Our Art & Integration features uplift and honor our community members’ process of integration and celebrate art as a vehicle for healing. If you’d like to contribute or learn more about the project, visit our psychedelic-inspired art submissions page.
Andrea Millen, PsyD wrote this poem after offering her first KAP session to a client of hers who experiences OCD. She writes in her reflection following the poem that, “As I shaped these words into a poem, I realized it was both inspired by my clients, and also a reflection of my own experiences in therapy.”
The Process is loving yourself over time,
in the moments between lapse and connection,
you find your rhythm and ride the waves of momentum.
The Process is appreciating the parts of your experience
that are beyond your understanding…
the ways your brain works
in its different patterns and programs as they take shape,
reinforced by the loudest Force:
sometimes something else.
The Process is remembering the innocence within –
the you that is lovable and always has been,
Reach down to locate the part that becomes submerged by the immersive wake of doubt.
Bring yourself up to grasp for air, your life.
You are in the process of learning to trust yourself again…
tethered to this moment,
arms wide open,
returning to reunion,
as you run
into the embrace
of your own Homecoming.
No amount of grief is too much for you to hold,
for us to hold together.
Our collective roots intertwined beneath the forest floor, stretching for miles… hundreds of interconnected systems,
as you weather every storm.
The illusion of failure fades.
The Process is returning you to yourself,
circling back and arriving, yet again,
in this moment,
Andrea’s reflections on the experience of writing the poem:
These words flowed out after I offered my first KAP session to a client of mine.
The evening and days following this KAP session, as my client was integrating, I was integrating, too. I wandered along the fertile trails in Forest Park, warmed by the sun shining through bright greenery of Douglas firs and red cedars. I carved out spaciousness to open towards what was being revealed to me as a human and psychologist who witnesses transformation, in its many states and forms. What revealed was immense love.
The majority of my practice, Courageous Roots Institute, is dedicated to supporting people who experience Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Any tools or therapeutic modalities that may offer support, particularly for OCD, are vital for me to explore for the benefit of my clients.
Often, OCD causes fragmentation and distortion of one’s sense of inner trust and wholeness. Obsessional doubt weaves a narrative that feels so real it leads a person to spiral into compulsions. Doubt is reinforced as relevant and worth further investigation, which perpetuates a cycle. OCD can feel egodystonic, confusing, and nightmare-ish. Over time, shame, grief, and embarrassment can take hold. A trusting relationship with a therapist, OCD-specific therapy, education, and sometimes non-ordinary states of consciousness, can be sources of support that offer new ways to navigate the experience of OCD.
As I shaped these words into a poem, I realized it was both inspired by my clients, and also a reflection of my own experiences in therapy. Although I don’t experience OCD, the poem mirrors my relationship to uncertainty, interconnectedness, the sacred, and my journey with my therapist.
I remember our collective desire often returns us to a place where self-love is accessible and nourished. We long to love ourselves, and learn how to accept all of our parts. We long to belong, to be seen by others as whole. We long to remember we are enough and always have been.