Friday, January 22, 2021

Using a paper metaphor to help our patients manage thoughts and feelings more effectively

If we can represent our uncomfortable thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper, some of us and our patients may hold this too close to our field of vision. If we do this, how can we focus on anything else that matters, and live our lives fully.

We may ruminate over it. We obsess over it. We judge it. We argue or challenge it. We act on it impulsively. We may try to turn away from it. But the more we do this, the more we focus and fuse with it.

In counseling, we can try to move these thoughts and feelings out to “arms length” perhaps. Another way to think about it is to “zoom out” or defuse from these thoughts and feelings. Be present and observe these thoughts and feelings without judgement to gain more clarity.

Once we have clarity, we can act in more helpful ways.

The same can apply to the thoughts and feelings of others.

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