Therapy is messy, just like us.
Each of us have a way of deciding who and when to trust based on our lived experiences. We have different names for this process- gut feelings, first impressions. The thread that binds these is an internal experience of knowing. Trusting this knowing is one of the most powerful acts in finding a therapist! Therapeutic trust can grow over time as folks get to know one another, test boundaries, and begin to feel settled in the room. How do you experience trust in your relationships? The foundation of an attuned, trusting relationship can allow for incredible depth in healing.
For many of us, the relationships we feel most accepted as ourselves in, allow us to at least consider that we have room to be imperfect. This means we can extend ourselves to take risks. That risk may be giving voice to the pain and anxiety that we usually hide away, or taking the risk of letting love in. The counseling room is a perfect container in which to explore, experiment, make mistakes, and surprise ourselves with insight, awareness, and inevitably, change.
My experience is that personal awareness and growth are a natural result of a therapeutic relationship based on trust and risk-taking. Having the bravery to challenge, get feedback, and accept ourselves in session creates space to question the usefulness of our habitual thinking and consider scary and exciting new possibilities. When we bring awareness and growth to our old patterns, we can examine self-aggression, anxiety, and other uncomfortable experiences with the same tenderness and curiosity we often reserve for others.