NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Feeling Alive Again After a Period of Stagnation

In Elizabeth Strout's book, Olive Kitteridge, one of the characters named Harmon has a realization that he is feeling alive again after a long period of emotional stagnation (see my article: Recapturing a Sense of Aliveness).

Feeling Alive Again After a Period of Time

His realization happens one day when an older customer, Bessie, comes into his store and she tells him how lonely she feels.  The author describes Harmon's awakening experience as "some skin that had stood between himself and the world seemed to have been ripped away, and everything was close, and frightening."

It seems that Harmon's empathy for Bessie's loneliness touched him deeply.  After he overcomes his anxiety, he realized that he needed to make certain major life decisions (I don't want to give away the specifics because the book is worthy reading without having any spoilers from me).

As a psychotherapist, I have seen this type of awakening many times, and Elizabeth Stout gives a sensitive, insightful and realistic portrayal of how people often come to this realization.

Feeling Alive Again After a Period of Stagnation

Similar to Harmon's experience, people often realize retrospectively that they're feeling alive again.  This realization can come from simple experiences, like being able to listen to music again after a period of not being able to tolerate hearing certain music or feeling like dancing again or the experience of falling in love again.

Feeling Alive Again After a Period of Stagnation

The renewed feeling of aliveness, however it happens, is a reminder of what aliveness feels like.  For people who haven't had this sense of aliveness before, it's a new experience of how vibrant life can feel.

In retrospect, people who recapture a sense of aliveness often say that they remember feeling alive before a period of stagnation set in.

Often hard to describe, a feeling of aliveness is usually an integrated mind-body experience that can also feel transcendent.

Getting Help in Therapy
People often come to therapy because they feel that, somewhere along the way, they lost their zest for life and they want to capture a sense of aliveness again (see my article: The Benefits of Psychotherapy).

Somatic Experiencing can help people to feel alive again (see my article:Why Experiential Psychotherapy is Often More Effective Than Regular Talk Therapy).

Rather than struggling on your own, you could get help from a psychotherapist who is an experiential therapist and who uses Somatic Experiencing (see my articles: How to Choose a Psychotherapist).

Feeling alive again makes life much more meaningful and fulfilling.

About Me
I am a NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist (see my article:  The Therapeutic Benefits of Integrative Psychotherapy).

I work with individual adults and couples, and I have helped many clients to recapture a sense of aliveness.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.