I have always loved kaleidoscopes, especially since each time you turn them, the shapes change to form new images-new perspectives.
The changing shapes and design of a kaleidoscope remind me of the importance of being open to another's perspective in sexual or other type of recovery.
Let me start by acknowledging that therapy is hard. It takes a lot of courage and bravery to commit to one's own recovery. With that said, I liken our therapy for sexual recovery to going to a cardiologist; you think you are having chest pains only to find out that you have actually had a heart attack. Meaning, clients often come in thinking their problematic sexual behavior or addictive behavior isn't "that bad" only to learn a different perspective from us, especially once we understand all of their symptoms including the impact, duration, frequency and intensity of their acting out.
Similarly, traumatized partners may enter treatment and want us to focus on a certain topic while having a hard time trusting or being open to our perspective. However, in speaking about their specific issue they may escalate first into a hyper-aroused state and then into an emotional crisis. Our job at that point is to de-escalate them by slowing them down so that they can return to their bodies. This may feel as though we are not validating their process or that we aren't showing any concern. However, it is because we care and are concerned that we slow their process down and take it one step at a time instead of 10 steps at a time-- again, a new perspective for a hyper-aroused person.
We understand that some people may not understand our approach and structure to recovery and therefore may want to control the treatment process. This may include trying to dictate how we run our program especially if they have experienced an immense amount of trauma and struggle to trust others or listen to another's perspective. We also get excited when we hear from people who share that they appreciate our structured approach and expertise as it creates a sense of safety where they feel they are able to achieve lasting recovery...finally!
Recovery comes when one can embrace a new perspective that is different from their own, be open to learning how to heal- which may entail thinking in a new way, and be humble enough to trust that as experts we really do know what we are doing to help them achieve lasting recovery.
Like a kaleidoscope, the beauty in recovery comes from seeing different perspectives and trusting that healing can come in many forms. After all, if we continue to do the same things we have always done, we will continue to get what we have always gotten... My guess is if you want recovery, you want to do things differently!