NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Welcoming All Emotions

These simple words, "All emotions are welcome here" touched me deeply.  

These words, which were  spoken by an online facilitator in a support group for therapists, were said with such genuine kindness, acceptance and caring that it provided the metaphorical container and holding environment that we all need as we go through the physical, emotional and spiritual challenges during this pandemic (see my articles: Common Reactions to COVID-19: Fear and Anxiety,  The Powerful Impact of Kindness and Reframing Social Connection With Intentionality).

All Emotions Are Welcome Here

So often well-meaning people, who are struggling with accepting their own emotional vulnerability, have difficulty hearing someone else's pain.

In their desire to be uplifting, they unintentionally override the other person's sadness, grief and anger by telling them prematurely to "Be positive" or "Be strong," which makes the other person feel that their emotions are unacceptable in some way or that they're "weak" (see my article: Common Myths About Psychotherapy: Going to Therapy Means You're "Weak".

While it's true that, as we deal with the challenges of this global pandemic, some of us are more fortunate than others, most people are struggling with a myriad of emotions as time goes by.  It's important to feel that all emotions, no matter how difficult, are accepted and acceptable (see my article: Resilience: Accepting Your Negative Emotions).

You might think that telling someone that you accept where they are emotionally might not be enough to soothe them, but keeping an open heart and mind and remaining in empathic resonance with another person is truly a gift that he or she might not receive from anyone else.

If you're feeling too emotionally vulnerable to delve into someone else's feelings, that's okay.  You can respond by simply saying, "I'm here for you" or "I care about you."

If words don't come at all, you can convey your love and caring by looking at them through your online connection and putting your hand on your heart.

At this time when so many people are trying to make sense of their emotions, when words don't come to you, whatever non-verbal loving gesture you can make will be received like a healing balm by your loved ones when you convey it with a loving intention.

Getting Help in Therapy
The concept of "starting where the client is" is the hallmark of good therapy.  Meeting and accepting the client wherever they are emotionally is the beginning of healing for them.

Many therapists, including me, are providing online therapy (also known as teletherapy or telehealth) during the COVID-19 crisis (see my article: Advantages of Online Therapy When You Can't See Your Therapist in Person).

If you're feeling overwhelmed, you're not alone.  Getting the emotional support that you need is crucial now.

Taking the first step of making that phone call to get help is often the most difficult, and it's also the start of healing.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT and Somatic Experiencing therapist (see my article: The Therapeutic Benefits of Integrative Psychotherapy).

I work with individual adults and couples.

I am providing online therapy while I am out of the office.

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.