On the Process of Healing: A Butterfly is Born!
Life has been particularly challenging for most parts of the world in the past couple of years.
The stressors have ranged from pandemic lockdowns, to The Great Resignation, to supply-chain disruptions and resulting shortages, to inflation rising "through the roof", to divorce rates, to violence and wars, to name a few.
One thing has remained unchanged - our yearning to heal and become whole.
Our collective consumption of mental health services has gone up substantially, as a testimony to our search for answers and healing during this time of upheaval.
Therapists are very busy nowadays, inundated with inquiries for services.
Some clients are "returning customers", whereas some have never set foot into a therapist's office. Some are returning to polish and refresh coping skills, while some are discovering what therapy is all about and what it is capable of bringing about for them.
All are welcome!
Embarking on this journey together, we will pay tribute to the idea that therapy and any sort of healing is a process.
We will take a sort of an inventory of where you come from, your background and history, and where you find yourself currently. We will review how your current functioning in life is impeded by your presenting issues.
Throughout our time together, we most likely will complete some specialized questionnaires to help zero in on clinical topics that we will prioritize as we move along.
We will seek to address all your questions - but it is a process!
It's a process to build a therapeutic alliance. It has been said in the annals of therapy that it is the relationship -- the therapist-client alliance -- that heals. There is much truth to that adage.
Depending on the acuity and severity of what we are looking to heal, the process may take longer and be more intensive, with referrals to psychiatry for consultations and added support, and potentially other referrals. This is a common practice.
We will set up some meaningful goals and seek to achieve them in incremental strides.
I would like to draw your attention to the idea that our work together is not an even path - you may be in some degree of psychic pain, frustration, as well as other difficult emotions along the way, similarly to being in pain during an invasive medical or dental procedure that one may undergo in the hopes of improving an illness or presenting problem.
Think, for instance, of resetting of a broken bone, piecing it together, followed by sutures, casts, and what feels like endless waiting for the cast to come off afterwards. Metaphorically, this is similar to what we may perform via "the talking cure", in therapy.
Purging old ideas that do not serve us any longer, broken and outdated yet unchallenged notions, self-handicapping behaviors, etc., in service of discovering adaptive ones is rarely a pleasant adventure, but it is definitely a worthwhile adventure.
An examined life, self-improvement, self-acceptance, self-regulation, integrity, self-compassion, and empowerment are our overall goals.
Along the way, we may encounter depression, anxiety, traumas, etc., but in their healed form, they become our building blocks for the priceless take-aways you keep for life.
Healing does arrive!
It does not come knocking on your door with a package to sign for.
It's more of a qualitative shift that you take notice of as time goes by.
You will know it is there when you can bear weight on the old "broken bone" - when you are comfortable leaning into newly acquired insights, strengths, coping skills, and behaviors with a new type of confidence and resilience.
Here's to your healing, transformation, and personal growth!