When we are watching the final scenes of a movie, or reading the final pages of a novel, we look to have things wrapped up. Although I suppose we are ultimately looking for that happy ending, we are also aware that sometimes that is not entirely possible; at the very least, we wish to be satisfied that “things worked out in the end.”
It is very similar in our own stories. People often come to therapy because of an event that has happened to them; perhaps they are wrestling with something either in their present circumstances or their past that is affecting their current state of mind. People come in wanting solutions, their goals often reflect “just wanting to be happy.” What they are really asking for is integration.
In order for integration to occur, we must first gain an understanding of what is going on for us; how it perhaps came to be, the patterns that it created, the current way that we are dealing with it. Only with an understanding, can we move towards acceptance and change. When we can unite the elements of our story in a way that makes cohesive sense to us, when we can blend both sadness and joy into our experiences, we begin to feel a greater sense of being complete. The process of integration allows us to have faith that it will all work out in the end.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@benwhitephotography