Working Through Stuck Points


Working through stuck points is difficult, and it takes a great deal of patience and perseverance. It also requires cognitive flexibility, and the courage to examine your emotions. Ultimately, it is very important to understand that your stuck points are unique to you. You can’t use a “one size fits all” approach.

Start by setting a re-evaluation date. Then, focus on the current issues you’re dealing with until that time. Then, ask yourself: what’s the next smallest step that I need to take? If you can’t answer that question, you’re likely stuck in a rut.

The English language has many different definitions of “stuck”. The word itself means “frozen” or “fixed” so that it can’t be moved. Some examples include a jar lid that won’t move; a car that’s stuck in traffic; or even an indecisive person. The verb stuck comes from the Old English word stician, which means “pierced, fixed, fastened”.

Survivors of traumatic experiences often become stuck in their recovery. In Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), this problem is called “sticky points,” and it typically involves negative, extreme statements. The themes that are often associated with stuck points are trust, power/control, intimacy, and safety. CPT focuses on these themes as the cornerstones of treatment and aims to reshape how individuals relate to the world.