Therapy evolves over time. Healing and lasting change happen in layers.

So many of us come to therapy to solve one issue, thinking: “If I could just change this one thing in my life everything would all be better.” What we don’t realize is that it takes time for the psyche to incorporate change. That isn’t to say that we can’t change certain things about ourselves quickly, but some things, like ingrained habits, are often slow to shift, or have layers that keep showing up.

Our issues, until resolved, keep re-appearing. I often have clients come in and say, “Again? How can I be here again?” We know something is resolved when it loses its power over us.

So, how do we resolve an issue once and for all? We just keep working on it. For instance, someone struggling with co-dependency might find it difficult to say no. She might know intellectually that she can say no and the person requesting will “still love her”, but the long-held pattern that she must always be available no matter what, finds her saying yes, repeatedly, when she’d rather say no.

 The first step to progress is acknowledging and recognizing this pattern. The second step to progress – and often more difficult – is getting comfortable with changing the behavior. This can take a long time.

Sometimes we have to sit in discomfort until the courage to change becomes stronger than the habit of maintaining.