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What Are Some Examples of Powerlessness?

Next smell – the odour of the room, body odour, some flowers, the scent of perfume. Next taste – a fruit, a sweet, something spicy, a dry roasted nut. Finally, see – the play of light powerless over alcohol and shadow in the clouds, a dimly lit room, the layers of colour in a textile. Firmly press your toes, heels and balls of your feet into the floor, until you feel anchored.

examples of powerlessness

In fact, many people who struggle with addiction feel like they have little power over their disease but still want to change. For example, alcoholics Anonymous programs say that those who still believe they have control over their drinking will drink again. Only when you surrender control will you be on your way to mastering step one of the 12 steps.

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The truth is we cannot control how other people perceive us or how they act, think, and feel. Rather than changing other people, control our own perception and action. Being ditched instead of a mutual breakup can make us feel powerless over the status of our relationship too. We try to save the relationship but nothing we do helps to change our ex’s mind. On the extreme end of the spectrum of emotions was anger, loss of control, and powerlessness. These were intense emotions far different from the mindfulness expressed by other participants and were articulated by a few participants utilizing terms such as disconnected, addicted, helpless, and scared.

It can arise from dependence on drugs and alcohol or in workplace environments with higher-up employees and lesser subordinates. Similar to this workplace dynamic, the ingredients for a situation where individuals lack power usually occur when there is a large divide between the decision-makers and individuals underneath. Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting recovery.

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The biases embedded within dominant discourse are hidden by their exceeding normalcy, and this sense of order allows this subtle approval to persist in society and communities without questioning. The construct of dominant discourse can be used to investigate how unrecognized cultural assumptions surround counseling theory and the practice of therapy. People’s examination of their own biased realities and practices influences the shaping of larger social contexts and the underlying values of those individuals. The understanding of this concept is critical to the professional development of counselors and counselors in training, particularly those who are from dominant cultures in society, such as White counselors. Multicultural awareness that results from deconstructive inquiry and analysis may create knowledge and understanding that help future therapists look beyond their own learned views and beliefs. The ability to be self-aware makes room for us to discover possibilities for responding to morally distressing situations with our head held high, eyes wide open, shoulders relaxed, and grounded confidence in our core, with the least personal cost.

Societal barriers may include governmental policy, minimal accommodation, negative attitudes, or discrimination. People with disabilities may feel that the barriers and negative attitudes toward them serve to augment their disabilities, decrease their independence, and enlarge their sense of powerlessness. Thus, the dimension surrounding power and disability may put people in positions of needing help while also feeling resistant to accept help from others. Counselors working with people with disabilities may work toward empowerment of people with disabilities, advocacy, and assisting people with disabilities in areas of accommodations and work. We never want to seize control more than when we don’t have it — and when we’re morally distressed, it can really feel as though we don’t have it. Shifting the narrative from one of powerlessness, hopelessness, and helplessness to one defined by possibility and principled choice will help to both assuage the effects of moral distress and cultivate moral resilience.

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