How attuned are you?
Today I reflect on the power of attunement, and the role psychotherapy can play in helping clients connect to others and attune when life experiences have not yet opened up this potential.
It’s hard to beat the feeling of really being with someone. That feeling of parent and child spontaneously connecting in an experience. The intimacy of two people who love each other sharing a moment in which they are utterly focused on each other. There is a beauty to attunement, a feeling of being safe, of being at home, of being free to be.
This is an experience we are all wired for. We are social animals. In generations past, as for mammals generally, babies must cause parents to attune in order to survive.
And yet, it’s an experience that does not dominate for everyone. Many people grow up with adverse childhood experiences, and are unable to relax or to feel safe, unable to trust others or themselves, because their world in some way was not safe and secure. Some may not know why it is they feel continually tense and watchful, it just may be that that is how life is.
I am in the lucky position of having a job with attunement at its core. My role is to be with people, and not just to be listening, but to be sensing as fully as I am able what it is they are experiencing, and how they are experiencing that. Coming alongside someone, suspending as best I can my own assumptions and preferences, I see, hear, feel, sense and know them as far as I am able, to help them to come to know themself much more deeply. Surfacing and making space for tensions and conflicts, and repairing rapport as we grow together. Learning these skills has been a process of personal transformation and of increasing joy, even if at times it is not straightforward.
Attunement is not always easy, or simple. It can take time to heal relational wounds, and to find safety in the presence of others, or indeed of ourselves. If this is a journey you would like to explore your next steps along, then perhaps psychotherapy may be helpful. If what I have offered here resonates, why not get in touch? You can reach me confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01325 730021.
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