Most of us were raised in a culture where asking for help was not easy and even downright terrifying!
It takes a leap of faith to make that initial contact with a therapist and hope this person may be able to help mitigate the discomfort or pain we present with. People are told to "listen to their gut" or "trust their instincts" in finding a therapist to work with.
Throughout our lives, we develop limiting and unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, habits, and ways of "being" in the world that become stored in our unconscious minds. These negative thoughts often result in self-sabotage and an inability to achieve our goals or break destructive/unhealthy habits.
By definition, grief is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed.
As therapists, we have the rare opportunity to learn from our clients, as our clients learn from us. Over the course of many years, I continue to bear witness to clients’ pain, whether it be buried, projected, internalized, or stuck. One thing remains the same; when it comes to the loss of one’s pet, there is nothing stuck about their deep and expressed/experienced pain!
How often do we forget the fragile balance or imbalance between our emotions and physical ailments? You can see your PCP for headaches, muscle aches, and a rash and leave his/her office with nothing more than $150 dollars worth of creams, ointments, and prescriptions. It is a delicate balance, however, as it can be equally as unhelpful to be told "it must be stress" or "it is simply in your head; get some rest, take some time off, and I am sure you will be good as new".
I was recently interviewed by a psychotherapist/author writing a piece on the initial contact made by potential clients looking for professional help. It was astonishing, as well as humbling, to be brought back to "the basics", that initial call, and just what that must feel like to the person putting through that call or email. My reason in sharing this is to remind us all of just how important that initial contact is, as well as the feelings and needs of the prospective client on the other end.
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