Suppressing Your Thoughts And Feelings Seems Right, But It Isn’t.

In the current world there is a general belief that if an emotion is too hard you just suppress it. Force it under.

One of the main styles of therapy that is presented as “the correct way” to be and to operate tells you that these uncomfortable thoughts and emotions are faulty and wrong. You just have to work harder. You have to will harder. You can over come this.

But the truth is all the will in the world will not heal those uncomfortable thoughts and emotions.

I Failed Magic Wand Class

I see a lot of people who come to me for that style of therapy. They think it will be like a magic wand that I wave and in a few sessions they will be all fixed.

If only it were so.

The Myth Of Instant Gratification

We all want things to be achieved instantly.

Instead of working hard at following a correct diet and activity regime, we want to take a pill to lose weight.

Instead of working through those uncomfortable emotions. Instead of allowing time for those emotions to heal. Instead of allowing time for our brains to make the necessary changes to heal. Instead of doing all this we want it to be better instantly.

Having to work at something is hard and in this modern world with instant everything working at something is not what we have been taught to expect or have to do.

So maybe you come to me expecting instant results.

The Reality Of Healing

Sometimes the difficulty you are experiencing can be resolved with one or two counselling sessions.

Other times the difficulty will need longer.

Maybe your expectations have been raised by the passion for “the correct way”. You expect I will tell you what is wrong with you and you will do some homework and exercises and keep them up and you will be all better.

After all, it is so much easier to push things down and pretend they don’t exist than deal with them.

Isn’t it?

The Lure Of Running From Those Uncomfortable Feelings

So you run from those uncomfortable feelings. But they come after you.

So you run from them with alcohol, or cigarettes, or drugs or other addictions.

That works for a while, until the effects wear off. Then what do you do?

Running Is Like The Scab Over A Cut

As a former Registered Nurse, I liken the suppressing of uncomfortable thoughts and feelings to a scab that has formed over a cut.

You cut yourself, it hurts and it bleeds. Your body starts work immediately, defending from infection and commencing healing. First you will see a scab form. Ah! Its getting better.

But is it?

If all goes well, the scab forms, healing occurs underneath and the scab eventually falls off to reveal healed skin underneath.

But it doesn’t always go well.

Under that scab there is an infection. Pus forms and is trapped underneath the scab. That cut hurts. That cut is not healing as you thought it should.

The pus builds up. The cut hurts more.

I watched a colleague once remove the scab on a man’s leg. Her comment is so relevant here.

“I never trust a scab. It hides things that shouldn’t be there.”

She had noticed the signs of infection under the scab.

Scab removed, the cut was able to be cleaned and the infection cleared up. Not overnight, but over a matter of days with continued cleansing until the infection was cleared.

Counselling is like that.

Healing Requires Work and Time

If you want to resolve those uncomfortable thoughts and feelings you need to work at them.

I am not going to tell you that your thoughts are “faulty”. They aren’t.

I am not going to instruct you to not think about them. I will help you examine them to find what lies underneath them.

I may not seem to be “working” with you, but I am.

I Trust You To Be Able To Heal, Maybe With Help

I trust you as a person to have the ability to heal those uncomfortable thoughts and feelings with my assistance.

By assistance I mean that I will help you identify what is actually going on. I will tell you that what you are experiencing is a normal way for your brain to respond to your circumstances. Then I will help you work with your brain as it heals.

I will help you understand the unconscious parts of your brain that you cannot control consciously. I will help you heal those, which will often involve feeling into your body as well as allowing your brain to express itself through art, sand play, movement or other expressive methods.

I will tell you that things take time. Because your brain can’t rebuild new neural circuits overnight. Expect a few months at least.

I Don’t Use A Magic Wand

Whatever you do, don’t be like the people who come expecting me to wave my magic wand and make you all better in one session. See the start of progress, no matter how slight, as the wonderful evidence that healing has started.

And don’t tell your children they just need some “strategies” to cope with those painful thoughts and emotions when what they actually need is compassion and understanding that what is happening in their life hurts and it is okay to hurt.

Soldiering On Doesn’t Work

Wanting to be able to just “soldier on” was a wonderful marketing ploy for a drug company selling cold and flu tablets. We apply solider on to everything, including emotional pain. But there is no instant fix and even the “soldier on” message has been shown to be the worst treatment for those colds and flu.

Allow time. If you need to see a counsellor expect it to not be instant and be very wary of someone who tells you your thoughts are “faulty”.

In The Next Blog

I mentioned the pain of dealing with painful thoughts and emotions.

In the past few weeks I have seen a lot of people who have struggled with other people inadvertently causing them pain through their questions.

How are you? To the person struggling to cope with the death of their partner.

What is your job? To the person just made redundant.

What do your parents do? To the teenager who is grieving the death of their father.

These seemingly innocent comments can cause a lot of pain. So what can you do to avoid those foot in mouth blunders?

I will talk more about this in my next blog.t

Can I Help?

In the meantime, if you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with managing your thoughts and feelings, please contact me on 0409396608 or

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with helpful information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here:

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