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Restore the Source




Restore the source. This is the slogan that stood out to me most when starting Wellspring Counseling Center last June. I have always been big on metaphors and symbolism, and if you’ve been in session with me, it’s no secret I pull out a metaphor nearly every time—sometimes, even more than one! So, true to my nature, I felt that “Restore the Source” fit the best with what I envision Wellspring Counseling Center to be.


On the whole, one of the defining characteristics of our work as Wellspring counselors is to meet each client where they are at, tackling their problems on two fronts in order to meet their goals. These two fronts are treating the symptoms, or the day-to-day troubles, and treating the source, the root of the problems. Treating the symptoms eases the immediate suffering. This creates space and clarity, enabling us to feel a bit better in the now. However, by itself, treating symptoms is merely a bandage. The problem often returns if left untreated.

This leads to the second front:  treating, or restoring, the source. The problem stems from somewhere, often going deeper than the symptoms themselves. Contrary to popular belief, symptoms rarely pop up overnight. It is often a slow change until the symptoms become so apparent and demanding, that we must pay attention to them in full. True and lasting freedom from the symptoms is in the removal of the origin source. That’s our primary goal at Wellspring.

           

So, what even is a wellspring? Great question! Let’s go to the dictionary—cliché though it is! Collins Dictionary defines a wellspring as the source of a stream, spring, or fountainhead. Some synonyms would be font, origin, and source. According to this definition, a wellspring is the generator of an outflow.


Another definition of a wellspring is an original, bountiful source of abundant and continual supply. Have you ever heard a reference to a wellspring of knowledge? If so, it was likely closely linked to Biblical references found in Proverbs, such as:

 “Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it” —Proverbs 16:22 (NKJV)


“…the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook” —Proverbs 18:4 (KJV)


“Guard your heart with all possible vigilance, for from it flow the wellsprings of life”—

Proverbs 4:23 (NCB)


What occurs at the source, whether wisdom, understanding, or something less savory, ultimately flows out, blending and merging with the outflow. There are ripple effects from the source itself, good or bad.

           

Another key aspect of a wellspring is obvious—water! Water is so simple, yet ultimately complex, as it has many facets. Let me explain. At the most obvious and basic level, water gives life. We literally cannot survive without water. Additionally, water cleanses and soothes. When we are dirty or hurting, water can rejuvenate us, washing away the filth and easing sore muscles and tension.


Water also flows. It has a natural motion that is essential. Water must move, or else it will stagnate. Stagnated water becomes malodorous and toxic. (Not the most pleasant source!)


Furthermore, water has the ability to cut and shape. Think of the Grand Canyon. Water, while often soft and soothing, can actually erode rock if given enough time and consistency. Water is both gentle and powerful.

           

In addition to the tangible aspects of water, symbolism about it abounds. Some common symbols associated with water are depth, wisdom, change, purification, creation, and destruction. So what does any of this have to do with counseling?

            There are many references to a wellspring being the origin source from which a supply of something flows. Each of these snippets provides significant insight to what a wellspring has to do with counseling. When people come to counseling, they are often seeking relief from some cluster of symptoms or negative patterns and experiences. Remember the two fronts of Wellspring counselors work from? This is where they shine, tackling these issues and helping clients toward their unique goals.


Recall, the first is treating the symptoms, which gives the clients relief in the day-to-day. The second, equally important if not more so, is treating (or restoring) the source. These symptoms do not pop up overnight. Instead, the negative effects culminate at the source, ultimately flowing out and corrupting other things. For example, depression does not instantaneously manifest. Rather, it builds at a source. There is often a root cause, even if we are not always aware of it, such as chronic anxiety or stress, pressure, overwhelm, burnout, criticism, and so many other possible origins. If any of those get in the source and stay too long, it taints the supply, flowing out into hopelessness, tearfulness, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, etc. There is always a source cause, and in treating the source, the maladaptive patterns are discontinued.

           

Let’s consider a stagnant or tainted font. Perhaps it flows down a stream. If someone drinks that water, it’s going to be a bad day full of stomach pain, parasites, sickness, and dehydration. If you drink tainted water, it can be life-threatening. In order to use that water source, it must generate movement and be cleansed and restored. If left untreated, the source becomes poisonous.


Just like with a wellspring, our mental health can become stagnant or corrupted by some additional source. Without addressing the core issue, lasting change cannot happen. Restore the Source is Wellspring Counseling Center’s motto. Our goal is to restore the source, the wellspring, to its healthiest condition. The trickle-down effect works both ways. Just as a tainted source poisons all it reaches, a pure source soothes and cleanses. The restored, healthy wellspring is what we want for all of our clients.


If you find yourself struggling, please reach out. It’s okay to seek help; in fact, we all need help from time to time, and our counselors would love to meet with you. And who couldn’t benefit from a neutral, unbiased place to process the challenges of life? We’re here to walk with you every step of the way, as you seek to Restore the Source.


 

Calye Bowen is a graduate of Southern Nazarene University where she received a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. For several years Calye worked in banking, management, and the dental field before realizing that her passion instead is in walking alongside someone through whatever obstacles they might be trying to overcome, any battles they are fighting, and any challenges they are facing. Calye feels it is an empowering experience to be seen and  to be understood and believes wholeheartedly that it is within the safe spaces of the counseling relationship that each person can find the healing and restoration that they are seeking.






Calye Bowen, LPC

Wellspring Counseling Center, PLLC

2524 N Broadway

Edmond, OK 73034

405.548.5622

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