Therapeutic growth begins when we work to become aware of our own pain and our responses to that pain, both functional and dysfunctional. We each develop a set of conscious and unconscious skills over the course of our lives that allow us to cope with this pain and strive for relief and improvement of our moods and circumstances. By using this increased awareness of our own processes, we are able to create new patterns that promote congruence, wholeness, and increased happiness. I believe that each of us do the best we can with the skills and insight we've got. Therapy allows us to build more awareness and skills in order to do even better.
"I remember that in my boyhood, the bin in which we stored our winter's supply of potatoes was in the basement, several feet below a small window. The conditions were unfavorable, but the potatoes would begin to sprout -- pale white sprouts, so unlike the healhty green shoots they sent up when planted in the soil in the spring. But these sad, spindly sprouts would grow 2 or 3 feet in length as they reached toward the distant light of the window. The sprouts were, in their bizarre, futile growth, a sort of desperate expression of the directional tendency I have been describing. Under the most adverse circumstances, they were striving to become. Life would not give up, even if it could not flourish."
-- Carl Rogers, A Way of Being