Category: Integrative Therapy

May 24, 2018

Empathy.  The common assumption is that the more we have, the better a person we are.  As with so many things in life, an “element of truth” is a very different thing than ‘the whole truth.  As an Integrative Therapist I get to see the results of this unexamined belief.  There’s a common theme I see in clients from care giving roles; including those caring for high needs family members, therapists, social workers and counselors. They’ve never been taught the difference between empathy and compassion.

Empathy is “entering” the person’s pain with them. Compassion is caring about the person and their pain.  The outcomes of these two perspectives are drastically different when it comes to caregiver stress, burnout and long-term effectiveness.  Someone once said “it’s hard to be objective if you’re up to your ass in alligators”.  When we allow ourselves to get sucked into the emotional pool with dependants or clients, we’re no longer seeing them through clear eyes.  We become far less capable caregivers or practitioners; as well as setting ourselves up for burnout.  A touch of empathy helps inform compassion.  Too much empathy becomes toxic to ourselves and degrades our ability to effectively function in our roles.

integrative therapy

Too much empathy makes the non-swimmer jump in to save the drowning person; forgetting they can’t swim.  Compassion leads them without panic, to quickly look for safe effective ways to help; without “tunnel vision”.

Intellectually understanding these critical differences may not change the underlying programming in the subconscious. We can intellectualize all we want, but the subconscious has tremendous influence. It will repeatedly take us back to our default assumptions; particularly when stressed. For most of us, these assumptions have been laid down from very early ages.   Long before we had the ability to question what we took in as truths about how we should be and function in the world.

This is where EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and related modalities shine. Over 400 published studies including brain imaging studies have shown the power of these tools. By using these techniques, we allow the conscious and subconscious minds to safely and effectively collaborate in bringing subconscious programming into the light of day, one piece at a time. Re-examining in the here and now, the whole truth, then reconsolidating these new perceptions and understandings.

Yours in good emotional health.

 

Author: David E P Gilbert. David is a highly experienced Integrative Therapist specializing in anxiety/depression, stress, burnout, grief, trauma and self-sabotage. He’s based at Whole Therapy and ECOSYS Wellness Center in Ottawa ON. Canada. Being trained in a number of modalities including Emotional Freedom Techniques and PTT (Picture Tapping Techniques), he works with clients both in-office and via phone or video cam across North America. Work so powerful it’s guaranteed
May 10, 2018

During well over a decade of using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT or Tapping) in my practice, I’ve worked with many individuals suffering various stages of loss.  We all face grief or loss at some point in our lives. For most it’s a painful but appropriate honoring and recognition of that which is gone; followed by the usual stages of recovery.  Too often however, I see clients who are stuck. They just can’t let go of the pain; even if it’s been years.

 

In each case to date, it’s been subconscious beliefs which have held them hostage to the pain. Robbing them of access to happy memories and preventing them from being free to heal and once again live satisfying lives.  With EFT, we’ve started with the smallest pieces or aspects at the top of the pile of thoughts or feelings. Then step by step we’ve moved further as each of these small aspects lost their power to cause distress. By moving at a pace the subconscious felt safe with, most have found they’ve been quite painlessly and rapidly able to access the root harmful beliefs. Letting the conscious and subconscious mind collaborate in bringing them into the  light where they can be rewritten to fit their current reality.

 

These subconscious beliefs are most commonly:

  • My feelings of grief and/or loss are all I have left of that person or relationship. If I let go of them it will be the final loss. I’ll be left totally bereft and that’s too hard; or even unimaginable.
  • If I let go of the pain it will mean I didn’t care enough. What kind of person would I be? Recovery would be a betrayal.
  • Guilt; even when the conscious mind knows the guilt is not reasonable. “I don’t deserve to let go or be happy again”.
  • It’s my identity. If I let go of the pain and grief I won’t know who I am.
  • It’s too late for me. Life has already passed me by and there’s no point in trying.

 

In some cases clients haven’t realized they’ve been stuck.  Believing the painful feelings were useless, they stuffed them in a hole and clamped the lid down hard. Unfortunately these locked away feelings didn’t just evaporate.  The process left them emotionally disconnected; both from themselves and others. Depending on family history, culture and life experiences, anyone can find themselves victims of this invisible emotional prison.

Once freed from these subconscious “traps” clients report a wealth of memories of happier times flooding in.  Instead of being frozen in the moment of loss, that brief period of time becomes one slim volume in the entire library of their years of experience with that person.  The same applies where instead it’s been the loss of a beloved pet or valued position.

For some, just the understanding of what’s been keeping them locked in such a painful place can be enough to allow them to recover.  Others may benefit most from a few sessions with a qualified and experienced EFT practitioner.

 

To your good life.

 

 

Author: David E P Gilbert. David is a highly experienced Integrative Therapist with particular focus on feelings of anxiety/depression, stress, burnout, grief, trauma, post-concussion syndrome and self-sabotage. He’s based at Whole Therapy and ECOSYS Wellness Center in Ottawa ON. Canada. Being trained in a number of modalities including Emotional Freedom Techniques, PTT (Picture Tapping Techniques) and Somatic Oscillation, he works with clients both in-office and via phone or video cam across North America. For most situations and care options he provides clients with a money back guarantee.

 

The above is not intended as medical advice. As always, consult with your physician before making changes.

Posted in Integrative Therapy, Wellness by David Gilbert