Excerpts from THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy

Written by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

In my years as a psychologist, I have come to believe that most people seeking psychotherapy are unhappy not only because of earlier hurts and traumas, as well as present frustrations and problems, but because they cannot access earlier happy moments often enough. Resulting in not being able to experience enough positive states of well-being. It is these unique states of well being that I have come to label THE ENCHANTED SELF.

Many scientists of human behavior recognize that we do not yet, and perhaps never can, fully understand human nature. I have become more and more convinced that we do not. For example, what interests me is that we do not fully understand some people, who have apparently fortunate lives but experience little joy, while others, apparently less fortunate, experience great joy. Perhaps we have tried too hard to understand pathology in our science of psychology while we have not tried hard enough to recognize and understand what I call ego-states, or happiness.

When I first began to analyze data fromrepparttar women I interviewed, I kept trying to understand how their enchanted adult lives evolved fromrepparttar 126250 childhoods they talked about. I found that although there seemed to be some clear connections, many others were not clear at all.

The capacities of these women to reclaim positive aspects of their childhood, while discardingrepparttar 126251 dysfunction that was often also present, was astounding to me. It seemed as if a magic wand had been tapped onrepparttar 126252 women's heads in their adult lives.

For example, when Edith talked about her childhood, she at first remembered only its dysfunctional aspects:repparttar 126253 fighting between her parents and their constant criticality. I suggested that we go back and look again at her childhood to identify times when in spite ofrepparttar 126254 pain of family life, she felt excited about her own life and about herself. Withrepparttar 126255 encouragement, she could separate out positive memories of herself from dysfunctional family experiences and she remembered some wonderful times: delightful family picnics, fishing with her grandfather, etc.

Feelings - How To Handle Your Emotions

Written by Kali Munro, M.Ed., Psychotherapist

Intense emotion can be overwhelming for all of us. And if you're just opening up to an emotion, it can feel very raw. No matter how experienced you are with your emotions, we all need help sometimes to know how to deal with them.

Learning to recognize and stay with our feelings is a valuable experience. We can learn that just because we feel something, we don't have to act on it. Or that we can be angry and choose how to respond rather than letrepparttar anger control us. The more we know how we feel and ways to feel, release, be with, or let go of our feelings,repparttar 126249 better we feel about ourselves.

But how do I know what I'm feeling?

If you don't know how you feel or how to get in touch with your feelings:

1. Identify how you feel:

Sit quietly for a moment; you might want to close your eyes, and then wait and see what you notice from inside.

Notice how different areas of your body feel.

Focus onrepparttar 126250 areas of tension, breathe, and see if anything comes to your awareness. You donít have to think about it.

Notice whether any thoughts, images, feelings, memories, sounds come to you.

If nothing comes, thatís okay. You may still want to continue.

Ask yourself how you're feeling, and be aware of what comes up.

You donít have to figure anything out, just be aware.

If nothing comes to you, that's okay. Sometimes that happens. You may still want to try again, another time.

2. Acknowledge your feelings:

If you know how you feel, let yourself know that this is how you are feeling right now, and thatís okay.

You donít have to know where it is coming from.

You donít even have to know what to name it; you may simply know that you have a lot of pain in your chest.

Breathe through it.

Let your feelings just be there.

You donít have to do anything with them, just accept that this is how you feel.

But where do these feelings come from? They just seemed to come out ofrepparttar 126251 blue.

If you want to understand why you feel a certain way:

1. Identifyrepparttar 126252 source of your feelings:

Know that you are not being "silly" or "crazy" for feeling how you feel; your feelings are there for a good reason.

Turn inward, and ask yourself what are these feelings connected to.

Wait and see what you notice. You might just know. You might remember something, see an image, hear a sound, notice tension in a particular area of your body.

Try not to analyse, interpret or judge what comes to you. Be open to what you notice.

Go deeper. We may think we already know why we're feeling a certain way, but sometimes there is more to it than what we think. Being patient and receptive helps us to go deeper.

If nothing comes to you, thatís okay, too. It helps to just let yourself feel.

What do I do with these feelings?

2. Express or release your feelings.

Even if you don't know why you are feeling this way, you can still express yourself inrepparttar 126253 privacy of your own home.

Focus on how you feel. Open your mouth and let a sound come from that feeling.

Move withrepparttar 126254 feeling. You can dance, stomp around, kick, hit something.

Scream. If you are worried aboutrepparttar 126255 sound, you can scream into a pillow.

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