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Regardless of how painful or difficult life may be, we can always choose to use any experience as an opportunity for awakening and growth rather than victimization and stagnation.
Sometimes we don't have many resources or tools available, or sometimes we aren't aware of what's available. Sometimes our "best" turns out to be harmful to ourselves or others unfortunately. But we are all just trying to survive, and fortunately we can choose to make changes in any area of life. The human brain has the amazing ability to learn new ways of thinking behaving throughout the lifespan. This is good news for folks in therapy!
However, sometimes our experiences create defenses that make it difficult to access this presence. Therapy isn't about "becoming the best person you can be." Rather, this process is about peeling away the negative beliefs, feelings, and images you have of yourself, and discovering that this loving presence is the truth of who you are and has been there all along.
In order for therapy to be effective, it's necessary to have a safe and nurturing environment. I have learned from clients that the most healing things I can do is to embody compassion and listen from the heart in a completely non-judgmental way.
Since shifting from “talk therapy” to more expressive and experiential therapies, I continue to be amazed at the powerful transformations occurring within clients. More and more I have come to believe that I am merely a guide, and that each person has a unique healing “map” that unfolds when given a safe space to do so.