Therapy helps to recognize, nourish, and integrate experiences of hope, growth, meaning, and possibility.
This begins with paying attention to what is already healthy, growing, and meaningful in you, not only in living with an illness, but also in who you are a person and and in your larger life story. These are constant though all too often unacknowledged companions to our pain, struggles, and vulnerabilities.
It is essential to recognize, build awareness, and increase connections with moments that you are uniquely resilient and stretching yourself on behalf of what matters to you.
Rather than the energy drain of constriction, these experiences gives us a sense of vitality and broaden our resources. Deepening them maximizes not only our available energy, but also the quality of of our lives. They create positive mind-body relationships, and counter despair and demoralization.
© Nicole Sucre, PsyD
Deepened growth and meaning are ever present potentials, innate human motivations, choices, and the result of the courage to move through difficult experiences with the support that is needed.
Therapy works to facilitate these processes.
Hope and meaning are complex things.
They are necessary to sustain us through difficult times. They can also change their appearance over time. To be able to nourish and deepen hope and meaning in the face of our challenges is one of the greatest human difficulties and potentials.
These difficulties and potentials can be especially poignant and raw in the process of living with a serious or life limiting illness.
We may hope for a cure, treatments, time, or greater meaning, peace, and purpose in the present moment. Over time, through the pain and vulnerability and acceptance and changes, hopes may be realized and hopes may shift. It is possible to engage with and act on hope, even if you no longer expect complete remission. Therapy can accompany and support you in this process, wherever you are at.
Hope is deeply linked with meaning. We all need to experience meaning and purpose in our lives.
When coping with an illness, meaning can become murky. What once gave life meaning and purpose may no longer do so in the same way. On the other side of this deep grief, it is also possible to connect your heart and mind with what matters in ways that strengthen the parts of you that illness cannot touch.
I don’t tell people what to hope for or what is meaningful about their lives. Instead, I work to pay attention, listen deeply, and actively facilitate the presence and potentials of hope and meaning within them. I help with what gets in the way.
Hope and meaning come from the deeper truths in each of us, ever faithful and patiently waiting to be heard.