A Bridge to Change
Written by: JEAN PIERRE BRAVO, MA
The therapy process can easily be compared to a bridge. Just like therapy, a bridge has a beginning, a middle and an end. We all face challenges throughout our lifespan and may encounter many bridges within our lifetime. There will be bridges that you can cross yourself, but there will be times when we need extra support and guidance to accomplish this task. As a mental health clinician my job is to guide my clients through the bridge that they are currently having challenges with. I am here to be their coach, guide, and partner in their journey. It is important to note that not everyone’s bridges are the same. Some people encounter similar bridges, but at the end of the day each individual faces their own unique bridge. Some people struggle with a variety of life problems, whether it’s depression, anxiety, stress, anger, trust issues, and even communication issues with their partners. All this and more are presented in someone’s bridge.
I always have my clients draw themselves on a bridge at the beginning of our therapeutic journey. The creation of the bridge allows us to gain awareness of where they think they are in their process and it also allows me to meet them where they’re at. Some clients choose to draw background to their bridge and there are others who completely neglect the environment. There are individuals who are able to draw an environment at the beginning of the bridge and an environment at the end of the bridge. There are some that neglect one, both, or simply draw a floating bridge. It’s important to note how the bridge is being supported, what the bridge is made up of, the size of the bridge, what surrounds the bridge, and where the individual is on the bridge. As the therapist my role changes from client to client, sometimes I am the light that illuminates the bridge, sometimes I’m the bridge itself, sometimes I’m right on the bridge with my client coaching them and encouraging them to continue to cross the bridge.
The bridge is a perfect metaphor for therapy as we are all trying to face our own unique challenges. This process allows one to talk about a bridge rather than the problem at hand, it allows for individuals to face their unfinished business, gain awareness, and gives individuals hope. It’s important to revisit the bridge from time to time during the therapeutic process so one can get a visual representation of growth and change within the client. All in all, I like to believe that even one step into the bridge is better than no steps at all so let me guide you through your bridge and let’s get through it together.
Written by: JEAN PIERRE BRAVO, MA, Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist 118676. Supervised by Dr. Joselyn Josephine Ayala-Encalada Psy.D., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist 96987