Saturday, July 10, 2021

Helping our patients deal with uncomfortable feelings in a healthier way

When we are faced with a very uncomfortable feeling, what happens?

1. For some, there is a tendency for it to “suck them in” and create emotional pain, confusion, or an unhealthy narrative.

2. For some, it is so uncomfortable or unbearable that they will “close the lid on it”, detach from it, or find some form of distraction to avoid the discomfort.

3. For some, they simply detach from it because in their mind, “feelings” are too hard, weird, or unreliable.  They try to navigate life in a “non emotive” or “less emotive” way.   

4. For some, they feel the discomfort, notice the feelings, acknowledge the feelings, appreciate the feelings, and use it to understand or guide their thoughts and actions.

In counseling, particularly with Acceptance Commitment Therapy ACT, we aim to get the people in group 1,2, and 3, to explore the skills described in group 4.

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