For as long as I remember, I’ve been fascinated by Fiddleheads (AKA tiny little growing ferns). Their beautiful geometric shape, vibrant green colour, delicate leaves, and shedding brown winter layer…
Each year, those who know me, witness my excitement when I spot my very first Fiddlehead. Something inside of me awakens.
I’ve never given myself time to pause and really think about why these delicate growths capture my imagination. Recently, I did this and I am excited to share with you my insights on how Fiddleheads relate to the therapy process.
"Fiddleheads are a powerful metaphor for the therapeutic journey of both couples and individuals as well as for the potential of people’s experience."
I am fascinated by Fiddleheads because they come back to life after being buried by snow and harsh winter conditions. I am amazed at their resiliency and how they carefully unfurl their tightly coiled heads toward the light in due time. Their delicate new growth is vulnerable, as they lay open to being trampled by critters and animals. I’m astonished at how Fiddleheads grow into large lush gracious ferns. I also am captivated by the fact that they grow in predominantly shady and moist areas but can truly achieve their full potential in these, sometimes dark, conditions.
You see, this is what I am privy to in my therapy office every day...
Fiddleheads are a powerful metaphor for the therapeutic journey of both couples and individuals as well as the potential of people’s experience.
With couples, I often see partners tightly coiled up when they first come in to see me. At times, they’ve needed to protect themselves because past hurts may have led to the feelings of pain, lack of safety in the relationship, and of vulnerability. However, as the process of therapy unfolds and the intentional creation of an emotionally safe environment is present, unfurling can carefully happen and I witness partners courageously turning toward each other, putting themselves out there, and supporting each other in their individual and relational growth. When it feels like there is stagnation in the process, together, we tend to the conditions needed for continued change.
Fiddleheads also have a layer of brown “fuzz” that can be removed by carefully massaging the ferns. This is my role in our process together, to help “massage” and soften the harshness of the environment at times and to help expose the beauty that lays beneath. Although the conditions may feel shady and dark, I hold so much hope that you can grow in your environment alongside some support.
You are not alone in this.
So, next time you encounter a Fiddlehead, I invite you to pause and honour its journey like I do yours.
As always, I welcome you to contact me or book an appointment if you think I may be of support and see how we may work toward what’s important to you and your relationships.
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