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The Blog

Filtering by Tag: process your emotions

Lessons from Infancy: Cry Baby, Cry

Emily Porta

From time to time, people sit in my office and cry. But then, they apologize for it, feel embarrassed, overwhelmed and insecure by the tears streaming down their face. Tears have a voice. They are saying something too. Infants have no troubles crying. It is how they communicate. There are different cries for different needs or emotions. And just like infants, we cry differently depending on the emotion. Have you ever laughed with a friend until you cried. Oh! What a wonderful feeling! Or have you ever been so overwhelmed that words could not express and so you cried, relieving so much tension. That is a good feeling as well. 

The other day I heard a little boy say to his father, "you know you are tough if you don't cry. I am tough." His father kinda blew him of. What an opportunity to teach! Actually, it is brave to cry as an adult. We feel childlike often when we cry, but it is a primal thing to do. This comes back to being comfortable in our own skin with our own feelings. 

If you ever come to my counseling office, I have 3 boxes of tissues, because I am comfortable with the tears. Being a therapist means listening to them, as they each fall and understanding what they are trying to convey. So next time you need to cry, do it. Don't apologize. Feelings are feelings, they don't need an apology, they need to be expressed.

Guided Imagery: Creating a Place of Your Own

Emily Porta

I have been using guided imagery more and more in my practice. I find it is a great way to create a safe place for you to go to when you are stressed and overwhelmed. You can bring a mental image to mind of a place that is calming and peaceful, noting the sounds, smells, tastes, and colors around you. Your body automatically responds as if you are there - breathing slows, heart rate normalizes, and muscle tension releases.

However another great way to use guided imagery is to process your emotions. Often if a person has unresolved conflict with someone with whom they no longer are in relationship with, guided imagery can help them go to that place with a person and tell them what they feel and what they need. And just like in the safe place, your brain responds as if it is actually happening. Resentment can dissipate, fear will no longer be prominent, and sometimes even forgiveness arises.

Effective counseling is about using the tools that help the person. There are many tools and many different styles of therapies. Not all of them are for everyone. But you might be surprised what happens when you do seek out to change your brain - it will change your mood, your heart, your soul and your life.