How Therapy Helps 1: Perspective and Clarity

If you’re standing at the bottom of a hill with friends, it will appear less steep and easier to climb than if you are alone.
– Lisa Feldman Barrett, Phd

The fog is dense, the path is steep and slippery. and my wife and I seem to have been living in a rain cloud for the past 3 days. We have rain slickers that we bought from the kiosk outside of our hotel at the top of the mountain. (Yes, we’re staying on top of the mountain – hence the perpetual raincloud.)

On our last day atop Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain), just as we are about to leave, the clouds dissolve. Suddenly, the vista explodes in front of us, those wild, jagged peaks, the miraculous sun, the looooong waaaaay doooown! I’ve rarely felt so delighted and surprised by nature all at once!

Living and climbing in the clouds for several days, we’d forgotten just how far we’d climbed to get there! The mist around us had entirely blocked our view

for more than a hundred feet, making us lose perspective.

I’ve had that same moment with clients, time and time again. That instant where the clouds dissolve and together we can see their present and past, their sorrows and their triumphs. All the while, imagining their future with radiant clarity.

As humans, we climb and we slip; we endure the clouds and we decide to learn from them. Climbing with compassionate, curious, and courageous people, we learn more about what we truly value in life and how – and with whom – to get to where we yearn to be.

 

 


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