perplexed-1

This section is created with the utmost respect for the clients who contributed to it. The ability to laugh at yourself is of course, priceless. So thank you for your courage in sharing this.

Over my years (more than 27 since my first M.A. degree), I thought I had learned a thing or two about communicating knowledge and personal strategies for my clients in an effective manner. Or so I told myself anyway. I typically ask my clients to bring a journal and write down the information shared during sessions. I especially ask clients to do this when they tell me they have a good memory. As always, life brings so many surprises. Despite so much effort, it is very clear that people primarily process information based on their emotional state. Most physicians and other professionals my clients work with ask about what is being learned in treatment sessions. I am always wondering what they think when me and others like me are misquoted, or the information presented is completely misunderstood. My colleagues are probably scratching their chin in puzzlement and wondering, SHE SAID WHAT

One of my clients was working on physical pain. I explained in detail about some of the scripts, ideas, quotation, cliches, that are programmed into us by various members of society and how detrimental they are to our mental health. Typical quotes: “No pain, no gain.” As if we cannot make gains towards our goals without pain. OR “Pain and suffering bring us closer to god, create gifts in heaven etc.” This belief gives me serious indigestion. This client wrote things down and loves to share the wisdom gleamed in sessions with other family members. A few sessions later, after experiencing an episode of pain the journal was consulted. The interpretation made and shared was Pain and suffering brings us closer to god. SHE SAID WHAT

I always emphasize being aware of the language we use to communicate with ourselves. Language is of the utmost importance. When we use negative descriptors and words such as stupid we are hurting ourselves and others in our presence rather than helping ourselves. Self-talk or affirmations have a powerful effect on our mood and emotions. I help my clients create statements that help relieve whatever thought process is keeping them trapped. One of my clients, recovering from a physical injury proudly shared the following affirmation with the treatment team. “I love my pain.” SHE SAID WHAT