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  • Writer's picturekellyharveylpc

To every thing there is a season; transitions in therapy

It’s not the time to leave therapy. You are entering a new, and potentially rewarding phase: the working phase of therapy. Early on, we are still establishing trust, setting goals, and understanding history. That can take anywhere from a few sessions to a few years, depending on what your childhood looked like.

The deep, transformative work of therapy begins when the relationship between you and your therapist is sufficiently trusting (and your therapist has proven him/herself trustworthy) of providing what’s called a “corrective experience”…you having the experience that you can be vulnerable with someone, and they will not exploit or manipulate you as a result. Also corrective is the experience of trusting and being trusted, working through fear, working through conflict or disagreements in a way that is not damaging to anyone, and experiencing a person who is reliable, consistent and genuine in their interactions with you.

For some people, one of the side effects of reaching this point in therapy is a feeling a grief. Sounds contradictory, yes? But having the experience of what a healthy, positive, caring and nurturing relationship looks and feels like can make one’s own experiences stand out in stark contrast. It can be necessary to grieve the child within that did not get this kind of positive experience early on, and the young adult self that was wounded or manipulated by others.

Every week forward will not be smooth sailing, but you will likely experience a shift. I encourage you to pay attention to it. What does it feel like to be vulnerable with someone you really trust? When the fear comes back up (as it almost certainly will), I encourage you to talk about that with your therapist, who has shown himself to be on your side, up until now.

I hope you find a sense of peace and self-acceptance as you continue the process.

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