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  • Wendy Elzinga

Hope fuels progress


In my clinical practice, during the first session I meet with a client, as I am discovering what brings this individual or couple to therapy, we untimately decide together where they want therapy to take them. Figuruing out the goal of our time together keeps us on track. And while those goals may morph into something different as time goes on, I have found it helpful for people to see where they want to be rather than being stuck in the problem that brings them to therapy in the first place. There is hope in visualizing where one could end up if therapy is successful and hope almost always is the fuel to progress.


Defining the goal also helps us to sort out obstacles. Sometimes there are resistance to goals because there may be underlying competing sabotaging goals that need to be teased out. That is why the process of Metanoia (the changing of ones way of life) involves KNOWING, knowing how upbringing, beliefs, roles, goals impact us, HEALING from past wounds that keep us stuck and GROWING into change and becoming all that we were meant to be. And this process can be difficult sometimes. But progress can be made if one holds onto hope that real change is possible. And progress is part of the the growth, the journey becomes as important as the destination. But a destination, a goal, even if it is difficult to get to, gives us a measure of progress, and experiencing progress in and of itself is worthy of celebration and seems to promote further hope. So I tell people even if your goal seems unobtainable, let's set our eyes on it, move toward it and celebrate any progress experienced in that direction. And when progress, stalls or takes a backward turn, lets look at that with curiosity rather then give up and see what might have gotten in the way. As long as there is hope, as long as setbacks can be put in perspective, progress can always continue to be made.


This has been a five minute writing exercise as part of the FMF writing group

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