From the Director’s Desk: Healing & Hope
By Mary Andres, MA, LPC
A few of our staff members attended a talk by Richard Harwood called “Civic Virus” put on by the Berrien Community Foundation https://theharwoodinstitute.org/rich-harwood -here is a link if you are interested learning more.
The conversation covered concepts of polarization, community engagement and paths to healing. I couldn’t help but think of all the teenagers we walk alongside needing encouragement, someone to listen and try to understand them, as they try to create and understand themselves at the same time. Each person unique: regarding personality, life experiences (unhealthy/healthy), strengths, resources, and longing for their basic needs to be met. We have long discover that our most important need is love and belonging. The question, and answer, on how do we create healing “in community” is similar to what we would use in a counseling setting. We listen, encourage, and provide useful tools. We challenge false narratives, unhelpful thinking styles and stagnation. We encourage growth mindsets that speak in terms of, “You are on our way, keep going!” We encourage people to learn from mistakes, hurts, and trauma and grow instead of remaining victims of circumstances. There is no shame, there is no finger pointing…only unconditional positive regard. What is the path to healing? The answer is easy and complex, it’s individual, unique, and creative. Growth, change and development take time and most importantly unshakeable hope, grit, resilience and connection with others who can encourage you along the way. Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” And scripture also tells us to seek wise counsel! I am grateful for Dr. Harwood's shared wisdom today.