The Relief of Naming a Problem in a Safe Space

Liesel Teversham

Liesel helps HSP introverts to embrace their sensitivity as a superpower, and overcome obstacles so they can thrive. She also works with clients to solve their health issues, and has authored 2 books. More here.

Published on 2019/08/29

In the past few weeks I’ve worked with several private clients who all expressed this. Their words were something like:

“What a relief to ADMIT this!”

“It’s so good to just NAME it!”

“I’m finally acknowledging and accepting that this is how this situation is…. “

Followed by a huge sigh of relief by each of these clients.

Why is this important?

We all have numerous coping mechanisms in place to deal with problems that feel overwhelming. We can suppress it, repress it, deny it, ignore it, or do something addictive to feel better about it (like over-eating, shopping, watching TV, playing games, over-exercising and so on.)

The one thing we’re not doing while the above is going on, is FACE it. It’s only when we face the facts, see it for what it is and come to accept the truth of it, that we can do something about it.

We’re trying to ignore, suppress, deny it because it feels too big to face. Because when we DO stare it in the eye, we might need to make a difficult decision… “what will I DO about this now?” It’s virtually impossible to make good decisions when we’re stressed out and having conflicting emotions.

Why can people suddenly face difficult facts during a session?

#1 It’s a safe space, with zero judgment. Only compassion, and empathy.

#2 We safely process each emotion about the difficult facts. We often have very confusing emotions about something… a mixture of sadness, anger, grief, hurt, fear, anxiety, rage, shame, loss, regret, blame…. When those emotions are firmly in place, it’s very hard to accept facts. It still hurts too much. Processing each emotion, giving it airtime and kindness (because emotions are there for a reason), creates space in the body, mind and nervous system. Space for something else…. Like acceptance and peace.

#3 Being witnessed with kindness. We usually feel very, very alone with our biggest problems. People often cannot discuss it with anyone for fear of judgment, rejection, shame and so on. We’re built for connection and relationships. When our pain and deepest fears are witnessed by another human being, and they still look at us with loving eyes, miracles of healing are possible. We’re meant to heal in the presence of another.

#4 Did I mention a kind space where every single emotion and thought are welcome? Nothing is “too much.”

A field of calmness

After each of the conflicting emotions has been processed and released, a very calm, neutral space arrives. It’s like a massive opening…. Like standing in a big, vast field below a beautiful, open, blue sky….. no boundaries, no limits… just a lovely feeling of freedom from the emotional struggle and inner conflicts.

It is SUCH a relief to arrive in this vast neutral relief-field. No solutions need to be found; nothing needs to be DONE yet. Just feeling the peace and calm without all the turmoil is mind-blowing.

An important part of healing

Acceptance is not resignation or giving up. It’s not admitting that I’m a failure, that I didn’t do it right, that I should’ve done it differently.

It’s a calmness about what IS, without needing to change it. A sacred moment.

Naming a problem and accepting the facts is SUCH an important part of healing. We cannot move on from a place, if we don’t accept where we are. There’s no way we can begin to chart a new course, a new direction, if we don’t have the full understanding and acceptance of the current situation.

The peace on a face when someone is able to name the problem without the anguish… priceless.


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