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Olwen Anderson's Blog

The two dollar therapist

Saturday, June 23, 2018
Some weeks are so eventful you could keep a therapist busy for hours. So much happening around you or to you and life just presses on, busy as ever. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to talk it through with someone who won’t pass judgement on what you disclose?

If you have a good friend who can do this for you then you are one very lucky person. Ideally you would also have a therapist to turn to for help when life gets too eventful and you feel like you just need to talk. You know that just expressing is going to help you untangle your thoughts. But not everyone can afford to reach into their pockets for a professional listener like a counsellor, psychologist or psychotherapist. So what can you do then to work through those feelings?

You may actually have some tools on hand right now. One is paper and a pen, which you can pick up for under $2. Writing helps because you once you can get those thoughts out of your head and express them in words, they begin to unravel enough for you to gain new perspectives. There are no rules around this – you could choose to write pages and pages, or just create a brief bullet-point list. You can choose to save what you’ve written and return to it later, possibly gaining even greater understanding as a result. Or you can choose to burn or drown what you’ve written. 

Another way to express your feelings is through art. For some folk the ultimate form of therapy is to pick up a canvas, paints and brushes, and get immersed in expressing how they feel. 

Yet another form of expression is through dance. Here, you could close the blinds and switch off your phone, switch on the music and use your body to physically express what’s happening inside your head.

What can you expect to get out of this? Possibly a sense of relief that your head isn’t about to explode from the pressure of unexpressed feelings. Maybe a new perspective, greater understanding of what happened, why you did what you did or why ‘they’ behaved that way. And perhaps you’ll just feel better, inexplicably. Worth trying out, perhaps? Like I said, there are no rules about how you’re supposed to do this.

And if you’re still feeling stuck? Well, you could engage your professional listener. We’re here to help.

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Olwen Anderson @olwenanderson


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