Mark T. Palmer, PhD
Call Me : 720-271-2199
In many cases, men and women have been led to believe that they should not let their emotions show or at any rate, only a limited amount of emotion is allowed. They have chosen or been forced to hide the sides of themselves that might appear vulnerable. This means that emotions such as fear, anxiety, and sadness have been considered "weaknesses" and men have learned to hide them or to expect others (often their female partners, parents, or friends) to hold them for them. Or, they bury them deep within expecting they are safely locked away, only to find them leaping out unexpectedly and sometimes uncontrolled. Unfortunately, this attitude has all to often been a characteristic of men's psychology. For women, it is often the case that they have been accused of being too emotional or expecting too much emotions from others. This may lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, or self-doubt.
One of the most consistently held beliefs in psychology is that when we hold our emotions and feelings inside or deny them, sooner or later they find a way to come out unconsciously and beyond our control. This happens in dramatic and destructive ways leading to frustration, anger, resentment, and even aggression. Of course, men and women experience the same things, and in our society and in our times, we appear to more often fall into this pattern and often pay a price in terms of anxiety, lost relationships, and other problems. Thus, there is a need to address emotional issues and difficulties in counseling and psychotherapy that creates a safe and confidential place for them to learn to express themselves positively.
In individual psychotherapy, we find a safe place to unpack the emotions we have been pushing farther and farther down inside ourselves. Sometimes, we find feelings that we never knew existed and that they have been influencing us all along. Individual sessions are a place to express what we feel without shame or negative consequences, to listen to ourselves, to safely experiment and find out what is genuine, what is useful, and what is the appropriate and safe way to express ourselves. I have a model for discovering and dealing with emotions that allows to discover their origins, the processes by which they operate, and to find points at which we can intervene and control the emotion processes. Understanding, discovery, and expression lead to greater awareness and an appropriate and productive level of control
Our best chances for being happy and relating positively with others is to truly know what we feel and what we really need and to practice telling that to other people in a way that increases our chances of realizing success for ourselves and for our relationships. From my Jungian therapy perspective, this process is a natural one for men and women to take to become the mature, loving, and self-fulfilled individuals they are meant to be.
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