Wednesday, October 14, 2015
How many times have you said this to someone or had someone say it to you?
I have so many vivid memories of my mom telling me not to cry, or not to worry when I was a little one. Now that I am a psychotherapist, my heart skips a little beat each time I hear these words uttered.
By telling someone not to cry, not to worry, not to stress, not to be mad, etc. we are telling them that their feelings aren’t real or are not valid.
We often say these words out of the goodness of our hearts as it hurts us to see people we love in pain, but doing so only adds to the pain. Think of it this way– when do we ever say, “don’t be happy. don’t laugh.” Almost NEVER. We rarely stifle happiness and joy, so why should we stifle sadness, worry or other feelings? Yes, we want to help our friend or loved one and reduce their pain, but if there is one thing I have learned as a therapist, it’s that sitting with someone’s pain is helpful, it is cathartic, and it most definitely is pain relieving.
By sitting with someone in their pain and suffering you are truly saying, “I’m here for you, we are in this together.” Allowing our friends, kids, partners, parents, siblings, neighbors to feel their pain, and acknowledging it we are indeed allowing them time to heal.
- Kathleen Hill, MS, NCC, LAPC
Kathleen is a therapist with TRU Integrative Health and Wellness. Kathleen works with children, adolescents and adults around a variety of issues, and has both weekday and weekend hours available. Click here to see Kathleen's bio or to contact her directly.