Healing is Always Attainable
By Sofia De La Garza, M.S., LPC-Intern
Counseling is a great vehicle for healing. Each life experience is tied to human emotion. Emotions are very telling of any situation and are what make an experience something an individual needs to heal from or not. As a counselor, I have seen the many faces of healing in my clients. Healing looks and feels different for each one of them.
Life is about the journey, not the destination. This is one of my favorite sayings. For my clients, healing is also about the journey. As a universal topic, society tends to define healing as the destination. Ultimately, instant gratification reigns supreme. One common question I have encountered is, “When am I going to heal?” As a counselor, I do not have a finite answer for this question.
The implication is that clients want to fully heal and be able to become the destination. The fact of the matter is healing is made up of little victories attained along the way. These little victories; however, are not little at all. A long-term goal always begins with at least two short-term goals. Without these short-term goals, a long-term goal would not be attainable. As a counselor, I have witnessed clients changing their thinking, finding motivation, remembering the strengths they naturally possess, processing what is really at the core of their problem, and implementing the use of journaling into their everyday life.
All of these factors are examples of the little victories that make up healing. I have also witnessed major breakthroughs clients have experienced during session. The problem is, along the way, these major breakthroughs get lost throughout the journey. I have often asked myself why my clients forget their progress. As a counselor, I am reminded of the importance of the journey.
The moment my clients express a major breakthrough, I think of them as reaching the destination. The truth is that the ups and downs clients experience are real. They are unavoidable. When clients forget about their progress, it does not erase the healing they have attained. I have witnessed my clients going through the stages of grief and loss, depression, overthinking, and starting over, just to name a few. The process it takes to come out on the other side is difficult. Once clients have accomplished this, one question remains: “Now what?” To this question, residual effects and being able to accept a newfound way of thinking can be difficult to navigate.
This is where the journey continues. This point is most likely the best part. There are more tools readily available to clients now that much of the heaviness and mental clutter has dissipated. I find clients appreciate a more direct approach at this point. The many faces of healing are specific to each client.
Healing does not have a deadline. It is not meant to be finalized. Healing is a lifelong process. Healing meets you where you’re at to help empower you throughout your life story. As a counselor, I am honored to be a part of my clients’ stories as I help them navigate through them. Healing is always just around the corner; we just have to be brave enough to seize it.