Processing Failure Healthily

Much deterioration in therapy happens when failure is not processed effectively.

This is particularly significant in cases of deep grief, traumatic experiences, and personality dissociative disorders.

My therapy sessions are at times chaotic, confusing, and awkward due to “excuses.” Those in emotional pain do tend to ward off confrontation with failure and its lessons by denial or ignoring.

As a result, due to avoidance or going around the problem instead of going directly through it, many find themselves in the downward slide.

Thus, despite therapy’s best offer, ultimately it is the client who succeeds or fails, not the therapist.

How then do you process failure effectively so you can heal and grow through it?

One psychological way is what experts call “healthy detachment.” You keep failure at a distance. You learn not to take it too personally.

“The loss or abuse happened to you, but it’s not you,” I would typically say to clients having a hard time progressively starting or getting over their deep mental pain.

It’s an important psychological distinction - the separation of our “self” and our “externals.” When that’s fully understood and applied, any failure in life can be processed effectively.

Failures are absolutely critical for our continuing self development — if, that is, you’re willing to acknowledge them.

Truth is, in most of our failures, losses, or mistakes, we’re forced to think about our ways and habits and the things we can change for the better.

Failures, if we’re “detached” enough from them, can help us develop greater flexibility, resilience, perseverance, humility, creativity, and faith.

With it, any failure becomes good success.

C.K. Chesterton writes, “How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win.”

Secrets of Your Self: