2 min read

Five Reminders About Healing

Five Reminders About Healing

The thought of beginning psychotherapy can be daunting. It can be hard to know where to start. There might be so much you want to address that the pressure paralyzes you. Maybe you have tried many times before and have not had the lasting success you would have liked.

When it comes to healing, the journey is as unique as each individual. As a therapist, I see this every day in my practice. Healing isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, and it's certainly not something that happens overnight. Here are a few ideas that can help demystify the process.

Begin with the small to medium-level challenges. A big misconception is that you must first address the biggest or original wound. Healing is not just about the big and heavy. Starting with smaller-level difficulties sets us up for success. It helps us to practice our tools and experience what it means to succeed. The best part is that it shortens our list of traumas and energizes us for the process. Healing requires confidence in ourselves, the therapist/coach, and the process, and starting small can help with that relationship-building across the board. As a therapist, it tells me about you and your unique needs and helps me tailor the process to meet you where you are.

Create a sense of safety for yourself. Physical and emotional safety are crucial in the healing process. Somatic techniques can help regulate and stabilize the physical body creating a sense of safety. Emotional safety is fostered by using non-judgemental techniques that combine self-compassion and self-kindness. As a therapist, I role model this and guide you as you learn to apply this for yourself. Outside therapy, it is important to surround oneself with a few supportive people who can be there for you. If you do not have this support, that's ok. Enroll in peer-led support groups where you can learn from others.

Acknowledge yourself and your hard work. Many of us find this hard to do because we constantly look at how much further there is to go. Yet, without appreciation, the human spirit withers. Self-acknowledgement is a part of being process-oriented where we understand that the process determines the outcome. Healing is mostly about the process - learning techniques, applying them, customizing them to meet our individual needs, and adapting them to different situations. This is hard work and deserves to be recognized. It is also a strategy that requires being oriented to reality. Your effort is part of the reality.

Most of the work happens outside therapy. Set aside a few minutes daily to practice what you learn in therapy. Practicing in neutral or low-stakes situations makes the strategy become a part of your toolkit. It is hard to remember what or how to apply when in a state of activation. The more practiced a tool, the easier it is to access in moments of need.

Healing is not linear. Expect setbacks. Know that your energy will fluctuate. That is part of the process. Learning to pick ourselves up with humour and compassion prepares us for life. Everything we learn is a template that can be molded to meet the needs of another situation.

And most importantly, when you are tired, learn to rest, not quit. Happy healing!

I am currently accepting new clients for my psychotherapy and coaching practices. To learn more about me and these services, please visit the links on the homepage. You can set up a FREE consult here: unitymindfulness.janeapp.com