Grow your own seed…
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Grow your own seed…

Helping me, help me, help myself.  The importance of ‘self-agency’ in willing ourselves well.


Self-agency refers to our capacity as living beings to make choices, independent of others, in the context of a social structure and often a moral or ethical code that can limit or affects our will to act.  Sometimes our ‘agency’ is experienced as an unconscious, involuntary behaviour – we’re almost unaware of acting but sense our need to, and at others times it is a purposeful, goal directed or intentional action that we exert our conscious control over.  Generally, our agency is based on our ‘will’ to make a thing happen for us or others, understanding the consequences of acting, whether good or bad.  We use our ‘reflexivity’ when approaching a decision and its likely effect and as individuals we vary in our capacity to do this.

Having agency is typically viewed as where people self-organise, self-regulate and are self-reflective, proactive beings rather than reacting to what happens around them.  Understanding your agency and using it is to have intention, control and influence, and rationality in the choices available to us.  Sometimes our sense of agency is impacted – things that happen in our lives, particularly early-on, prevent our sense of ourselves (self-concept) from developing positively and it can feel like we have no control or ability to make decisions or to make our life happen as we might want it to (or we may have little or no sense of what our life actually is).  Existentially, it can be understood that confronting our mortality can be a life experience that encourages self-agency and change rather than paralysing, inhibiting or somehow preventing our life-still-to-live.  Exposure to decline, death and terminality motivates us to develop a personally meaningful existence.

In counselling, psychotherapy, and existential coaching the therapist will work with and guide your capacity to fulfil your potential and achieve your highest level of human-being-ness.  To develop agency, self-empathy, self-direction and to strengthen your internalised evaluative process – to self-appraise and importantly self-approve and give worth and meaning to the self, rather than to depend on receiving this from others.  Self-agency is a principle at the heart of therapy and coaching offered by Banish the Crows.  Because our model of counselling psychotherapy is integrative – a combined approach to therapy that brings together different therapy styles to meet the varying and individual needs of our clients, we draw upon various methods, including those underpinned by humanistic theories, to achieve the best outcomes with and for you.  In this sense – we will always be encouraging you to ‘grow your own seed’.

Ready to talk?  We are ready to listen.

Contact and more information:

T: 07791 524 634




1 Comment
  • Mrs Lynne Harmon
    Posted at 23:31h, 24 January Reply

    The exciting thing about this approach is the hope that is exudes. Through choice, that is explored and informed, it can be possible to take control of and harness all the capabilities and capacity we have to bring about a ‘good, full life’. (I can’t expand on this here but what is that for all of us?) The role of self compassion is central to the process for me. Kristen Neff promotes the attention to the vital role of compassion to self and reframes the idea of selfishness. So many of us can remain in that Paranoid – Schizoid place of something being all good or all bad. The thoughts around recognition of the good within us can provide discomfort if we are unused to thinking in this way or if we have an internal critical narrative. Each idea can be the seed that bear fruit.

    May this seed scattered in these thoughts, land on fertile soil and grow into may we all nurture it within us so it bears fruit.

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