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psychotherapy, connections, healing, emotional recovery

The Power of Falling: How Embracing Setbacks Fuel Emotional Healing and Connections

By Psychotherapist Beata Pezacka

Have you ever wondered what keeps making us feel stuck and unable to connect to others authentically?

How embracing setbacks fuel emotional healing and connection

Committing to your emotional healing or recovery is key to forming honest, genuine relationships with oneself and others. However, the recovery process can be challenging with internal barriers such as self-criticism, fear of judgment, and people-pleasing behaviors. The journey to recovery from emotional struggles is complex. You might find that it feels beautiful sometimes, or you might find that it feels unpleasant, happy, sad, challenging, easy, intimate, or vulnerable in others. All of these feelings apply at different times on our journey.  Recovery is a process that doesn’t have a finish line. We keep growing and learning, one day at a time, but do that knowing it will have a ripple effect on our connections with others.

Embracing Vulnerability

Authentic, honest connections with ourselves and others are essential, yet they’re often disrupted by the very mechanisms we use to protect ourselves. Behaviors like people-pleasing and self-criticism, driven by a fear of judgment, are common defensive strategies that create barriers to the very growth-supporting actions we need, such as seeking support from family and friends or pursuing professional therapy in times of intense emotional struggle. Instead of fostering genuine connections, these protective measures often lead us to isolation and loneliness, distancing us further from the possibility of healthy and authentic relationships.

It does take a lot of courage to admit that we need help and feel lonely. Sometimes, we might feel afraid of sharing our fears, dreams, and struggles with others. We are often afraid of being rejected, not liked, or perceived as weak and judged- but that vulnerability is the beginning of healing.

Self-Discovery and Recovery

We live in an intense, competitive society where our worth is based on our achievements. We learn early in life that we must be perfect, “better than’ others, and that being human and making mistakes is wrong.  Some of us might have received messages from childhood that we are not good enough. Messages that trigger self-doubt and questions like “Who am I?” “What do I really want?” or “What do I need?” Without that certainty or clarity, we can easily become lost as we continue to depend on external acceptance and validation.

mood tracker for therapy, counseling

As a result, we might perhaps find ourselves in unhealthy relationships that are conditional and far from being vulnerable or authentic. We might find ourselves engaging in unhealthy, compulsive behaviors, including substance use, binging on food, overspending, etc., to fill the emptiness we feel inside and escape the negative thoughts we have of ourselves. The first step in changing that is looking inside ourselves.

In order to have an authentic relationship with others, we must start by having an authentic relationship with ourselves.

An Approach to Authentic Connections: A Two-Way Street

I want to offer one approach to connection and healing- engaging the body. In my regular yoga practice, I do a lot of balancing poses. At the beginning of my practice, I often felt self-critical and judged myself harshly. I was incredibly worried about what others would think, and I was afraid of being rejected and disliked. I would get wrapped in the bondage of self where my ego takes control.  The crazy thing is, the more I worried, the more I would fall and be off my balance.

Falling was difficult for me because I thought I had to be perfect.

As I’ve grown in my practice, I’ve started accepting the falls with an open heart and mind. Something interesting that also happened is that the more I allowed myself to fall, the more authentic my connection became with others around me. Since we all make mistakes and are not perfect, my class members connected with my imperfection and my vulnerability.  

I realized that it’s ok to fall.

Genuine relationships with others start with being true to oneself.

The Value of Falling

As we walk on the path to recovery, we are allowed to make mistakes, trip, and fall on the way. Through my yoga practice, I realized that falling is not a setback. It is an opportunity to expand your body, check in with yourself to what it needs, where you are too hard on yourself, and allow vulnerability and imperfection.  Listening to what the body tells you requires skill and engaging in emotional healing. Both in yoga and life, when we fall, we have a great opportunity to listen to ourselves, our needs, and what is going on inside. As you do that work to understand yourself better and heal, it will be reflected in external connections.

Emotional takes courage and involves progress, not perfection. We need courage, compassion, and vulnerability, which leads to an authentic connection to self and others, ultimately reaffirming your path to recovery, love, and belonging.

