Emotions are powerful and confusing forces that can disrupt the quality of life we want to live when they grow to an overwhelming intensity. Common reactions to the experience of emotional distress include: denying the emotions are occurring, suppressing the emotions to continue functioning, and engaging in something (anything) to distract one’s self from the unpleasant experiences. Unfortunately, while effective in the short term, denial, suppression, and distraction from unpleasant emotions usually makes them grow more intense and last longer.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, the first step to gaining relief from emotional distress is courageously connecting with the emotion and allowing it time for expression. In my therapy office, I provide a safe environment for people to be fully open and honest about the emotions they are experiencing. There is no judgment or criticism for the expression of emotional distress in the therapy office. Only compassion, understanding, and safety.