Treatment focus: Letting go.

Although an ambiguous statement, we all know what it feels like not to be able to “Let-go” or “move-on” from certain life events or experiences. For most people,” letting-go” means being able to stop ruminating about something that has happened in the past in order to live and enjoy their present life experiences.

Here’s some examples of how we “Hold-on”:

  • Excessive guilt or worrying about our actions that may have caused hurt to someone
  • Continuing to ask questions of “why” something happened the way that it did
  • Victimizing ourselves (i.e. this always seems to happen to me)
  • Persistent analysis of trying to figure out why things turned out as they did.

The thing that all of these questions have in common is that they are all about the past. When we hold-on to the past we deprive ourselves of the fulfillment and beauty that is right here in this moment.

An example of how this is used in psychotherapy is in working with grief. William Worden describes the difference between Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy in that “Grief counseling facilitates the tasks of mourning in order that the bereavement process will come to a successful termination. In grief therapy the goal is to identify and resolve the conflicts of separation which preclude the completion of mourning tasks in persons whose grief is absent, delayed, excessive, or prolonged” (http://www.therapeuticresources.com/2849text.html). In Grief Therapy, clients explore the subconscious feelings and thoughts that are causing them to stay stuck in the pain of losing someone close to them.

Many times, we unknowingly blame ourselves for not doing more for the person/relationship we have lost or we fear we did not do enough to show love and care. With death, we also unknowingly believe that if we “move-on” or “let-go” that we are somehow leaving the person behind or failing to honor their memory. As a result of this guilt, we punish ourselves whether it is through one of the above examples or through addictive behavior patterns with food, substances, or relationships. Through psychotherapy, the underlying guilt is dissolved and people experience a freedom and relief which allows for them to feel like themselves again.

Michell offers therapy sessions at the studio, so email her for an appointment: michell@tranquilspace.com.

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