Audrey Hepburn said “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” The work of planting a garden is no small task. At Cascade Academy’s Residential Treatment Center, our teen students have been gaining first-hand experience getting ready for our gardening season. At first glance the ground looks bare. It is hard to imagine that it is teaming with life, ready to produce an amazing yield in several months’ time.
We often talk with our students about how anxiety is a fear of uncertainty or the unknown. Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders are sometimes referred to as a “doubting disease”. Doubt of safety, of others, and ultimately doubt of self. With low self-efficacy it is hard to trust that there will be a positive outcome. If we have not experienced something first-hand, knowing that we have contributed to success, it is hard to believe in a future positive outcome. An immense amount of work is put into a project such as gardening, with no guarantee of the results or outcome. This is much like the process of therapy.
We ask our teen students and their families for trust in their treatment team to help them grow and surpass the restrictions of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, to reach their desired outcome. They cannot always see or imagine what they will yield from the hard work they are putting into their own growth and development. They cannot always envision a life that feels better and produces the results they want.
Luckily, we have those who teach us and mentor us, who have seen the results of the right work, done the right way. Nothing beats the satisfaction and confidence of knowing you grew something out of nothing and can now enjoy the harvest!