Transformation Takes Time
A story told by one of WCA’s Clinical Staff —
I will be referring to my client today as “Briana” to protect her confidentiality.
As a clinician at the WCA, I work with clients both at our safe shelter and out in the community, and sometimes I have the chance to work with individuals as they transition between the two. A couple of months ago, I had an intake with Briana, a new community client. Pretty early on in our first session, Briana shared that she was very familiar with our services as she had completed our shelter program a couple of years prior. Tears came to her eyes as she described how impactful her experience had been and how grateful she was for her time there.
Briana is very tenacious and strong-willed, and at first, she was feeling frustrated with herself that she “still needed therapy.” But throughout our time together, we have been able to process and celebrate just how far she has come since she first arrived at the shelter. At that time, she had recently left an extremely abusive relationship, been separated from her children, and was beginning her sobriety journey. By the end of her time at the shelter, she had regained custody of her children, secured stable housing, and was well on her way to completing the Drug Court program. And today, Briana is three years sober, working a job that she loves, completing her college degree, and wholly devoted as a loving mother.
One of the beautiful things about therapy is how different it can look depending on where you’re at in life. When Briana was in the shelter, her sessions focused on present crises and eventually processing and working through past trauma. And now, we have the chance to broaden our scope to topics including communication styles, healthy dating practices, boundaries, and career and school goals. Sometimes when Briana describes the version of herself that arrived at our shelter years ago, it seems so far from the outspoken, quick-witted, and independent person I see sitting across from me now. I know the journey to the person she is today has taken an incredible amount of resilience and strength, and I feel grateful to be one of the many people along the way to offer support and encouragement in the process.
Thank you for all you do to help us in providing crucial services to those in our community as they continue down their own, individual paths to healing and freedom.
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