Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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And here's what he said on this subject

Posted by Dinah on April 16, 2005, at 17:36:54

In reply to I spoke to my therapist about this today crushedout, posted by Dinah on April 16, 2005, at 10:47:11

He said, no, there wasn't an "emotional holding class". But that the things they are tought do contribute to the atmosphere that makes emotional holding possible and that an experienced therapist learns how to go about it through experience.

He said that part of it was to just be accepting of the client's pain, and to put aside the natural instinct to try to fix. I told him that it didn't necessarily happen when I was in pain.

So he asked me to figure out when it did happen, and what was going on. I told him I wasn't sure, but that I knew I wasn't always upset when I felt held. And that it occurred to me to wonder how much of it was what they did, and how much of it was from the holdee.

I think he was thinking this out as we discussed it. I've probably made him self conscious now and he'll never be able to do it again.

He said that he had attended a seminar once on one aspect of what he thinks I mean. That it was about learning to create a listening place inside of you (the therapist) to hold and really hear what the client is saying. That ties in with my picture of him as open and receptive with a firm solid core.

He also thought that the therapist and the client together build a relationship, and that relationship is sort of like an energy force between them. And that sometimes the therapist might pour more energy into the field than at other times, and the same from the client. And that when both are focussed and intent and pouring lots of energy into the relationhip and being totally present, or something like that, that the energy between the therapist and client creates the emotional holding.

I sort of like that, because it becomes a mutual thing rather than something the therapist does to us. And I've always known, on a gut level, that emotional holding isn't like a bear hug. Someone can't grab you and emotionally hold you. It's got to be an experience you put something into as well.

He was surprised that most of us experienced it as something that happened only in therapy. He thinks it's something that can happen between lovers or good friends or close family as well. He acknowledges that many people who are drawn to the field are probably good natural emotional holders. But when I asked, he said there was no reason I couldn't learn to emotionally hold others. I'd really like to learn to emotionally hold my son. What a wonderful gift that would be.

Anyway, that's emotional holding from the perspective of a person who's rather uncommonly good at it.




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