Making progress in therapy

In therapy today I spoke about progress and what progress means to me. I had asked Eileen if she thought we made much progress in the past two years that we’ve been seeing her. So then, she asked me what do I see as progress, how would I measure it. Thats difficult. Sometimes I feel we’re not making much headway but at other times I feel we’re making great strides. Eileen said that therapy is not a linear process, it doesn’t go in a neat straight line. That sometimes we’ll think we’re taking one step forward and two steps back. And it sort of does feel that way a lot of the time. I guess that is because we are doing a lot of work with different insiders in our did system. Its not only me Carol anne who does the work. Far from it. It made me think though, what exactly does progress mean? Is progress being able to talk indepthly in great detail about my traumas? Is progress not being admitted to the hospital for a long time, if ever at all? Is progress the fact that I am really attached to Eileen and I feel I really trust her? Is progress sharing details of my traumas to Eileen in emails? This is all progress. Sometimes progress is a big thing, while at other times its the little things which make up our progress. Eileen said to me she feels one of our biggest accomplishments, and one of the biggest changes that she sees in us is the ability to self regulate and manage our overwhelm more now than we have been able to in the past. Nowadays we don’t always need Eileen to reign us in after an overwhelming day of memories, or overwhelming emotions. She said that is one of our biggest accomplishments since starting our work together. I was happy that she noticed that we sometimes manage on our own now. Of course there are times, like yesterday when I called her because I needed to hear her voice, I needed that connection with her and to her. But I just left a message, in it I said it was not urgent and there was no need to respond if she couldn’t. She did respond to me last night, but if she hadn’t it wouldn’t have been a big deal and I would have coped until today. For that and for all the hard work we’ve been doing lately I am immensely proud. Do I feel we’re making progress? Yes, I do, I really do.
Carol anne

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