Going for the Jugular: The Quest for Emotional Expression


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.

Unexpressed Emotions Create Illness: The Scientific Evidence

Do Unexpressed Emotions Contribute to Illness and Pain?

Can Unexpressed Emotions Be Linked with Pain, Discomfort, and Disease?

The Accident



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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6 thoughts on “Going for the Jugular: The Quest for Emotional Expression

    • Thanks to a meditation teacher I met years ago who offered the idea that we have everything we need inside— AND my trust of this initial awareness—–my inner family members began introducing themselves. What to do about/with them?

      From your timely curriculum P—understanding the importance of creating and maintaining a healthy and meaningful relationship with this ‘inner bunch’ assists me to attend to them AND be on the look-out for those who may still be held hostage( exiles) and those oppressors/terrorists (creative defences) holding court. The inner environment is more conducive/receptive.

      Its been a wonderful discovery for me these past 6 months– without my favourite local ARC Therapist to rely on— to be more proactive and employ the creative dialogue I learned through the ARC Institute . With great glee, I use my laptop to type out conversations with my Authentic Self and the ” inner bunch” and as a result have noticed a quality of Self- sufficiency and contentedness I’ve not experienced before .

      Many good wishes of the Season to you and your partner Pietro– with appreciations for the amazing information you’ve engineered and continue to offer.
      Madelainne K. Joss

  1. Hello – yes, I agree with the expression of emotions and the necessity to deal with the barriers behind it. I am finding traditional ‘talk’ therapy not enough to deal with grief, and my few ARC sessions have helped but when probed months later about my situation I am still in pain from it, 2.5 years later.

    I’m left with not knowing what to do, despite the cognitive knowing of the need to heal.
    I started on a deeper spiritual path hoping that will help.

    Really enjoyed your articles.

    • Hello Sherri. Thanks for your comment.

      I am sorry for your pain. It could be that more work on the issue is needed. If your ARC sessions helped, then we can presume that sufficient work was done to weaken the hold of a number of the defenses and some emotional release occurred for you. However, defense and/or resistance is invariably persistent. If a new line of defense or resistance emerges then emotional congestion will build up again and pain and discomfort will re-occur. This is a detailed explanation on how the emotional system works, but the underlying message is more work on the issue is likely needed.

      The more intense the issue, the more intense the defense, the greater the potential for emotional congestion – and emotional congestion always has the potential to create emotional or physical pain or discomfort.

      Don’t lose heart, Sherri. My advice is to have more sessions and give yourself more time to work through the issue. If your past ARC sessions helped, then that may be the route to go, especially since any ARC Practitioner will be able to identify and work with the perspective I am presenting to you. If you need more advice and direction contact an ARC Practitioner at: http://www.thearcinstitute.com/practitioners/practitioner-profiles/

      Anyone of us will be glad to help. I wish you well.

      • Thank you Pietro, I did not expect a response!

        I completed a healing Shamonic journey yesterday with the intention of releasing grief since I had just read your articles. It helped. Last night I woke straight out of a dream at 4 am, that gave me an entirely new perspective of the pain (root cause) that I had not considered. That perspective would still cause pain, but would make more sense in some ways.

        My fav practitioner moved to Victoria but she comes back to Calgary and takes clients so I am taken care of.

        Thank-you. I shall look up your classes as I have been curious about taking your certification process in the healing arts.

        In gratitude,

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