Henri Nouwen on our fear of inner chaos, & solitude

“As soon as we are alone,…inner chaos opens up in us. This chaos can be so disturbing and so confusing that we can hardly wait to get busy again. Entering a private room and shutting the door, therefore, does not mean that we immediately shut out all our inner doubts, anxieties, fears, bad memories, unresolved conflicts, angry feelings and impulsive desires. On the contrary, when we have removed our outer distraction, we often find that our inner distractions manifest themselves to us in full force. We often use the outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises. This makes the discipline of solitude all the more important.” 

Henri Nouwen: Making All Things New and Other Classics

Much of therapy is about supporting people as they learn how to be present to themselves…. Something we may learn through the practice of solitude, as Henri suggests, and also through a relationship characterized by the core conditions and presence/encounter offered by the therapist.

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling in Exeter since 1994

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