We have all experienced some kind of hurt, pain and discomfort in our lives and it’s because of this commonality that we can relate to one another.
Whether it is pain in the form of having your heart broken by a loved one, facing rejection in school, at work or among friends, loss of some kind, mistreatment or a lack of support when it’s most needed, we have each faced some form of such difficulties.
How we cope with undesired relational events can truly impact us. Said another way, the ways in which we handle such pain can be relieving or healing.
An important question to ask is, what’s the difference?
Relief can be understood as a temporary pause from pain. For instance, when I twisted my ankle several months ago, the throbbing pain would pause for a moment when I found the right position to rest in. When I moved my ankle an inch in the wrong way, I was reminded of the root cause of the agony I felt; torn and overstretched muscles. As I needed to learn how to properly care for my ankle in order to bring healing to my muscles, emotional pain requires proper treatment as well.
Healing can be seen in many ways. There is physical healing our bodies naturally engage in when we are unwell. Emotional healing, on the other hand, does not come in a one-size-fits-all package.
One person can find healing via spiritual connection, whereas, another may feel the root of their emotional distress best addressed through supportive conversation with friends, or family. Others, need their time in nature and in a process of inner reflection, they begin to feel their inner wounds to shift in a helpful direction.
Within the counselling context, I’ve often worked with clients whom are looking to explore the deep waters of their emotions. ‘You need to feel it to heal it’ is a common phrase I refer to in explaining the most often difficult process of identifying, sitting in and processing a feeling or emotion.
On the flip side, some clients navigate their pain in doing some cognitive based work. We work together in learning about how painful external events can bring about harmful thoughts and beliefs that we hold to be true about ourselves. Digging deeper and focusing on creating helpful changes in our mindset about ourselves is a big part of cognitive-based work.
For most, it seems that healing is a multifaceted process, involving perhaps all of the above or bits and pieces of such factors.
From my own personal experience, I have found that what feels both relieving and healing combined, often begins by sharing and speaking out what has been kept inside.
Contact us today with one of our psychologists to begin, or perhaps, begin again, on your journey of healing.
~ Sara Alia, MC, R.Psych (Prov)