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What Does "Feeling" Have to Do With It?

So, you have been in talk therapy for years. You have made sense of your family dynamic. You understand the way that the patterns in your early relationships seep into today. You have even done your own deep dive of research to REALLY grasp the subject of attachment styles. Yet, you aren’t necessarily feeling all that much… better?


Yes, you feel great when you leave therapy. You had that weekly release, and you aren’t feeling so alone with what you have been facing.  You really like your therapist, and you feel like your relationship has been a supportive force in your life. But something feels like it is missing. You struggle to identify it, and that feels frustrating for someone who thrives on “making sense of things.”


That thing that might be missing, is…feeling. For us intellectualizers (yep, this is something that this therapist has been working on for a lifetime as well!), we have developed this strategy of keeping things “in the head.” We have learned that when we just think, think, think, about it, we can actually disconnect from feeling it, embodying it, and experiencing it. We can think in leu of feeling. This can be an extremely adaptive, protective mechanism to keep us feeling safe and in control.


Talk therapy is wonderful in so many ways, AND, it can also almost intensify that “intellectual part.” By talking about it, we continue to keep things relatively cognitive, up in our mind. We often speak to our therapist from a “narrator” part, telling the story of our life, without connecting to the emotionality and feelings behind it. Again, this is quite adaptive (per usual; our bodies are wildly intelligent). Our bodies are the site of all our experiences. They hold onto much more than we can consciously process and acknowledge. Our intellectualizer part swoops in to maintain a disconnection from that body, from that trauma. It might feel extremely scary and overwhelming to connect with our bodies. AND, to really move “past” some of the pain, moving “through” the pain can be important.


There is a myriad of therapeutic approaches that work from a more body-based, experiential perspective. These approaches can help guide you in tuning in to and connecting with your body (in a supportive environment where you are no longer alone in the pain!)  Some of these approaches might be somatic therapies, internal family systems, dance/movement therapy, EMDR, and so forth.


Growing a relationship with what is taking place inside of our body can be a crucial part of our healing journeys. Turning inwards and really feeling might just be the thing you have been looking for in therapy!


Interested in learning more about therapy with me?

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