans making healthy connections with each other. Anti-violence and high risk Social Services provider. Lover of eccentric brains. ❤️