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"Therapeutic gardening"

It has helped me ever so often to liken my 'inner world', what I think, feel and believe, what drives me, shaped me, hurt me, what makes me and defines me to a garden. Some elements are planted from birth: our temperament, our nature, personality traits. Lots of other elements will be sown, grown, cultivated over the coming years: trust in others and ourselves, respect, courage but also doubts and negative beliefs and fear and shame. Then -over the years- there will be watering, forgetting, weeding and caring, trampling and pruning and and and ...

First it's our parents who look after this garden...or not. Later family and friends, teachers and strangers. The older we get the more we are also involved in the gardening process. Perhaps the tender plant of trusting ourselves has never really been watered and now we can hardly find it under the thick bushes of insecurity, clumsiness, fear and shame. In our early years we didn't have control over the people entering our garden and their behaviour in there. Some came lovingly and gentle, full of respect for our plants, nurturing; others just stomped in without care, uprooting tender plants and sowing weeds. The more we mature we can decide whom we show this garden and who is allowed in. Some of us have build a fence or even walls to protect the garden.

We can stretch this analogy endlessly and use it as a tool to describe what's happening in our emotional world and soul.

Our therapeutic communication will be about your personal inner world, your garden and about what you'd like to change and grow in that place. Often it helps to sketch or draw the garden. What's disturbing you most? What are you missing? Which plants would you love to have and grow? And who would you like to show your garden or parts of it? But also who is not more allowed in or needs to be directed out?

In our therapeutic talks we'll have time and space for all these questions. We'll invest time and effort to find neglected plants and nurture them, to pick weeds, define tracks and set rules if necessary...

We'll have time and space and kindness to let your inner world grow into a place that flourishes and that you feel comfortable at.

Come on, let's get gardening.

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