“All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world.” -Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers. When we reach out to someone else for guidance and support, with the intent of doing things differently and learning about ourselves and others, we begin the process of healing and letting go of the ties that bind from the past.
“In therapy, the goal is often to remove the obstacles, such as fear, guilt and shame, that prevent individuals from doing what they need to do,” says Dr. Jerry Duvinsky, in his life changing book: How To Lose Control And Gain Emotional Freedom: Embracing the “Dark” Emotions Through Integrative Mindful Exposure. Sometimes we can become so lost or trapped by negative emotions that we no longer see any options. We are unable to make any choices, because we have come to believe that there are none. We remain mired in negative situations such as bad relationships or miserable jobs, because past life experiences have taught us that we can’t escape. We believe that we will only suffer more if we try. So, we just keep our heads down and try not to cause any trouble. It feels awful. Familiar, yet unbearable.
According to Dr. Duvinsky, “[It] can be argued that people mostly know what they want and need in any given situation.” We know in our hearts what we want to do. We know what would be best for us, our families and our futures. Yet we don’t act. We remain afraid and ashamed, because sometime long ago someone very close to us told us we should…because that’s what they believed. They were passing on the worst sort of family tradition, abuse and neglect. Then we became adults who lack self-efficacy. So, if we know what is right for us, yet fail to act, what do we do instead in situations requiring action? We avoid and deny in an attempt to maintain control and stay safe. Only, it doesn’t work, and we continue to suffer.
In his book, Dr. Duvinsky shares that, “As a therapist, I often see it as my job to help my clients become more acutely aware of the great chasm or gulf that exists between what they are saying and doing, on one hand, and what they are thinking, feeling, and needing on the other.” He is careful to point out that this book is meant to be read in conjunction with seeing a therapist on a regular basis, not as a self-help book to be read alone. Understandably, we may have difficulty approaching and facing subjects of emotional intensity and vulnerability, however; this is exactly what Dr.Duvinsky is advocating. This is deep and difficult work, which requires the support of a trained psychotherapist. We must sit with our pain and fear and shame in the presence of a compassionate witness. To resist it and deny it, creates more and more of it.
Dr. Duvinsky states in his epilogue that, “It has been the enduring message of this book that it is in fact our very efforts to avoid emotional pain that produces much of our suffering.” If you feel like you are ready to work through your emotional pain and suffering in order to create a life full of abundance and meaning, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced mental health counselors.