Click on the above link to visit Laura’s Facebook page, for this moving, accurate, important post. We work outside the ‘mental health’/psychiatric system and terminology here. We choose our therapists for their willingness to do their own work and their ability to offer real human relationship between equals, characterized by the core conditions.
Many people come to us for therapy as refugees from the psychiatric system, having experienced disempowerment and further trauma. They have been taught to think of themselves as broken, and to pathologize their traumas, sensitivities, experiences and emotions – by those who present themselves as experts, and are so often lost within their own Shadow, in out-of-awareness/trapped trauma and mystification.
Within the simple holding of relational presence, empathy, warmth, authenticity, any one of us can begin to come home to ourselves, and reclaim what has been lost. And there are many, many paths to this, besides therapy. Trusting our feelings, trusting our bodies, trusting our threads of aliveness, trusting the process of relationship with ourselves and also with those who can offer us loving presence/holding.
Here are the words, for those who have difficulty seeing FB links:-
‘If you communicate in tears and grief and anger and despair and joy like I do, hold these expressions as sacred, because they are. Know that these emotions are your wisdom, not a flaw. Don’t believe Them when They say that how you feel is a sign that something’s wrong with you.
I cried twice today – the second time, just thirty minutes ago – and as the tears slipped down my cheeks a vision came to me.
In it, I was sitting before an ex-shrink of mine. Heavy tears streamed down my face like waterfalls after winter’s thaw. Now, this was a man whose labeling eyes once penetrated my skin in diagnostic desecration. But in this vision, all I felt for him was compassion. For in meeting his eyes with mine, I could feel so clearly how they emanated the very same fear I once felt, myself:
of all the waves
and storms and
freezes and melts and
fires and rains of my being.
Fear of who I really was – and of who I had the power to be.
In this vision, he was so afraid of himself.
As I kept looking into his eyes, I could see as clear as day how lost and disconnected he was from himself, his emotions, his authentic state of being. I could see how this had thrown him into a deep state of mourning he wasn’t yet aware of.
And I could see how all of this –
his loss, his disconnection, his mourning and his lack of awareness of it all –
had eventually led him to believe that
answers are best found through
the act of labeling another,
For it keeps you safe from having to acknowledge that you’re really just an other to yourself.
As his steel blue eyes and my crying ones began to commune with one other, I felt my compassion for him deepen. Because I now saw him for who he really was: a scared, wounded child. A child who, like me, had gotten swept up in the false promises of what our culture teaches us it means to be human, to be worthy, to belong… We were the same, this shrink and I, and we always had been. It’s just that he’d somehow ended up with the swipe card to the double-locked doors.
In this moment of realization I knew in a deep-down way that it was my human responsibility to keep crying – to keep my cheeks good and wet so that he might eventually see his own reflection in my skin. To show him what it looks like to cry from a place of fully human power… That it’s safe there… That there is nothing to be afraid of.
If you feel big feelings like I do, remember this: they are a sign of your aliveness. They are your sacred human power. And they are a gift you are meant to bring forth into the world. Use them as a light and a guide and a mirror and an open hand for those who may still be too afraid to feel it all.’
Thank you, Laura.
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter
Counselling Exeter since 1994