When I decided that I wanted to open my own private practice, I spent a significant amount of time trying to conceptualize how to explain my therapeutic process to people I work with. For people who have known me for a significant period of time, it will not surprise them that my love of nature, plants, and the environment was a natural place to start. But even though those things might not inspire everyone, the analogy of nature is relevant to every individual’s mental health journey.
In nature we are able to harvest the food and natural resources that we need to sustain us; it is my mission to teach people that we all have the ability to harvest resources from within ourselves to not only sustain us, but to help us thrive. Different people will come to treatment looking to harvest a variety of different things, whether it be strength, empathy, resilience, forgiveness, self-esteem, independence, or something else. However, it is most important for people who come to treatment to harvest a sense of hope, that they themselves are capable of creating the change that they are looking for.
Regardless of whether or not someone has been in counseling before, what they are looking to harvest in the present could be entirely different that what they were looking to harvest during a previous season in their life. In nature the seasons change, and what is ready for harvest changes with it. We need to constantly tend to our emotional gardens in order to develop a robust harvest; emotional well-being is most definitely a journey, not a destination.
I encourage everyone to think deeply about what it is that they would like to harvest within themselves, and how they might go about reaping that harvest. Whether you feel confident in your ability to harvest what you need on your own, or you may benefit from some professional assistance along your journey, remember that you are the expert in your own life. Listen to your inner wisdom and you will always be heading in the right direction.
I wish you the best of luck in your personal journey of self-exploration and growth.
Stephanie Kain, LPC
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