I have no recollection of anyone ever arriving to my practice on a whim.

Just the opposite, really, as it seems no one takes lightly their decision to open up and tap into hope, fear, or places in between. There may be ambivalence; ambivalence is respectable. However, the underbelly of ambivalence is typically weighted, not light.

For many their decision to arrive has been brewing. Maybe they’ve tried powering through symptoms – the physical ones, the emotional ones, the middle-of-the-night ones. Nothing’s working. They decide, not lightly, to come in.

No matter how anyone arrives, they begin by telling about an experience expected or unexpected.

Maybe there’s stress at home or work, a relationship concern, grief with a loss private or public. Perhaps there’s a change in health, an unreliable mood, a dread that sneaks up, or a flatness where pleasure used to bloom. Love’s joy or sorrow may be spoken, there may be struggle with intimacy, a creative impasse, missed opportunities, a coping strategy no longer of use. Maybe there’s distress or crisis with how life’s been lived, how it now needs to be, how to make change happen. Perhaps there’s trauma, in the here and now, in the past and now.

Or maybe there’s curiosity about what might have been, could yet be; a need to close a chapter so another may begin. Perhaps it’s clear there’s sorting to do, a decision to be made, a step to be taken, and yet the path remains uncertain.

Whatever the situation, it’s laid out, maybe in full, maybe in part, maybe in code. Doesn’t matter, the first step’s taken. There’s talk, there’s pause, unpacking of story, the unfolding of experience.

Meetings come and go. Somewhere along the way the woman listening intently and responding to the stories – stories with words and stories without – that same woman tracking and attending to experiences out in the world and inside the privacy of the heart…well, she stops being a stranger. And so do you.

The room with the windows becomes familiar. Risks are taken, work deepens, the stage is set for whatever shifts that may begin. Perhaps the heart begins to calm, the body begins to settle. Perhaps edges of clarity, understanding, acceptance, and new ways of being start to unfurl.

It doesn’t happen overnight. It happens because each of you believes in the potential of a therapeutic relationship. Each of you keeps arriving to the room with the windows, doing the work, and holding possible change, healing, and transformation in whatever forms they may eventually take.

I have no recollection of anyone ever arriving to my practice on a whim.