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Leading Someone Where You Haven't Gone

Updated: Apr 26

If we learn to confront others experiences with a guard, protecting ourselves from moving too deeply into the waters, we can likely perpetuate more insecurity for our client.

Last week, I had just finished up a four-day externship for Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. One of the very important notes that really sat with me was, “you can’t take your clients where you haven’t gone before.” Because EFT is very centered on exploring underlying emotion and attachment needs, we have to acknowledge the value that comes with processing one’s own emotions.


As therapists, we have to also remember that we’re only human. If a client sits in that chair in front of us, and they’re exploring a deep-rooted trauma history, we must walk through that experience with them. It takes a few steps to get to that underlying emotion, but secure attachment is a golden compass to processing underlying emotions. As Emotionally-Focused therapists, we don’t necessarily believe we can completely shutoff our emotions to show up for our client. Again, “we’re only human,” and we might walk through a client’s experience, whilst holding deeply to pieces of the pain the client is addressing.


There may likely be times where you feel as though you’ve struggled so much with opening up to people and have grown so accustomed to being shut down immediately. Our goal is to create emotional safety in this space, allowing you to open up freely, knowing that we will journey through the troubled waters together. If we aren’t aware of our own trauma or neglect, we can miss out on attuning to the pieces of the puzzle that our clients are trying to piece together for us.


While there will be clients that have endured events that speak to experiences outside of our own history, we can learn to empathetically and softly approach the feelings that come from these experiences. Both of us here believe there is value in continued growth, and in order to maintain that pathway to processing emotion, we also have resources for self-growth, including access to a mental health therapist.


I could be the first piece of a growing puzzle for clients. There have been moments that I’ve sat in front of someone and said, “it hurts me that you had to walk through that experience on your own.” This gave me an opportunity to, not only reflect on the loneliness in someone’s pain, but the value of knowing that, even when they had no one to approach or trust to process this pain with, they have a secure attachment in this space now. We are steppingstones to building that security and safety outside of our office spaces.


If we learn to confront others experiences with a guard, protecting ourselves from moving too deeply into the waters, we can likely perpetuate more insecurity for our client.


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It is our intention to create and cultivate closer connections for clients that are suffering from traumas or lasting effects of neglect. Trying to embrace these experiences on your own can be more damaging than comforting. It is valuable to turn to those we build safety and trust with and process our underlying emotions. Doing so can help guide us to meeting unmet needs from our past relationships.


If you’re hoping to process some difficult history, and you’re looking for a space to do so, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re happy to walk through the journey with you, at a pace that is safe for you. Thanks!


#CultivateConnectionCounseling #safety #processing #CounselorinWA #EmotionallyFocusedTherapy #Counselors #Relationships #Mentalhealthblog

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