Ah-Ha Moments, Emotional Breakthroughs in Therapy

Emotional Breakthroughs in Therapy. We’re live again! I know, again! So I think, what are we going to talk about today?

Well we wanted to talk about Ah-Ha moments okay so those times in therapy where people go “oh my god I never thought about it that way.” Or something, because those are really the most rewarding. Yes, true.

Nothing is better than when you get someone to think about something in a new way. These are emotional breakthroughs.

So we talk about the terrible triad, we always talk about that.
Like my terrible three kids? No no not your kids haha!

Oh the triad, okay gotcha!

Your kids are adorable when they are here. Okay the triad being the three emotions, the negative emotions that everybody hides from. So, it’s anger, neediness, and sadness.

So this is at the heart of most emotional problems and so that’s the anger people that they feel is “bad or wrong.”  They try to bury it. Neediness they think it is weak, and sadness they do not understand that it is normal. Sadness IS normal! This, for us it’s like saying having eyes as normal.

It’s very hard to convince people who think it’s abnormal that these three emotions, anger, neediness, and sadness are normal.

So what they’re doing is trying to bury or hide those emotions.

And it’s like a blister where it’s the cover-up that causes all the problems, you know so it’s the hiding and pretending they don’t have it which comes in lots of forms.

They call that defending, they defend against it they turn it into its opposite. So an example with neediness, there are people that you know, they’re always taking care of other people’s needs.  They want to make sure everyone else is okay.  When it’s really, that they need something.

I think that’s one of the most common ones that I hear.

Yeah then we’ll say something along lines of “looks like you’re taking care of everybody else because you want to deny that you have any needs yourself they go “I don’t need any I don’t need anything” or sometimes they just think that neediness is a sign of weakness and it’s just normal.

right so we spend a lot of time trying to get people comfortable and to really believe. it’s funny that they think it can be normal for everybody else but not for themselves.  When comfortable with this, it will be an emotional breakthrough in therapy.

because you had a patient today who told you I don’t need anything I don’t need anybody. She was taking care of everybody else!

So that’s when we bring up pathological altruism which was a hot topic a year ago, I did a yahoo article about that.

Pathological Altruism, so where those two things seem like an oxymoron. How can they go together?

But when people are helping other people to the point where they’re hurting themselves then it’s pathological.

What do we see we with the anger?  Sometimes people they don’t acknowledge it they think they’re gonna blow up over something small. The bury and blow syndrome. That is a big one.

With sadness, they think that if they feel any sadness they might just crumble or may be unable to stop the sadness instead of it just letting it dissipate, or just feeling it. Feeling it where it dissipates.

I use the funeral analogy, you know you go to funerals because we want to emote just to get over it.

But for the people who feel that sadness is going to cause them to be ineffective, weak, or a “puddle on the floors” is how a lot of people describe it.

They often just, again they become very like almost robotic like, “okay I have no feelings” or they’re smiling.

You’ve had the patients with a smile and but they’re crying, or smile when they were saying something completely sad and terrible, but then like you said they’re smiling through a bad childhood
Experience saying “but it was great.” No it was not great.

That is a clue right there.

Most people are able to say I had I had an okay childhood there were some good and some bad.  But the people who say “I had the perfect childhood” yeah they’re usually ones covering up some kind of sadness because. Nothing is perfect, especially childhoods. It is not supposed to be. Here is something wrong if you are thinking it is perfect.

In general, if you pick up on this or if you have any sense that anger sadness or neediness are bad or wrong or weak or whatever then you may have already uncovered or may be on your way to figuring out some emotional problem without us! Maybe you are having an emotional breakthrough! But if you need help, we’re here this afternoon. Or Joelle is basically here answering the phone, You can call or send us a message any way you want to get in touch.