Welcome to a new week! I want to briefly revisit a really cool moment I had this past weekend. The way the sky transformed during sunset on Saturday evening reminded me of something super important: without darkness, you really can't appreciate the light. Try and repeat the words in the sentence out loud:
Without darkness, you really can't appreciate the light.
If you notice the contrast between the two images below, you can really observe how the colors in the sky become even more vivid as the sky begins to darken. With this being said, we all experience dark moments in our unique lives. As a therapist, I generally notice the most significant pain my clients have endured stems from a moment in time he or she lost hope.
Instead of taking a "what is wrong with you?" approach, I specifically become curious to learn "what is strong in you?". THAT right there is the source of light. If a client can give himself or herself permission to touch the wound and go towards the darkness just for one moment, he or she can truly begin the healing process. Gradually clients can then begin to understand his or her story with greater compassion and appreciate just how strong he or she truly is. SPOILER ALERT: therapy doesn't "make" someone stronger. Good therapy empowers a person to become self-aware and recognize that he or she already has tremendous strength.
This is a personal thing that I do as a therapist and each therapist has his or her own style of conducting therapy: I frequently check in with my clients and evaluate the progress he or she is making in therapy. Checking in during the thick of the therapeutic process is critical in not only ensuring that a client and therapist are on the same page but to also offer a moment to pause in therapy and celebrate progress the client has made since the first session. No matter the speed or direction, progress is continuous movement towards a desired goal.
Amy Pope-Latham, LCSW is a clinical psychotherapist in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.