Question: “So, if going into my body and reconnecting with lost and disowned parts is such a difficult and painful process…why do it?”
Why do it indeed! The majority of the population doesn’t go there and likely never will. Consequently, we live in a culture of rapidly increasing amounts of stress, anxiety, addictions, depression, phobias, obsessions, etc.
Many self- destructive patterns of behavior are in place in our lives to help us manage the difficult feelings we are trying to avoid.
These coping mechanisms take a heavy toll on our bodies - physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. The amount of energy it takes to keep these feelings suppressed is enormous. That energy, vitality and flow could be put to other uses such as creativity, passion, sensuality and pleasure.
We all want more access to positive energy in our body. Releasing locked and bound energy in the body from past traumas, makes this energy more available to us for the things we want in our lives today. This is the answer to "why do it?"
Traumas we experienced as an infant or preschooler are experienced very differently than traumas experienced in elementary or high school or university or beyond. It depends upon the stage of development we are in at the time. If we aren’t clearing these traumas, we are storing them some place in our body which requires maintenance to keep them there...like a storage space.
Over the years, the storage space becomes overcrowded and cramped with less and less room to move around in. Paralysis sets in.
A situation or person or memory triggers this suppressed material and we react with an inappropriate response in the situation. It’s as though this material sits in wait for the moment where it can be expressed, released and resolved...although we are not generally conscious of this at the time.
Marion Woodman said if we aren’t working on our unconscious material we are living it out. I will ask a client ‘who’s driving the bus?’ meaning what part of you is in charge, leading the action in the moment.
If it is a preschooler in a tantrum state you’re in for a rough ride. You would never ask a preschooler to do such an adult task so asking young parts of ourselves to do adult tasks which it is not equipped to handle is unfair and not very wise.
This inevitably sets us up for failure and feelings of inadequacy, shame, humiliation, etc.
Those parts of the self need something altogether different from us. They need reassurance, comfort, safety, security. So knowing what that part needs and providing it is a wiser decision..
This may answer some of the ‘why’ do body-based psychotherapy…the ‘how’ is through a process of exploration into the body where this process will:
a) have a beginning, middle and end
b) result in life being qualitatively better afterwards
c) be worth your time, effort and financial investment
d) be facilitated by someone who is the right person for you, whom you trust and feel safe with during this delicate, inner journey.
Contact me for further discussion as to whether we are a good fit to do this work together.
Photo: SOUL CARDS, Deborah Koff-Chapin