Wayfinding is an ancient Polynesian practice of navigating the open oceans with deep understanding of the sky and the water. We have a deep love and respect for Hawaii and its people, it has been a second home to us for many years. These sacred traditions of finding one’s way with no tools aside from nature and its elements is representative of the challenge that it is to find the motivation and tools to change your behavior, or things that you want to change in your life.
Wayfinding is also a concept used in architecture and engineering to help people find their way, from signage, to the way buildings are built with the human psyche in mind. This concept also directly applies to the therapeutic process. One must recognize the problem, what is not working, then experience motivation to make changes and set goals. Next, implementation of various skills to help make changes, assess what is working and what is not working and then celebrate achievement of goals, however small. Just like when someone is lost, you have to work to discover your location, use tools like maps, compasses, the stars, set a new course and continue checking you are on the right path until you reach your destination. However, just like with travel, or finding your way somewhere, that’s not the end destination, you have to find your way to the next place and the place after that. Self-love, sobriety, remission, health, etc. are all processes, not destinations.
Developing a sustainable plan to continuously work toward these goals is the purpose of therapy. This is why the name Wayfinder was chosen. Ancient Polynesian civilizations did not have an easy time navigating their way across the vast oceans, and behavior change is not easy either, but it’s possible with the right tools and support.