Demystifying – “How do you feel about that?”
An invitation to explore how you feel can lead to a dilemma. Acknowledging and naming feelings is risky. It inevitably opens a door to a range of issues – not only how you physically, emotionally and mentally feel but how you feel about your situation and those around you.
For many of us, ignoring our feeling and just ‘getting on’ with life seems to work quite well, or so we think, but over time ignoring feelings can lead us to become ‘stuck’ or uninterested in what is happening around us. Perhaps worse, bottling up feelings can lead to ugly explosions of anger and rage, not just affecting ourselves but the ones we love.
If you make the decision to see a counsellor at some stage in that relationship you are likely to find yourself being invited to explore how you feel. Such an exploration may be upsetting and painful, perhaps even physically so. That pain may continue over a period of time and you may find yourself having to ‘hold it together’ between counselling sessions.
So why bother? Most counsellors agree that exploring feelings is an essential part of the counselling process. By naming feelings you can gain an insight and understanding into what you really feel. In turn, acknowledging feelings allows you to ‘process’ what is going on for you and hopefully identify solutions. Sometimes we cannot change our situation but we can become more comfortable with how we feel about it.
And as counsellors, we have feelings too. Sometimes we may share with you how your situation or your presence makes us feel. Sounds daunting, but when you hear someone accurately reflect your feelings, you will know that you have been listened to and understood. Likewise when a counsellor tells you how you make them feel then this insight may lead to an understanding of how other people respond around you.
Exposing yourself to how you feel can be challenging but if you are brave enough to do so, then with a supportive counsellor things will hopefully start to feel more comfortable and maybe even a little brighter.
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