“When I think about my story, what comes to me is the story of letting go of the past and looking forward to the future.”

Denise approached therapy at Insight Counseling, a United Way partner agency, because she felt like her tank was empty. She’s naturally an encourager, the one that helps others get along.

“But over the years, because of the way things didn’t turn out in my life like I thought they would, there seemed to be this sort of weight. When I went to Insight, it was like my hope got refurbished and filled up.”

She had been working with a coach for a few years who asked if she had ever considered therapy.

“When she said the word ‘therapy’ … I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. Therapy?’ ” she remembers. “In my community … Black community, Christian community … we don’t really talk about that kind of thing.”

But she said she had some worries that she wanted to look at and talk about in a deeper way, so she made an appointment.

“It was the best four months of twice-a-month sessions that I’ve ever had in my life. There’s a growth in me and a desire now to know that everything’s okay. Everything that happened in the past is the past, but I have a future.”

Before therapy, life for Denise felt mundane. She needed peace. She knew she was repressing her feelings.

“It would be like a painting that you could see the images on, but there wasn’t any color. After therapy, there was color. There was movement.”

Her therapist gave her homework. She’d have “a-ha” moments. She learned about her triggers. She explored restoration therapy, which identifies safety patterns and uses empowerment to promote behavioral change.

She remembers waking up early one morning and looking out the window in her bedroom. That’s when it all clicked.

“I looked out the window right before the sun was totally up,” she recalls. “The moon was still in the sky and there was this tree that I had in my backyard that needed trimming terribly, but I hadn’t done it yet. I got back in bed to do my morning reading and I started reading and I remembered that I wanted to get something and I went to get up again. And as I sat on the side and looked up, it’s like, the moon had just moved and I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. It’s only been a few minutes. How could the moon move? As I stood there, looking out, it’s like God said, ‘Denise, the moon and the tree didn’t move. You moved. Your perspective changed.’ That was a huge lesson for me. And understanding how, when I changed my perspective about things, then things can be different.”

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