Skip to the main content.

3 min read

Is healing linear? How Mental Health Ebbs and Flows

When considering mental health, many people assume the healing process is a linear process: a straight line from feeling bad to feeling better. However, like most things in life, it's more complicated than that. And when a person believes that they are either entirely sick or entirely well, or that complications don't exist, it can cause even more unnecessary pain.

The Path to Healing is Not Linear, it’s a Process

How Therapy Guides the Healing Process

How to Get Started On Your Healing Journey

The Path to Healing is Not Linear, it’s a Process

There is a common saying that goes, "it's about progress, not perfection". Progression is success, but progression doesn't always match expectations. The healing process through trauma, stress, or mental health conditions can be better described as more of an upward spiral. It's not always an easy process, but when you give up certain expectations of linear success, it can be easier to find hope.

Healing is not linear because there are going to be setbacks, and navigating the ups and down is part of the journey.

For those of us experiencing mental health conditions like depression or anxiety, it can feel like our emotions are a never ending pendulum of "feel better" and "feel worse". But with help from a licensed therapist, we can learn to better recognize and process our emotions.

What's more, we can learn to understand that when experiencing human feelings, we tend to process things cyclically. That is, certain feelings may come up again and again, but when you receive tools to better cope with these feelings, you will be able to handle the next bad phase in a more healthy way.

There is power in our shared experiences.

Support groups can be an excellent way to supplement your mental health healing process. Shared feelings can help you feel that you're not alone in difficulty with the concept of self love, and the group can offer understanding and awareness of any number of situations. A part of healing is understanding that we are not alone.

In addition, because these people are dealing with the same sort of struggles, they may be able to share healthy coping mechanisms and self-care practices that can help move you forward in your healing journey.

How Therapy Guides the Healing Process

One of the best ways to address your mental health is to work with a licensed therapist. A therapist is trained to recognize signs of self hate, manage the bad feelings of clients, and help them to understand the reality of what has happened in their life to create negative patterns of thought and behavior that cause them to struggle in their lives.

Relearning Thinking and Behavioral Patterns

Many mental health conditions are the result of negative thought patterns. When we recognize that our focus is not healthy, and learn to eventually change the way we think of ourselves and the world around us, it can offer clarity and set us on a course toward healing.

Cognitive behavioral therapy and other forms of behavior therapy are designed to get clients out of the linear process mindset, and begin to understand that while pain is often inevitable, you can change how you think about it and react to it. Once you learn this truth, you're at the beginning of the path to healthy management of your emotions in the long run.

Adaptive Coping Skills

When you are in a bad phase of depression or anxiety, having the right tools can help you deal with your feelings in a positive way. Healing is about understanding how to recognize triggers that may make you feel bad, and then managing them in a way that pulls you back into a good phase more quickly.

Many of us manage our problems like guilt, sadness, or anxiety with maladaptive coping such as avoidance, substance use, or anger. Counseling can help us realize that this is the wrong direction to take, and help us address our pain in a way that will give us power over it.

Stress Management and Healthy Lifestyle Changes

A therapist can also help you create healthy habits to improve physical and mental health over time. Prioritizing self care can be difficult to do on your own, which is why having a partner can be useful. Not only will a therapist offer support, they can also share strategies for practicing the self care you deserve in your life. This can include things like:

  • Healthy and balanced eating
  • Getting moderate to intense exercise most days of the week
  • Getting outside in nature
  • Mindfulness practices like meditation
  • Establishing and maintaining healthy sleep patterns
  • Working on building healthy relationships
  • Finding and participating in hobbies and activities you enjoy

How to Get Started On Your Healing Journey

The ability to heal isn't a linear process, nor does it happen all at once. But with practice, skill, and a bit of self-awareness, healing can happen.

Williamsburg Therapy Group is Austin's go-to source for doctoral-level therapy. Simply browse our selection of qualified and highly experienced therapists in Austin, or give us a call and let our patient coordinator find a therapist for you.

Therapists often have profiles that you can read with their credentials, as well as any specialization they offer (group therapy, marriage counseling, LGBTQ friendly, etc.). This makes it easier to find a therapist who has common ground, and may be a good match for your needs.

It isn't always easy to process hurt or trauma, and there can be some discomfort when you begin sharing with someone and starting the healing process. Eventually you'll find, however, that working with a therapist can be an effective way to understand your pain, learn to heal from fear or disappointment, and start living the life that you deserve.

Book a Therapy Session in Austin Today

an lgbtq couple goes to therapy

Therapy for LBGTQ+ Couples in Austin, TX: What To Know

It can be difficult to find a therapist that you can build a good rapport with in general, but this can become exponentially harder when it comes to...

Read More
a couple in therapy

What Are the Different Types of Couples Therapy, and Which is Right for Us?

There can be a stigma attached to couples therapy sessions, with some people believing that signing up for couples counseling is the beginning of the...

Read More
a couple in austin couples therapy

How to Make Long Distance Relationships Work

A long distance relationship can feel exhilarating, but at the same time challenging and scary. When you've met the perfect partner, you may be...

Read More