As a counselor, I want the best for my clients. One of the biggest challenges of therapy is watching clients struggle through their stuff. We tend to be a pretty empathetic bunch, so seeing someone struggle can be tough. In an earlier post, I talked about some things to know before going to therapy; and I’m going to go ahead and expound on one of those points: The client is the one that does the work, which makes it that much more powerful when you hit “aha!”
People go to counseling because they see something that needs to be addressed in their lives. Some of us go to overcome a habit, some go to grieve a loss, and some to recover from emotional trauma. These are really difficult things to process, and people tend to want to avoid doing things that are difficult. Because of this, some clients come in for help only to shut down in session and choose to stop working. Once those walls around our pain start to crumble, it can start to feel unsafe and vulnerable. Hence the shutdown.
Often, moments of clarity come when life falls apart. As the build-up continues to grow, emotional pressure increases; and it can manifest somewhat explosively. You might hear yourself say something especially cruel to your partner, or maybe you hear something from your counselor that really gets under your skin and you get angry in session. These moments can make all of the “stuff” fall away and reveal the real issue underneath.
This is it. This is the thing you go to therapy to get. It can be a brutal journey. even if you are fully prepared for the breakdown. After you hit that moment of clarity, you start to see yourself differently. Maybe you saw how destructive you get when you drink, or you notice that when you feel control slipping out of your hands that you lash out. Either way, assigning meaning to the moment of clarity is the start of the real work!
This is the fun part. Once you’ve assigned meaning to your moment of clarity, you get to actually overcome it! As Colossus said to Deadpool (NSFW, if you haven’t seen Deadpool and don’t know that there really isn’t an SFW scene in it…), “You’re given a chance to …overcome a flaw.” Taking the opportunity to work on your stuff will set you apart from the thousands of people who take their inspiration from Deadpool and choose not to change. It’s all a choice, and you get to make it!
Have you had an “Aha!” moment? If you feel comfortable sharing, I would love to hear about it! Leave a comment, like, share, and follow me if you want to keep up with these posts! I haven’t been posting super regularly, but I try to put out new posts on Tuesdays and Fridays!