We often work with clients who have had previous counseling and state certain issues have been worked on. My suggestion to you, is to get curious..what does that mean? Often clients have participated only in “talk therapy” where they gained insights but really haven’t processed the issue where there is no longer a real emotional charge and they are not aware of this. There are many ways to test this, to see if the memory is truly cleared or much less emotionally charged. Here are 2 powerful ways I use , that are highly effective to help client tune into their feelings about the memory.
In the case of Mary; who was hit by her mother and fell down from the power of the hit. She tells me the story of the abuse in a very neutral way; stating “I worked on this in previous counseling and I really don’t feel much as I tell you”. To test if she really was able to put this in her past, I asked her to say the following very slowly, “She hit me hard and fell to the floor”. I asked her to say this 3 times. She looked up at me and said, “Wow…this really does upset me”. She was shocked at how high the intensity was for her and we both become clear what is left to clear and heal.
Another great way to test the work and help our clients tune into their feelings about the memory, is to have them close their eyes, and go back to the memory and have them tune into all the senses as they recall it. With their eyes closed, you say to the client, “See what you see, hear what you hear, and feel what you feel…take as long as you need and let me know what you are experiencing”.
When you test your work, you do great work and provide deeper healing for your clients!