The call was made. The ink dried on the paperwork. The appointment was locked in. At last, fourteen-year-old George, a child navigating the ripples of divorce, had summoned the courage to step into counseling. It was not an easy decision for him; the hurdles life tossed his way were tangled in his thoughts. Spiraling contemplations, a fixation on others' viewpoints, and a sense of being ensnared in his mind drove him to seek help. George wasn't accustomed to asking for aid, and the thought of therapy weighed on him, but a newfound growth mindset nudged him to acknowledge his need for better mental and emotional well-being. His thoughts were a constant companion, yet he yearned for change and was prepared to embrace it.

Following a month of weekly counseling sessions, George found himself progressing swiftly. He and his counselor uncovered that his anxiety stemmed from the fallout of his parents’ divorce, the associated trauma, and the grief that trailed it. It was a bitter truth to digest, but George felt a glimmer of relief. The moments he felt confined, lost in his thoughts, were not entirely his doing. Now, he could link these occurrences to anxiety rather than self-infliction. It was tough news to hear yet liberating.

Another couple of weeks unfolded, with George growing more content with his choice to engage in counseling. Not only did he come to terms with his reality, but his counselor also armed him with strategies to navigate life's challenges. Concepts like mindfulness, open-mindedness, self-discovery, and countering distorted thoughts were on the agenda. With each passing session, George grew more thankful for the chance to put these strategies into action. His growth was something he cherished.

Until one game night, a friend's unwitting comment sent himspiraling back. Once more, George felt confined in his thoughts. He dwelled onthe comment, convincing himself that he had not progressed at all. Was all thegrowth from the previous sessions gone? Had he truly not evolved?


From an outsider's viewpoint, George's growth over the past month and a half was evident. He went from reluctance toward counseling to embracing new approaches to combat his tendencies. But, trapped in the moment, our own mistakes and stumbles often cloud our view.

In truth, growth is not the linear path George initially imagined during his moment of struggle. One setback does not erase the progress that came before it. It's part of the process, just like the moments of success. Growth is fluid, with ebbs and flows. Embracing this mindset allows one to progress while accepting the inevitable setbacks.

At ELA, we encourage students to perceive growth as an ongoing journey, not a fixed destination. In moments of unease, there is an opportunity for deeper understanding. We aim to meet individuals where they are and facilitate meaningful progress. Even in life's challenges, we all strive to evolve, and ELA is dedicated to assisting young people in developing their most crucial asset: themselves!