by Elliott Kronenfeld


So many people start a therapy process because they want real change.  They want to change their relationship, their place in the world, their ability to cope with the things that stress them.  People don’t want a band-aid, they want to experience a different way of being.  When therapy is great, that is what people can experience.

However, once the work starts, many folks are stunned at what it takes to create change.  When they experience the real challenge, they may often feel they can’t rise to the occasion because they have to leave their comfort zone.

I tell people all the time that change comes from messy.  When things are neat and easy, there is no need to change—why would you?  If life is working, stay put!  However, if you want to experience something different, you have to get a little messy and try something new, something challenging, something you haven’t done yet.

This is when the therapy practice can get a little fun!  As a therapist, it is my role to help people learn how to be messy—and sometimes I take that job literally!  I recently told one of my patients who was seeking real change to allow herself to let go and get messy.  Don’t worry about staying in control all the time.  Let go and see what happens!  Then, I gave her finger paints and sent her home with instructions to let herself get messy!

This beautiful work of art is the result of her letting herself go and expressing herself in a new way.  The images tell a story of what she was wanting and thinking of at the time.  After the exercise, she was able to understand what “getting messy” meant in new ways.  She is now allowing herself to lean into her discomfort and experience new things in her life.

If you are looking to get messy (looking for real change), contact Elliott at

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