Exploring your felt experience
Our relationship with our self is the most important one we work on in psychotherapy, given our self-relations inform all of our relationships with other people.
I like to work with clients' embodied sense of their experience, embracing all five senses as well as thoughts and emotions. We are after all physical and energetic beings, we don't exist as a disembodied brain. Phrases like 'the body remembers' and 'the body keeps the score' remind us of the reality of our nature as mammals.
Oftentimes at the start of therapy it can be tricky for people to find language for what it is they are sensing in their body. One way of making this easier is to ask about different aspects of the experience as a way to make it more tangible.
When you have a sense of something in your body here are some questions you might ask:
- where is it?
- what is it's shape?
- what is it’s size?
- does it have edges? If so what are they like?
- what is it’s weight - is it lighter, heavier or the same as what surrounds it?
- what is it’s texture?
- does it have a colour? What kind of colour?
- it is opaque or transparent?
- is it moving or still? If it is moving what kind of motion?
- does it have a sound? What kind of sound?
As you become more familiar with your sense of what you experience, you might ask what emotion words describe your experience of it? You may also notice thoughts that come up when you hold the experience in your attention.
Making space to welcome physical experiences can be very helpful to befriend the energies that are there in our bodies. As time passes we have many experiences, and they leave their mark on us, some of those joyful and easy to welcome, some uncomfortable and tempting to push away or try and forget.
If you’d like to be more comfortable with your embodied experience and to find ways to release what is stuck, get in touch.