Here at Jade Tree, we understand that starting therapy can feel scary and overwhelming. Many of us have spent most of our lives trying not to feel our feelings, because we don't know how to cope with them. We weren’t taught or modeled this in our families growing up, as our parents never learned this either. So, we look for ways to distract us from our feelings instead – social media, food, alcohol, sex, shopping, gossip, TV – we do these things because they work… for a while.
What ends up happening though, is that even though we’ve locked these feelings in a dark basement drawer in our psyche for years, they end up seeping out. We can only keep these feelings buried away for so long before they start to overflow, and our psychic basement drawer starts to literally burst at the seams. Suddenly, we find ourselves acting out in ways that impact our lives negatively.
We get cut off in traffic and we explode, ruining our date night and our entire week in the process. We feel depressed, anxious, and generally discontent about ourselves and our lives. Our partner leaves a dirty dish in the sink, and we feel so angry we can’t think straight. Our weekly drinking or weed smoking turns into daily binging. We lose motivation for things we once cared about. These are all symptoms of pent-up feelings and emotions that need to be dealt with. Unfortunately, they won’t go away by being ignored – they must be faced, eventually.
Since most of us were not taught how to feel our feelings and cope with them effectively during childhood, we must learn how to do this as adults. This is where therapy can help. I see the role of the therapist as being like the torchbearer in a dark cavern. Most of us become therapists because we learned the value of it in our own lives, by being in therapy ourselves. We were shown the way, and now we help to lead our clients to healing, the way we were led to healing by the torchbearers that came before us.
Part of the work of therapy is about starting to look at and make sense of the stuff that we’ve locked away in that psychic basement. The wounds, the traumas, the times our environment did not meet our needs. The ways we were missed and misunderstood by those we cared about most. These things caused us emotional damage that absolutely can be healed – from the inside out. Through this process, we start to reveal a more whole, authentic sense of self and we discover who we truly are underneath the wounds. Here at Jade Tree, we specialize in this kind of deep healing work, which we call psychodynamic or psychoanalytic-oriented psychotherapy. Reach out to us today for a free consult to see how we can help you.