"Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost" (J.R.R. Tolkien )
I've recently been planning a trip to Costa Rica. I am an experienced international traveler but I've never been to Costa Rica and I don't have that many personal connections so I've had to do the work the good old fashion way. I bought a book, I reached out to friends who've visited or lived there, I googled all kinds of resources, etc. In essence, I'm wandering around trying to figure out what I should do, see, experience, taste, and so forth.
One thing I do know, because I have a LOT of experience behind behind me, is that I will absolutely LOVE my time in Costa Rica. I know that even the best made plans and connections will fall through and most likely my favorite part of the trip was never planned.
I don't think therapy is all that different. We usually have a destination or a goal in mind of where we want to arrive but we're not quite sure how to get there, what work it will take, and how much planning will be involved.
With some experience and a good therapist as your guide through the process you can meet your goals. It will be slow and steady. It will take patience and hard work. It will take a healthy and strong therapeutic alliance, some ups, downs, and wandering all around, and a lot of great communication. Even the best intentioned expectations may not be met and timelines might unrealistic, but...
There is hope. There is light. There is peace. And, you just may find that your favorite part of the process what something you never planned or expected.