Symptoms of depression, anxiety, fear, and overwhelm are almost epidemic in the 21st Century. We now know that much of this is rooted in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) which hindered our development, and thus, our functioning as adults. In addition to personal and individual challenges, we also inherit the wounds of our ancestors. Epigenetics has shown that trauma affects our DNA, and the results will be seen for 7 generations. So we are all healing the hurts of our ancestors, in addition to what we have experienced since birth. It's a lot to cope with! We all need a skilled someone to help us figure it out during particularly difficult times.
Many of my clients come for counseling because of what is NOT happening. Their creative, spiritual, erotic, or emotional life is in hibernation, or feeling like it packed up and left without a goodbye note. James Hollis calls this "desuetude", and suggests that the Psyche has withdrawn its energy because we are headed in the wrong direction. Or perhaps there are old losses yet to be grieved before we can get on with getting on. Psychotherapy actually translates as soul healing, and these periods of life require a commitment to stillness, reflection, exploration, and play in order to rediscover the wellspring that waits within.
Social science researcher, Brene' Brown, defines spirituality as the unbreakable connection we share with all other humans. And Interpersonal Neurobiology has proven that one of the primary components of mental health is secure emotional attachments. In short, we must have safe, trusting relationships with others in order to thrive. And yet, these are often fraught with anger, fear, shame, and ambivalence due to childhood experiences that were not optimal. Do not despair! It is totally possible rewire our brains and teach our hearts to do things differently. This is what counseling and psychotherapy does best.
Some of the wise ones who have inspired me: Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Marion Woodman, Brene Brown, Mary Oliver, David Whyte, John Welwood, James Hollis, Donald Kalsched, Dan Siegel, Gabor Mate', Thomas Moore, Julia Cameron, Rainer Maria Rilke, Ken Wilber, Richard Rohr, Pat Ogden, James Hillman, Marianne Williamson...