Emotional Release Work
The stories I hear from my clients are about loss, neglect and abandonment. About physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. I listen to the ways my clients avoid their pain, anger and fear. They overeat. Do drugs. Smoke. Drink. Gamble. Take anti-depressants. Shop. Keep busy. When they come to see me they feel lonely. Depressed. Unhappy in their relationships and work. They're looking for help. They want to be happy. They want to love and be loved. What we all want.
I tell my clients that their emotions are just as important as their physical, intellectual and spiritual well-being. Each part has a purpose, and each wants to be taken care of. I tell them that their emotions offer valuable information about themselves and about how they're being treated. Emotions let them know the truth about a situation. Although some of them are messy, uncomfortable, painful and difficult, they can be trusted. And I tell them that it’s okay to feel what they’re feeling. That’s why they have emotions—to feel.
Like most of us, my clients were taught to shut down their emotions. First by their parents and other family members, then by their teachers, friends, partners and employers. But repressing anger, sadness and fear doesn't heal trauma, it buries it, which results in making unhealthy choices. Choices that mirror the wounds still inside.
I've yet to find a magic pill that removes traumatic experiences. And I've yet to find a shortcut to circumvent feeling repressed emotions. But there is a way out…it’s through feeling. What I know is that anger, sadness and fear are energies that want to move out of the body. Just as infants and children naturally express their emotions, we can give ourselves permission to feel our feelings again. All of them, in the safety of a healing environment.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was a psychiatrist who created the emotional release technique I use in my wholistic counseling practice. Elisabeth knew that talking alone won’t heal emotions. Neither will drugs. After leaving the medical profession, Elisabeth held workshops around the world, teaching thousands of people how to release their backlog of emotions safely and appropriately. I took her facilitator training and have been sharing this technique since 1984.
This is not a quick fix. And like doing anything worthwhile, deep inner work requires patience, perseverance and commitment. If your life is not what you want it to be, it may be time to feel your feelings. Holding them inside keeps you stuck. Limited. Feeling unworthy. When you allow your emotions to flow, you free yourself to become more creative, trusting, joyful and balanced.