By Tanya Cole-Lesnick, LCSW, PLLC

I do. I love it when my clients cry, which I know sounds bad, but let me explain.

Helping people to make changes in their lives is the crux of the work I do. In order to do that we talk—we tell stories, we analyze things, we dream, we set goals, we face things—all with the intention that what we talk about will lead to change. But making change is complicated—some changes happen fairly quickly, sure, but more often than not change can take a while.

It’s when my clients cry that I feel most hopeful. It’s then that I know that we’re onto something important. The tears show us that whatever triggered them is potent.

Change ain’t easy. So if we want to be making some changes we better want them pretty badly (as in really badly) or it’s likely we won’t be able to make them at all. Emotional reactions to things, which often means tears, helps us to know what matters most.

So yes, when my clients experience some pain I feel excited for them. Sounds weird, I know. But it’s that pain, that part of the growing experience, that is a critical factor in moving forward.

So let’s feel the pain, have a good cry, and move on to bigger and better things.