Your Pain Is the Doorway to Growth

I’m a therapist who recently had one of the most challenging years of my life — it changed me for the better

Vanessa Bennett
Human Parts
Published in
7 min readNov 5, 2018

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Photo: JR Korpa/Unsplash

InIn psychology and the world of self-betterment, we always talk about “resiliency” as a barometer for mental health. Resiliency has always been something I talked about with my own therapist and with my clients but, until a recent challenging experience in my own life, I didn’t truly understand it in a deeply felt way. In reflecting on that recent experience, however, I had a profound moment of realization — recognizing just how far I have come on my personal journey toward building resiliency.

I wrote my thesis on the theory of trauma as initiation. That’s a topic for another piece altogether, but the short version of the theory goes something like this: Initiations are big, life-altering, internal or external changes that usher us from one stage of life to another. Things like changing career paths, breaking off a toxic relationship, or a mid-life crisis are all types of initiations. Spirituality and rituals used to be a platform for humans to experience and make sense of these initiations, but in our modern world, we have, in many ways, lost our connection to the spirit and the numinous (the unknown and mysterious). During a time of initiation, these sometimes painful and abrupt…

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Vanessa Bennett
Human Parts

Psychotherapist, Mindfulness + Codependency Coach. Cohost of the Cheaper Than Therapy Podcast. IG:vanessasbennett