© 2020 by Yiwen Fan, LMHC. ALL rights reserved. Proudly created with Wix.com

It's always darkest before the dawn

Once in a while, a brave client would ask me: "Yiwen, I thought I processed and overcame that depression/trauma/fixed gestalt, it was so great. But now I'm experiencing the familiar misery, was all that work a waste? Am I a bad client?"


The answer is no. No, you are not a bad client because you are still being affected by things you felt you worked through. Nor does it mean you haven't done any meaningful work. It's quite the contrary.


In therapy, we are confronting the deepest and most painful parts in our lives. These parts are often our survival skills at one point, and now they are no longer useful. If you think these old survival skills will just melt away once and for all after the first attempt, you are underestimating the human survival strength.


In fact, only after the initial relief of understanding something difficult, the real work truly begins. So don't get discouraged if you are not a new person overnight. That wouldn't be real. The real deal usually looks like this (but not always, each person and their journey is unique):


> You have an initial breakthrough after some hard work, you feel relieved and cured.


> Old bad feelings come back, you feel disappointed and scared.


> With faith and self-trust, you slowly recover from these feelings, you feel good again.


> Old bad feelings come back again, maybe weaker or less frequent.


> You battle them again and feel better sooner.


> Above steps repeat.


As you can see, recovery is almost never linear. Two steps forward, one step back is okay and healthy. Trust your inner spirit.