A client question I’ve heard a number of times over the years:
“Why do I have to keep revisiting difficult scenes in my past?”
“I’m in a tears every time – is it really helping? Why do I have to keep going back there? Can’t I just not think about it and move on?”
I completely get it.
It is painful to go back and look at some of the things that have caused us distress. That’s why we usually keep it suppressed and ignored.
It’s not easy or nice to revisit painful places. That’s why it’s simply not wise to do it by ourselves! It can lead to emotional overload.
I want to clear up a possible misunderstanding
It’s important for healing and moving on to understand what’s happening in these cases.
Whatever brings us distress or the feeling that “I don’t want to look there it’ll upset me” is still unhealed.
I have been working with EFT to clear out painful emotions for the past 15 years.
We sometimes need to revisit events multiple times, because there are multiple layers that will present itself for healing. Every time we go to a past event, it’s useful to “tap” for the emotional charge that may be left.
In talk therapy we can endlessly call up the old scenes and talk about them ad nauseum – and nothing shifts. We simply ‘rearrange the furniture’.
In the work I do, it’s the tapping (EFT) that does the healing, not the talking. That’s what’s different about EFT.
Clients sometimes say “But I have done work with EMDR or (another Reiki/Journaling/other modalities)”.
The simple truth is: When there are still tears or an emotion about a piece of our past, the healing work isn’t complete.
Healing is always a work in progress.
If there are still tears, it doesn’t mean we did it wrong, or we are bad, or the therapist was bad, or it was the wrong modality. Each bit we do helps. Sometimes the work on that piece is simply not complete yet.
This is especially true for childhood trauma where we experienced the same thing over and over and over…. It can, and often does take multiple “visits” to heal all the parts of it.
We work kindly, gently, in small steps. And we don’t retraumatise. There are safe techniques that helps us to do that.
Again. It doesn’t mean it hasn’t worked if we still feel emotions about something. It just means there are more layers than we could heal in one or two sessions. If we experienced something in childhood 50 or 100 times, there might be a few layers to clear out, don’t you think?
The human nervous system is one of (or possibly THE) most complex systems on earth. We cannot dictate how it should or must respond to our healing efforts.
The bottom line: if there is still strong emotion, there’s more healing to do.
Please see if you can bring some kindness and compassion for yourself. We don’t shed all our excess weight in 2 days. Neither do we shed all our emotional baggage in one or two sessions. Patience, kindness, compassion and persistence are our allies.
Liesel helps sensitive introverts to see their sensitivity as a superpower, love their work and practice awesome self-care so they can be energized and make a difference in a meaningful and fulfilling way. She helps them to overcome the fear of being visible, avoiding the spotlight and conflict, being ‘too nice’, perfectionism and procrastination.
She’s the author of “No Problem. The Upside of Saying No”, which is a handbook for those who struggle to say no, are overwhelmed and exhausted.
Click here to read about the book.