Checking in on “Self”
When an individual is beginning therapy expectations may be explicit or implicit. Explicitly, the individual can write down or verbally share what their goals are for themselves and/or the therapist. Implicitly, the individual may display through their behaviours during the sessions or in narrating how they functioned during their time outside of therapy how they are coping, changing, and healing. It is important to validate the Self in what it needs, what is or is not working, and acknowledging even the smallest achievements in order to know what zone the Self is currently in or ebbing and flowing through zones to land on where the expectations are currently set. Recognizing some expectations may have been set early on in therapy and that once these are met and maintained there may still be more growth to achieve because a human is never truly done growing at a particular zone, age, or life stage of development. As the therapist, it is our responsibility to provide each individual who comes to us with their Self exposed, damaged, hurt, and in pain to honour where they are, to help them through skill building, coaching, and validation. Reminding them of where they have been and want to be on their journey, and continue to focus on who they want to become.