'Shame dies when stories are told in safe places'
Feeling heard is a basic need we all have-when have you last felt really heard by someone?
Life can feel very heavy when we are holding back stories and experiences that have never been left out of the darker recesses of our minds.
Carrying these stories can be a very lonely and isolating experience.
There can be intense fear about what other people will think of us and how we may be judged. We may feel that we would never be able to tell our family members or closest friends about these experiences.
The space provided in psychotherapy allows you the opportunity to finally release the weight of everything you have been carrying in a non-judgemental space and without any pressure on you to speak.
It often takes some time before clients are ready to open up to me about their past experiences. It can take time to trust a therapist you have just met. It is important you feel safe and trusting of the therapist so you do not feel rushed or expected to go into details about stories you do not want to relive.
Often we may have feelings of shame buried deep inside that stop us from speaking out about our experiences.
Shame gathers immense power when it is unspeakable.
We may feel that our lives become smaller and smaller as a result of the inner shame we are experiencing.
"If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive," says Dr. Brene Brown.
When we are ready and we feel safe to open up, speaking about our experiences and how we survived difficulties can show us where we feel authentically proud of how we made it through.
Psychotherapy is about real connection and relationship, the willingness to be vulnerable and open with someone who is safe.
The beauty of being heard is that we get to see that we are not alone in our experience and someone can witness our inner pain.
'Shame dies in places when stories are told in safe spaces'- Ann Voskamp.