What I wish I could say to every person in therapy

What I want to say to clients who have experienced trauma and are coming to me for art therapy:

You are wounded, not damaged – there is a difference. Wounds are something that have happened to you, not who you are. Wounds can heal.

Just because you feel worthless, doesn’t mean you are worthless, and these feelings can change.

These feelings are real and overwhelming but this is not how you will always feel.

You are not ‘crazy’ for feeling grief and loss and self doubt and pain.

You’re not a failure because these feelings are still here.

You are strong – you have survived and you are still here. You are in counselling – you are taking steps to make things better.

You can feel better, things can get better – there is hope.

You are not selfish for being here, talking about yourself – this is hard work, it hurts, avoiding it is easier, you’re here because you care about having good relationships, doing well in the world, feeling ok in the world. There’s nothing selfish about wanting that.

You are trying to shift your patterns of thinking and your own belief structures and sometimes your view of and relationship with your family. This is huge work that no-one around you may even recognise or be familiar with.

I recognise how much work this is, how undone you can feel in the midst of it as old pains are remembered and old feelings felt. As best you can, be kind to yourself and give yourself credit for this work that you are doing. As best you can, trust in the process.

You are unique – I don’t know how it feels to be you, but I can listen and try to understand. Together we might help you see yourself more clearly or with fresh eyes too.

I am here with you, we will go on this journey side by side and I will do my best to accept you exactly as you are, with kindness, and no expectation that you should be anything other than you are.

We may work together briefly or for a longer time, and I trust that whatever you choose will be right for you. A lifetime has many steps in it, and even a short journey taken with another can leave lasting ripples, or so it has been for me in my life.

I believe that you are on a path of healing, that something inside you is unfolding, and that you are oriented towards growth. I also believe you have the wisdom of the universe packed deep inside you, and that through facilitating art, meditation and empathetic interpersonal exchange I can help you access this wisdom. I don’t ask or require that you believe this, but I hold this belief deeply inside myself and it anchors me in our work together.

Even if you can’t see it right now, I see the beauty and wisdom and good in you.


Work with me? Contact me to discuss whether we are a good fit for one on one sessions, or whether group work might suit you better.

9 thoughts on “What I wish I could say to every person in therapy

    • Thanks Florenza, I hope I can encourage people to try therapy if it’s something they’ve wondered about for a while.

  1. Dear Jade,
    thank you for writing this post.
    It takes courage to face trauma together with your clients. It takes a lot to keep up a sense of hope during the process. It is not easy to continue even if there may be no hope for a while and accepting this as part of the process. Because you know that this will pass too eventually.
    Thank you for demonstrating such a great belief in the power of healing and compassion.

    • Thank you Claudia, yes hope is the key isn’t it? When we lose it we often need someone else to help us find the thread. I know you do great work with this too. Thanks for your kind words and thanks for reading.

  2. So well written! I almost got tears when I read it. The world will be a much safer place when everybody values starting (and continuing) Therapy the way you do. I don’t want to write “the world would be…” bc I think this is crucial. It must happen! We are lucky that you have the courage to contribute your talents to society in all the ways you do, including this post.

    • Thank you so much Maria. I really feel what you are saying and I feel this way too! Thanks very much for your comment.

  3. Great words Jade, especially the second sentence says it all to me. On my point of development. “You are wounded but not damaged”. It is a great reminder to thrive and constant continuing to strive. It is a remarkable pattern and helps me a lot for thriving and shifting in my personality at the moment. Thank you Jade

    I love you!

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