Hope & Recovery

The Intersection between Hope and Recovery

My 10 years of formal academic psychological training did not adequately prepare me to really deal with the despair, devastation, hopelessness, disgust, terror and rage I was to encounter in my work. I discovered that I had to learn to listen, accept, contain and authentically validate the reality of hurting people and then genuinely negotiate the timing and nature of any interventions and other present and future directions.

Most of the people I see are incredibly perceptive to incongruence. This perceptiveness has frequently been a matter of survival! I personally live what I teach. Through this truth, I can demonstrate compassion, unconditional deep regard for the essence of each of us, clear and healthy boundaries, courage, determination, discriminating use of energy, patience, humour, faith, joy and hope. 
The experienced safety of such a professional relationship can offer people a base to create, experiment with and implement new visions for themselves. The creation of such new accounts concerning the self, understandings of the past, the present and fresh options for the future challenge many accepted notions. Our biology, psychology or our cultural, economic or social backgrounds do not necessarily determine who we are, who we will remain or who we might become.

At the very same time the deep, tender and realistic acknowledgment of profound, shocking and often repeated experiences of being victimised, getting lost and apparently giving up are critical to integrated healing and ongoing development.

The truth is that with our own presence, determination and courage, our brains can indeed build new neural pathways and networks. With safety, compassion and wisdom each of us can slowly and yet surely profoundly change how we respond in our bodies and to our feelings, thoughts, and behaviours and in our ways of relating to self, circumstances and environment. You too, can enjoy the scary and very exciting freedom of real choices in your present and in your future. I have the privilege to witness and validate this remarkable capacity every day.

Let me paint you a picture. If you were to work with me, it will be like you being the driver of your own car - even if it is pretty battered. At your invitation, I will become one of your professional navigators. In the first instance, you may allow me to sit in the front passenger seat. Eventually, you will be increasingly listening to and responding to your own navigational knowledge and wisdom. If you wish, I will then be situated in the back seat of your car. As we progress further towards our negotiated goals for your present and future, you will gently drop me off on the footpath. I will then become one of many resources you can draw upon when, and if, you need my particular expertise in the future.

 © J Higgins 2017