Sunday, September 19, 2021

Helping our patients to process their own feelings and emotions

In counseling work, we often see folks who struggle with processing their own feelings.

Feelings for these folks are often interpreted as good or bad. Wanted or unwanted. Pleasant or unpleasant. Pleasurable or painful. Positive or negative.

If not careful, these experiences will often lead to “reactive moves” like moving towards the pleasurables and running away from the painfuls. This may or may not lead to a positive or desired outcome.

One has to start seeing “feelings” as information and “fuel” for taking action.


If it has a voice, what is it trying to tell me?
Is my biopsychosocial needs met?
Am I moving away from my values?
Am I moving towards my values?
Is it current or old news?
Is the information reliable?
Are my inner values in conflict with each other?
Are my inner values in conflict with the values of others?
What is it trying to “emotively make me do”?

Once we have clarity, we can choose to move towards it, or move away from it.

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