Therapeutic tools: part 2

A lot of mental health conditions will need assistance in the form of intervention. Whether it’s medicine or a technique of sorts - some can recover. For those that suffer from an untreatable mental illness and suffer with lifelong circumstances, it’s comforting to know that easing the symptoms could be beneficial. 

In this article, I hope to offer both the possibility of easing some symptoms and also some workable interventions. I have three to explain: writing, walking and connection.

Writing

Expression is key. The suppression of emotions can cause damage to a person both internally and externally. An example of internal could be how stress can affect the body and mind simultaneously. An example of external could be how shame can inhibit social activity. 

Writing is a powerful form of expression. It allows our connection with our mind and emotion to flow on to paper. Writing from the heart has a sense of beauty. The nib of the pen moves with warm feelings attached. There can be a felt relief when it’s scribed. This is also so for when anger, fear, guilt, sadness, shame and loneliness are all purged on to paper. 

Similar to talking, a new perspective can be drawn from writing.

Does it hold the same meaning now? Poetry is a wonderful example of the timelessness that can be created. A time capsule piece. If you’re in a dark space and write your darkness down it may shed a new form of light on the subject further on in time. If you write a no send letter in a rage, somewhere along the line you may appreciate that you never sent it. 

As I write I connect to my inner self helping me to be in touch with the truest version of me. The truth can become easier to process with this method as my tool. Pleasure too in the thought it may help someone else. So if you wander in rather cloudy thinking, you could clear your mind out, by shining your mind's eye on to paper. 

Walking

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. Exercise is necessary and if your physically able, walking offers a lot. Science gives the example of endorphins being released. A spiritual example is a meditation such as mindfulness. In the field of counselling, emotions can be processed in a walk. I’m sure there are more benefits too. 

If you choose to and have the opportunity to walk in the countryside there are many wonders to experience; the soft earth, the panoramic views, the gusts of wind, the wildlife/animal kingdom, the plants and insects, the steep hills and constant change in gradients. Not forgetting the challenge to yourself in the milage covered. 

Planning your walk with freedom. Choosing that destination and putting on your exploring boots. Kind of exciting too. Whether it’s on your Jack, in a couple or in a group - it’s a pastime. Having a pastime helps and can lead to other hobbies too. 

In the rain, snow, sunshine and gale-force wind, nothing can stop a walk. Any place, anytime, it’s there to be made use of. So if you’re angry, walk. If you’re bored, walk. If you’re in love, walk. If you’re sad, walk. If you’re, lost in your way, walk to find your way. But most of all walk through your illness. Make your own healing this way. The walking way

Two men chatting

Connection

We all need people in our lives. That’s why there is a world population of nearly 8 billion. Though sometimes it can be hard to be amongst people we wish we weren’t. Space could be necessary too. 

So connection, what does it mean? 

Friends and family are the most familiar. For some, it could be clinical professionals or for others it could be religious organisations. Each group or individual could give us the power of speech. Talking to one another. Walking together. Sharing a meal, breaking bread. 

Loneliness can lead to impulsive decisions that may cause harm. Isolation increases mental health symptoms. Connection can potentially release stunted thoughts and feelings. Warming the heart. Bringing laughter and social activity. Easing pain. 

A text, telephone or video call can also provide connection. The wonder of technology also allows this chance to be able to speak, listen and feel. Not as potent as human to human connection in person, however, it could offer the possibility of some amazing connections in faraway lands. Connecting with families and friends across the globe.

It also allows therapists to work internationally and in today’s world, this is truly groundbreaking in its own form. So if you’ve lost your confidence with meeting a person in person, then this alternative is becoming more popular. It may lead further on to an ability to then meet the person in the flesh.

Connection is one of the solutions to illness. This quote (unsure of the author) sums it up for me, "If you take the 'I' out of illness and replace it with 'We' the word becomes wellness."

 So there are three therapeutic tools to try. Trying is a start. A shift hopefully awaits you. Possible movement when writing, walking, and experiencing connection. 

I dedicate this article to my Aunty Ellen. 

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Guildford GU2 & Chertsey KT16

Written by Warren Vinciguerra

Guildford GU2 & Chertsey KT16

A restored therapist from my own haunted past. I work with this experience closely when treating clients with similar issues. Educational experience of studying for 5 years where I gained a hard-earned BA (Hons) in Counselling. Working at some of the UK’s leading private treatment centres practising therapy with some of the leading researchers.

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