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  • Fe Robinson

Bringing laughter into the therapy room

I had a lovely reminder a few weeks ago of the importance of enabling clients to bring their whole self into the therapy room. It’s sometimes a mis-conception that psychotherapy, and in particular trauma therapy, is a doom and gloom business filled with misery and angst. Without doubt therapeutic work can be challenging, and gritty. Getting to the heart of the issues that are impacting quality of life and well-being is a serious business and the ground covered can be harrowing.

However, there is a difference between being fully present and respectful of the material we bring to therapy, and making the mistake of leaving parts of our persona outside the door. In trauma processing for example, it is often the case that humour and invention are an important part of the healing process. Being able to bring our most challenging life events into contact with the wholeness of our being, including the resourceful, light, agile parts is an important part of the healing process.

It can be shame inducing to be present with our whole selves when we have trauma responses to previous life events. You may feel uncomfortable allowing lightness in, it may feel incongruent. However, when the fullness of experience has been limited and stunted by adverse events, it may be the case that people lose the ability to experience uplifting emotions just as much as they avoid difficult ones. Re-learning how to be excited, joyful, playful and happy can be an essential part of the therapeutic task, alongside allowing and being able to tolerate sadness, fear, anger and guilt.

I consider myself to be a lucky woman to have a job where the core of my role is to be present and authentic with the people I have the opportunity to work with. Being able to be myself and to offer meaningful relating while we explore clients’ ways of being in the world is a lively and spontaneous way to spend my days.

If you’d like to be more present with yourself and those in your life, psychotherapy may be a useful aide. If you’d like to explore this, get in touch.


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