Change happens in systems, not in isolation
by Fe Robinson
One of the most fulfilling parts of my job is reviewing progress when a client feels ready to leave psychotherapy.
As we begin our relationship, we identify the goals and outcomes a client wants to work towards, and we together commit to holding those in mind as we adventure together.
By the end of the work, the outcomes will most probably have morphed somewhat. There will most likely have been new goals that popped up along the way as we explored what was happening and how the client could be different. The original outcomes may hold less juice somehow, as they were met or become less relevant, interest moves to other aspects of growth.
One of the enduring themes I notice in reviewing therapeutic work, is that it is not only the client who has changed. As they have evolved so have the systems of which they are a part. Family dynamics may have moved on, work relationships may be easier, friendships may have gone, and come, or changed in complexion.
When you change any part of a system, you change the system too. As we develop, those around us interact differently with us, they have no choice but to, because we are no longer the same. Oftentimes this is a positive experience of growth, and sometimes it may mean we change our relationship priorities to reflect who and how we now are.
One of the gifts of my work is that client work changes me too. It is not possible to be in relationship therapeutically and not to be moved. We grow together, and that is what enables clients, and all their systems, to develop as well.
It's nice to take a moment to celebrate client endings, and to wish all my former clients well in their ongoing lives. The ripples of your work will continue expanding outwards, and I send good wishes for your ongoing growth and development.