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An Unwell Body: Why Talking Therapies Heal? (Series 2, part 2)



Welcome back to my mini blog series on unwell bodies and suppressed emotions. In my previous blog I have explored the physiological existence of emotions in our bodies and how suppressing feelings generates even bigger, deeper, and more exhausting physiological work for your entire system, resulting in a chronically unwell body. Yes, unexpressed emotions can make you ill!


(Check my previous blog for previous information.)


In this post, I would like to explain why talking therapies can effectively facilitate both, mental and physical stress release, and an opportunity for your body to heal.



Talking is healing!


Throughout my therapeutic practice, I have met many clients who have asked me a common question: ‘How does it actually work’? or ‘What is the plan in therapy’?


Although the answer is short, it may be hard to comprehend.


Put simply (and ideally), there is no exact plan or agenda in talking therapy. The only strategy for a client is to talk, explore, and expand on emotions that have been left unnoticed, unprocessed and their physiological process stayed therefore also unfinished.


Holding your emotions down or fully denying their existence makes your body unwell. Chronic fatigue, immune issues, digestion issues, inflammation, joint problems, migraines, breathing problems, and many more can all be a result of your body endlessly fighting what you don’t want to see and feel.


By unlocking suppressed emotions, one not only reaches better clarity of mind but also a relief from the hard work the body endlessly goes through in order to keep the emotions under ‘the lid’.



A simple aim but a challenging process!


Opening unattended emotions is by no means an easy task. To allow painful suppressed experiences to surface one needs to be prepared to look very deep into themselves, reveal these hidden emotions, and truly feel them.


his, of course, maybe a very challenging, long, and sometimes painful process. (Hopefully, I have not lost you now, please keep reading).


You may be wondering, and the answer is yes, this is the exact reason why many people shy away from talking therapies, and instead, choose the perpetuating cycle of physiologically exhausting “emotionally unfinished business” with the belief that “one day the feelings will all go away”.


If you are finding yourself here, I am sad to say, that those feelings and their physiological residues will never go away, unless you process them. This is where the role of a skilled therapist comes in.


With compassion and no judgment, a therapist will support you to identify any hidden and burdening ‘emotionally unfinished businesses’, help you to make sense of them, complete them and ‘neatly file them away’.


Your mind and your body then begin to recover and heal. And this is the plan for talking therapy.



Speak out the ‘unspeakable’ and get well!


You may also wonder whether it is even possible to voice the most difficult emotions such as rage, grief, helplessness, deep pain, despair, and betrayal.


These challenging feelings may appear stuck and pushed down far too deeply but there certainly are ways to say the ‘unsayable’; to speak the ‘unspeakable’…


You may have noticed my use of metaphors in this article, and that’s because metaphors work magic in the counselling room. Creative metaphors can allow you to express what you don’t believe is expressible.


Here are some examples of some of my own and my clients, (I would like to thank my clients who have given me their permission to share these):


Counsellor:


Emotions are like sheep in the field. There is only one field for all sheep, the happy sheep, and the sad ones. There is also only one gate to let them all out. You open the gate, and they all come out. You shut the gate, and you shut them all. When you shut the gate, you have no access to any feelings, sad or happy. When you shut the gate, you simply shut a big part of yourself…”


“You cannot bury feelings alive. You need to hear them out and put them to sleep first.”


Clients:


Low mood is as if the world has turned all beige. There is no colour, no darks, no whites. Everything is just beige”.


“It is like having a monkey on your back and every time you try and grab it, it moves somewhere just out of reach”.


“It is like a nature walk but it’s just muddy fields in a monsoon”.

 

Metaphors give our feelings a voice and voicing provides a tremendous sense of empowerment and healing! I would therefore encourage you to ‘speak the unspeakable’ and get your body and mind ‘well-er’.


Visit the dark corners of your memories, speak about what you are finding out, and allow your body to heal.

 

 

Join me next time to explore this topic further in my blog: An Unwell Body: Chronic Stress All Around.

 

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