Culture tells us that emotions make us weak, soft or broken if in abundance. This narrative will have us believe that there is something wrong with us when feeling emotional and it can lead us to disconnect from ourselves.
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I used to really believe this and as a highly sensitive person, that was hard to bear.
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However, the more I go along in this work, I feel that this idea couldn’t be further from the truth. Our capacity to be with our emotions gives us a great sense of inner wisdom and is fierce as hell. We are better able to help ourselves when we allow ourselves to feel our emotions. They are a crucial data point to our understanding how to navigate life, if you will.
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And, yet, it’s hard to undo this acculturation with logic alone.
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This is where “feeling with” comes into play and, to me, this is where things get interesting. While there are many tools that are helpful in therapy, this complexly simple idea of “feeling with” is unique and powerful. It’s also not often cultivated through professional training alone.
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It’s the kind of tool that ironically gets stronger through doing one’s own personal work and finding the courage to allow some humanness to show up with clients in a safe, differentiated way. As feminist therapists would say — “the personal is professional and the professional is personal.”
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When we are able to maintain a grounded stance and “feel with” it’s like a spark. It fosters acknowledgement and the sense that one is not alone with this feeling. It conveys the possibility that this feeling can be safely experienced. And, thus, opens a safe passageway for clients to connect to their feelings and their own self-sufficiency.
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This also has a ripple effect in our lives in the ways we interact with others. It’s kinda magical. Can you imagine a world where this was the norm? I think it’d be pretty freakin’ amazing.

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