So allow yourself to fall once in a while.

Beata, is one of the many exceptional therapists on the Kensho Psychotherapy Team and this is a great piece on emotional healing. If you need to book a therapy, please leave your details here.

How To Talk To Your Teen About Therapy

Let’s talk about teens and how to speak to them about therapy. Teens are more socialized to therapy than you might think. It’s in their music, on tv and if anything, they may just be struggling with how to talk to you about it. If talking to your teenager about therapy is uncomfortable, this blog is a great place to start.  

When bringing up the subject, the first thing is being honest with them and letting them know that you have noticed some changes with [be specific- like their mood and actions], that’s unlike them, and it seems to be impacting [insert aspect of their life].  

Take a moment to validate their struggles, be honest about what you may be struggling with when it comes to the issue, and how much you love and want the best for them. For example, you may say, “You’ve been spending more time in your room and seem quieter and down since starting this new school. I know change is hard for me, but how is it going for you?”. is everything ok with you?”. 

Sharing your emotions may not be easy, especially if you haven’t been encouraged to do so in your own life. If anything, keep in mind the goal of reaching and supporting your young person. Their wellbeing is a huge motivator to push past your own discomforts. 

How Parents Can Open The Door to Therapy 

Once you begin to hear and understand their perspective, you can always suggest therapy or counseling as one way for them to get unbiased support and help themselves. Explaining to them what therapy is- a space for someone else besides a parent to listen to them, without judgment, protecting their privacy, and maybe lend some skills and resources. 

I think as parents, it’s ok to admit, we don’t know everything, and we don’t know how to help.  Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R

There is still a lot of stigma behind going to therapy and seeking help. Still, at the same time, people like Naomi Osaka or artists like Logic have normalized conversations about mental health, even though having those conversations may not be easy. You can open up about your own ideas about seeking help, including a cultural perspective and your genuine hopes for them. 

As teens are so impressionable and tend to look outside family networks for direction, it is critical for them to have someone to talk to. 

When should a parent call a therapist?

Signs or symptoms to look out for:

  • Overthinking/excessive worry
  • Anxiety 
  • Perfectionism around tasks including school work
  • Changes in sleep
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Low self-esteem or lack of confidence
  • Substance abuse/use
  • Thoughts of suicide or expressing wishing they weren’t here  

Overall your teen will have moody moments and natural changes that occur during this stage of development in their lives. However, if those issues are way out of character for them, persist past 2-3 weeks, or other unusual behaviors, it’s a good idea to follow up with a professional. 

What should you expect when you start therapy?

Once you reach out and contact a therapist (please be patient, as it can take some time to get a call back), they will schedule an initial session. The first session is designed to figure out what brings you to therapy, so the therapist can better understand the concerns and determine if they are the best qualified to support you. They will ask questions about the family structure and dynamics, how school is going, your early life development, how you usually cope with stressors, your strengths, and several other essential questions. It’s a comprehensive assessment often referred to as an intake.

The following sessions are used to create a plan to best support you with goals you both agree to work on. The therapist is there to help that person discover new ways to understand their experiences and try to better cope or navigate existing problems. 

Reach Out Together

Once you decide you are both ready to proceed, inform your teen about their options when it comes to therapy. We offer virtual online individual and group therapy for teens that is accessible and convenient for their

teen therapy
Group therapy can help spead up progress

schedule and in-person therapy. While we’ve found our teens connect better in person with their therapist, for some talking to a therapist online can be less intimidating or also just convenient to their schedule. 

Let your teen know their options, and explore different therapists and forms of therapy together. Then, make the appointment and encourage your teen to play an active role in their own wellness.

The following are a list of websites that can be useful in obtaining a therapist: 

You can learn more about our teen counseling services and contact us anytime for more information. We’re also happy to answer your child’s questions and provide personalized feedback about how we may help them address specific problems if needed.


Piece cowritten by Social Work Intern Kilcy Martinez and Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R, Psychotherapist, Coach & Mental Health Consultant

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