Options and Choices by Chelsea Sabin

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In Copeland Center co-facilitated wellness groups, a participant will likely hear facilitators use the phrase “choices and options” in response to many kinds of questions. In general, when we ask questions we want answers, meaning this response can be understandably frustrating. So why do we do it? Rest assured, it is not to frustrate, rather it is to empower each participant, knowing that they are the expert on themselves, to make their own choices and never limit their options.

This is just one of the values and ethics that a Copeland Center Co-facilitator has agreed to uphold, “Give each person choices and options, not final answers.”

Choices and Options, what does that really mean? The Copeland Center co-facilitation certification training is based on self-determination, opening the door for individuals, but not dictating their path. Understanding that each person is the expert on themselves and recognizing each person as a unique, special individual, means each person determines their own options and makes their own choices in their recovery.

To better understand choices and options we can also explore the difference between a choice and an option. If I am looking at my wellness toolbox, are those things not all choices and all options? Is there a difference? Our options for wellness tools are limitless, including even options that we have not yet discovered. What I decide to do with those options is a choice. In this instance, my wellness tools are all options and what I decide to do with them is a choice. I distinguish choices from options as options are the items from which we choose.

A facilitator who upholds the values and ethics will not give final answers, because each choice and each option is going to be different for each individual. Every choice will have a consequence. Those consequences may be negative or positive and those consequences may be entirely different from one person to the next. For example, when I go for a walk in the forest, it generally brings me peace of mind and is soothing, aiding in my wellness. However, someone with a negative experience in the forest may find themselves feeling anxious and fearful, hindering their wellness.

Whatever way it is that you would like to move forward with your wellness, is entirely up to you and any questions you may have about how to do so will be answered with hope and encouragement to explore your choices and options.

Chelsea Sabin is a Copeland Center Certified Co-Facilitator and Wellbeing Mentor in California.