I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the words, “If I start to cry, I may never stop”, spoken in my office.
People usually come into therapy with an idea, sometimes clear sometimes vague, of what is ‘wrong’, what needs to change or be eliminated completely. This could be an unwanted behavior, feeling, physical ailment, or a difficulty that keeps showing up in a relationship.
As we work, it soon becomes obvious that the original ‘presenting problem’ (therapist lingo) was a lead into a multitude of feelings, opinions and beliefs held by different parts of that person, and created at different times in their life.
I work from the premise that the mind (yours and mine) is not unitary but composed of different parts of ourselves with varying needs, wants, agendas and burdens. Whenever I’m invited into this inner system, I am respectful and pace the process according to the client’s system. When we get to a hurt, angry or shamed part, one fear is that the release of trapped emotions may be unending. Fortunately, that has never happened! And the client’s Self and mine – the ones who hold compassion, wisdom and curiosity – can witness those vulnerable parts release long-held ‘baggage’ and make new choices. Relief and new energy are the result.