“Healing is discovery.” —Stephen Levine, Healing Into Life and Death
Despite our best efforts to be independent and strong, sometimes life affects us in ways that compromise our health and well-being, throw us off balance, or even shake us to the core. Healing is how we help our bodies to recover from such experiences.
How I Facilitate Healing (In a Nutshell)
Most people come into therapy with at least one part of themselves or their lives that isn’t working well. If you have functional medical problem, then the part that doesn’t work well is a part of your body, often causing parts of your life not to work well. Problems or issues, especially as they become chronic, tend to result in the narrowing of our focus on them, sometimes to the exclusion of parts of ourselves and our lives that work and even feel good.
While the goal is to address whatever physical problem led you into therapy, healing often begins by shifting the focus:
- From what doesn’t work to what is working.
- From what doesn’t feel good to what does feel good.
- From what scares you to what brings you a sense of safety.
Shifting the focus from something unpleasant to something pleasant is not an avoidance tactic but a way of resourcing or filling up on what feels good. Your body needs that kind of a break from the pain and stress of living with a functional medical problem. As your body moves out of a chronically-stressed mode of functioning and into a generally more settled place, we can together begin to study how your autonomic nervous system works and use this information to:
- Increase your self-awareness.
- Sort through the reactions you have to your symptoms/your physical pain.
- Distinguish necessary suffering from unnecessary suffering.
- Learn new strategies for experiencing pain/discomfort that do not generate unnecessary suffering.
- Let go of any unhelpful old patterns of thinking, feeling, behaving, relating, and moving.
- Address any underlying emotional pain or trauma that may be activating or exacerbating physical pain and symptoms.
How I Define Healing
Healing is a path intended to address whatever isn’t working as well as you’d like. Healing is taking a risk by trying something new.
I was personally inspired by Stephen Levine’s definition of healing. In his book Healing into Life and Death, he states that healing
“is what happens when we come to our edge, to the unexplored territory of mind and body, and take a single step beyond into the unknown, the space in which all growth occurs. Healing is discovery.” (p. 4)
Healing is a process that I facilitate and that you undergo requiring an investment of your resources—time, money, energy, and effort—along with your openness, curiosity, patience, and willingness to learn and to grow.Therapy is a valuable opportunity to grow beyond where you’ve been within the context of a collaborative, supportive relationship. Start healing now.