One of my favorite childhood movies was the Wizard of Oz. I was fascinated by the lead characters’ determination to get what they felt was missing in their lives. Some patients in my practice hope and sometimes expect to be meeting the wizard when they enter my office. They’re looking to be fixed, cured, and transformed through my words and insights. A little magic or miracle wouldn’t be bad either. But therapy is work and requires a commitment to change, motivation to be psychologically healthy, and a desire to take personal responsibility for thinking, feeling, and behaving differently. Patients learn to manage stress, conflict, negative emotions through skills and strategies. They also gain a deeper understanding and awareness of themselves which enhances the change process. The characters from the Wizard of Oz were hopeful that the Wizard would make everything right for them and they would feel whole. How many of us seek to fill a hole and to feel complete? The wisdom of the Wizard is most notable. He essentially says, “you already have _______, but what you don’t have is something to remind you that this characteristic exists”. In essence, we may be searching for something on the outside that already exists on the inside. For many people, this is our faith. A good therapist helps you access positive characteristics and change your mindset about yourself and your environment so that you can experience more fulfillment and joy in life. Next week I will expand on the process of change from the Wizard’s perspective.