Many wonder how talking about your feelings can free you of your issues and improve your life. Talking is certainly at the heart of treatment: But, it is much more than just talking with the doctor who sits quietly and on occasion ask a question or gives some advice. It takes a very knowledgable clinician who is capable of seeing the emotional mental blocks and inhibitions which limit your life and if not addressed will continue to trigger symptoms of anxiety and depression. They know that the symptom you experience are reactions (actually a signal ) you are not leading a life that is emotionally effective for you. We tend to see the symptom, the anxiety or depression as the problem, they though are the result of your actually not experiencing enough emotional freedom and joy in your life.
To understand the therapist skills to help you transform your life, we must first understand how our minds work: The most important notion concerns how, curiously, our minds are smarter than we are ... That is, our minds, as a mechanism are reacting and organizing our sensational world faster than we are consciously aware. For instance, when we speak there is no need to think of every word we are going to utter. We have a notion, an idea, and from it the words appear. They just stream from our mouths. The feeling of thirst becomes - "Can I trouble you for a glass of water?" In a millisecond our minds, with wonderful speed and efficiency, brings forward what we need to say or do. Remarkable and crucial to our existence, our minds reflexively do all the work. Interestingly, this fast almost magical ability is the same reflexive operation that is at root of why we may find life too stressful, anxiety provoking, lacking in meaning or with little hope.
Lets us now examine a salient example which will give us a precise look into the workings of our psychologically and, if not addressed, life long emotional issues. In the 1960s movie theaters used a special form of advertising to sell popcorn and soda. It was called "subliminal advertising". The process was to put a message up on the movie screen faster than the blink of an eye. So a phrase like "go buy popcorn - go buy soda " would be introduced at such a speed as to not be detected by the human eye. If ask "Did you see something?" the response would b e no. But, curiously, people would respond to it by getting up and going to buy popcorn or soda. Why would this happen? The answerer lies in how your brain’s reflexive ability to process information faster than you are consciously aware… With this study, images/words were presented and the audience members had a mental reflexive response which occurred without their even becoming conscious of it. The advertisers, through psychological research, knew the mind would be triggered this way. They new images would register without ones being aware that they were ever there. So, poof - a millisecond image and you became a puppet being triggered to act.
Because they, you might say, tricked them to do something they didn't have any conscious control over, this form of advertising has become illegal. For our purposes though this is a wonderful example as it demonstrates just how our minds work; a mental trigger can happen so fast and cause us to feel and act without our even being aware there was a trigger. So, similar to when we speak where fleeting images (ideas) come to us then the words appear from our mouths or actions are taken, the images on the screen triggered us to act: They functioned like a part of our very own brains with its fleeting images (ideas) causing us to respond reflexively with an action.
So it may form words and take actions, that will help us function quickly and efficiently, the effective operation of the mind depends on its operating at a speed beyond our conscious awareness: After all if a car is hurling towards you don't want to think through all the necessary reactions to avoid it - you must react instantly. So, all day long images are fleeting though our minds at a very fast rate, some charged enough to cause us to act or speak, others not so charged, but all working to keep us alive and interacting with the world effectively. The issue though, just like the movie screen advertising, is our reacting to what you don't see as much as what we do see. For example, a client might tell me they are not in a good mood today. I'll ask them: "What's your sense of what prompted the mood.?" They may say: "I don't know - for know reason really". This is a perfect example of the action(speed) of the mind: They may believe there is no reason but there is a precise reason. They just did not see it because the trigger was fast and woven into the fabric of their usual thoughts: Hidden from view but potent on affect. Whenever there is a mood change or any emotional shift there is always a pattern, always a trigger, always.... It is truly as certain as the laws of physics; for ever action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And, most often with a moment to reflect the person will have a thought or association which clues them in to what got the current emotional ball rolling. So, it is the therapist's expert clinical eye that knows how behavior shifts from a trigger: They are trained to read between the lines of our dally thoughts and knows to ask just the right question so the trigger will be revealed.
My job then is to help you see through the fabric of your dally thoughts and see where triggers set the mood, feelings, ineffective behavior, rolling. My job is to show you just how and where the trigger(s) occurred. Once this occurs you will discover something very powerful, choice: You are no longer simply powerless to the hidden thought, but have the ability, through awareness, to choose how not to react reflexively. You are no longer like the movie goer being tricked into acting as you now have knowledge as to where and when you are likely to have such feelings. If you could predict the future - know how and why you may react in certain situations - you're not simply going to be taken by it. You will develop, with the help of the therapist, strategies to contend with it. You will no longer be powerless to what you did not see ( what you would have reacted to reflexively). You will now have the option to be the master of it and hence find greater control over your life and what you desire to achieve and experience.
For example, if we told the audience that they will get an urge to get up and by popcorn when the previews started they would have a chance to fight the impulse. They would have the feeling to get up but they would also have the notion that there was connection between the rolling of the previews and the impulse. They could then have some choice and not eat what they may not really want to eat. Or, take an action, like making such advertising illegal... This or other strategies can be executed to empower the individual so they remain or gain control of their decision making processes.
Good psychotherapy is about finding greater awareness of where and how the triggers live and then a building of effective strategies. My job and expertise concerns helping you find this awareness to see what has been ruling your life and enabling you to become a master of your life not a victim of it; when you can see and hear what you are truly feeling on a subliminal level you will gain control over and have the option to develop strategies to contend with it. Whatever issue it is, anxiety, depression, alcoholism, marital issues, etc., I can guarantee you they are all related to what is going on sublimely. I can guarantee you will never master you life, never reach you full potential as long as you are unwittingly directed by what you can not see.
Sadly so many live their lives in the blind... So many only live part of their lives as they never challenge and free themselves of what keeps them locked into a dysfunctional way of managing their lives. So many just keep their mental blinders on, never discovering what their lives could have become if they were liberated from what they could not see and experience the strategies that would empower their lives.
When we discover the underlying roadblocks of our own psychology, when we choose to see, i.e. to discover, you will discover something remarkable, your potential to grow emotionally and to live a life without emotional roadblocks, e.g. fears and concerns which box us in… To a life rich with enthusiasm, joy, success, love, and friendship. So don’t cheat yourself by living in the dark as it will rob you of the truth of your own empowerment and the vitality of your potential life to experience for love and success.
Our potential, your potential is far greater than you could imagine. As one of my clients wrote me, and this sentiment is the case, to differing degrees, for all who are in a good treatment, “I had no idea that life could be so consistently gratifying. No more depressive anxious states, just things to look forward to. Who could or would have imagined that this could be life.”