There is so much misconception about trauma work and handling heavy feelings. Traditionally we were told to open things up and assume that they will fall into the right places and we can move on. Or that those traumatic experiences of others do not touch us, and we can act as a blank page.
Asking for help takes courage, but it pays off. You do not have to suffer alone; you do not need to carry a load of heavy feelings on your own. Reach out, ask for help, and ask for specific tips or practical help. Whatever you need to process the ending you are going through.
Earlier, I mentioned discussing endings, but sometimes the emotions are so tangled and heavy that it may be challenging to vocalise them. We may need other forms of communication – we can use creativity to express them or maybe work with our bodies – go for a walk, dance, shake it out or sit still and hold those feelings in our awareness. Remember that becoming aware of our emotions and finding ways to express them can feel healing.
Talking about endings can feel hard at first, but it can also be quite liberating. As they say: a load shared is a load halved. A lot of healing comes from social interactions, validation, and acknowledging our feelings. Sometimes that is all we need to pause and put the heavy feelings down; reflect before moving on.
That’s what we do during our coaching and counselling training: we learn about the importance of endings and practice holding those for and with our clients. We read, discuss and reflect on the science of grief, identity changes, loss, final stages of work and other endings to feel more equipped to support our clients safely. You can do this too.
Thinking about endings can sometimes feel scary, especially when dealing with complex grief, suicide, traumatic loss or sudden changes in our reality. It may feel right to pause, switch off our feelings, or dissociate even. However, accepting our feelings and exploring them safely may help the healing.
This month, I would like to talk about endings because I had many of them recently and learned a lot about the importance of handling them well – especially in therapeutic and coaching work.
“Why should I have anything to complain about?” – dealing with individual and collective trauma all at once
People often ask me why I am so open about my emotions online, even as a coach and counsellor. Here is why – my vulnerability helps me heal.