Who can you talk to?
Is there someone you feel safe talking to about your feelings? I see so many clients come into my office with heavy burdens that they do not feel they can share with those in their lives. Recently I was with a group of people and realized that there were things on my mind that I could not share with them. I wondered about why I felt that way and what would happen if I did share my thoughts. I had known some of the people for several years, but despite that I did not feel safe expressing myself, opening up or sharing a part of myself.
Often in working with couples I will see this dynamic in the relationship. It appears in therapy as disconnect and distance that both parties feel. One or both parties will either feel safe and reveal their thoughts or feel that their partner is listening.
I feel that listening is the greatest tool for healing. I had always felt that love was the answer to healing a broken soul, but I have learned in my experiences with clients that whether you are talking about a child, an adult or a couple, everyone wants to be heard. The healing only begins when you feel heard. The other person does not have to agree or even understand, but they have acknowledged your thoughts and feelings.
Feeling loved requires that you feel valued. You have to feel that your thoughts and feelings matter to feel loved. Listening is the key to a healthy relationship and essential to mental health. You cannot have true intimacy without being a faithful listener. When I talk about intimacy, I am not talking sexual relations. I am speaking about those moments when you feel that you can bare your soul, be your true self and feel excepted. You cannot hide part of yourself from those you love and feel the honesty of true intimacy. It is remarkable how relationships change and evolve when we are able to be honest with yourselves and those who love us.
Do you feel that no one wants to hear about your worries, concerns or pain? Are you afraid that others will judge you and think you are weak when you express yourself? Have you tried to open up to others but been rejected? When have you told someone how you felt were you told just get over it? These are painful experiences and can cause you to feel that no one cares.
When did you first feel that way and what happened? Did you feel that you feelings celebrated as a child? Did your parents express their feelings? What messages did you get about your needs when you were growing up? These are fundamental questions to ask yourself and some of the questions that I ask my clients in therapy.
I feel extremely fortunate to have people in my life that I can share my thoughts with and feel safe. I know that no matter what I say, how insecure, overwhelmed or how much pain that I am in that these people will always listen. As I said, I am truly fortunate, and I do my truly best to be there for them when they need me to listen. I had always felt that I was an excellent listener because I would have a friend talk to me about their problems before I became a therapist. However, I have learned so much more about how to be a skilled listener and how vital it is to our mental health since I started practicing. I give my clients a safe place to tell their story. I also help them to improve their listening skills so they can improve their relationships.
Let me help you give yourself a safe place to be your authentic self. My office is a place you can say what you have been hiding, and we will shine a light on the truth, look at where the feelings originate and decide together how you can heal.