Oftentimes, when clients come into therapy, they have had enough of their symptoms. They want relief. Fast. Mostly, they would love symptoms to just disappear. It's not often realised that today's symptoms are yesterday's solutions. For example, when emotions were overwhelming and felt unsafe, we may have coped by suppressing them and pushing them away. In time this becomes a habit.
Years later, after continuing this way of coping, we may have lost touch with what we feel, and be suffering low mood and a sense of chronic disconnection. Alternatively, we may have anxiety and a sense of impending disaster as our feelings try harder and harder to break through.
Finding the positive intention of a symptom can be a powerful way to reconnect with and release a past emotional pain, leaving us free to live now, unencumbered by the past.
So how do you do it? We are all different and one size will not fit all, but in essence the way forward lies in finding ways to make space for and listen to our symptoms, to look at them with kind eyes and allow them closer so that we can hear their messages. You can not lead anyone or anything without first finding a connection, without first keeping the same pace and building rapport. When we acknowledge what is being felt, it ends the need for the symptom to keep showing us, and a peacefulness can result.
This does not mean capitulating to letting symptoms take us over, and it does not mean willing them to grow. It takes a willingness to learn the skills of containing emotions, and a process of building resources to be ready to approach what is difficult.
If you want to stop running from your symptoms, or to find release from your current emotional pain, then consider psychotherapy as part of your journey. I'm here to help, if it feels right, get in touch.