In the early years of my private practice, I found that when clients gave expression to the emotions behind their issues, the physical discomfort they came in with often resolved quicker and more effectively than had the issue been treated without the aid of expression.
More effectively meant that the discomfort lessened in intensity, or was eliminated for a longer period of time than if the physical issue was treated without emotional expression.
I could not deny this link. I found in my own office a reliable connection between non-expressed emotion and physical conditions.
My initial response was to go for the jugular…
Going for the jugular meant encouraging expression, or in some cases, even coaxing expression out of the client whether he or she even wanted to speak or not. I believed clients would attain their health goals sooner and more effectively if they gave expression to held-down emotion.
In most cases, when expression was encouraged in this way, the symptom did stay away longer, the client was more satisfied, and I have to add, my reputation increased and my practice boomed. But in most cases, the symptom did return, although generally it remained away for a longer period of time than had the client not expressed emotion.
The symptom returned because, at that time, I did not take the whole of the emotional system into account. I took care of the emotional expression, but I did not address the resistance to that emotional expression. Therefore, given time, the resistances or defenses were free to re-group and restore their resistance against the expression of the emotion.
The emotion, with no opening for direct expression once again resorted to indirect means for expression through unconscious behaviour and physical symptoms.
From this premise, within the session the emotion was being given the space for expression. The defenses, however, were merely scattered into the countryside, and when the ‘danger’ passed they simply returned to the barracks and in time resumed normal duties.
So the symptom returned and the client came back and continued to come back for continued symptomatic relief. It was good for business, but it did not ultimately resolve anything, and the client was left becoming dependent upon me.
For emotional expression to have a sustained effect upon the symptom, the whole of the organization needs to be taken into account. This means that emotional expression needs to be allowed and the resistance, or the defense working against emotional expression needs to be resolved.
Click Below to read more about how unexpressed emotions create physical symptoms – pain, discomfort, and illness.
In your experience, does therapy go for the jugular: does it set out to make you cry or to make you angry? If this is your experience, are you, or are you not comfortable with this approach?
In your opinion, is therapy respectful?
What are your experiences of therapy working or not working for you?
What could improve therapy’s effectiveness?
Let us know what you think? Leave a comment.
In Next Friday’s Blog:
Learn How to Address Resistance and Defenses While Allowing for Emotional Release.
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