|Finding the Pulse - Page 2|
I call this opening up to a fuller dimension of physical, sensory, and emotional response becoming aware of a "lived experience." In my work, I continue to discover how simple and effective it can be to slow down things and take the time to allow this kind of opportunity for resonance, empathy, and repair to emerge in even the most undramatic moments of the therapy hour.
Learning to "Trust Your Gut"
Many of us learned as young children to shut down our gut feelings about others or about what was happening in our world, and to pay attention or respond only to outside demands. Learning to attend consciously to our lived experience—to the physical sensations that emerge as things unfold in the present moment—helps us reverse that training and reclaim our body's ability to speak to us clearly and directly. Again and again, I've seen the first inkling of a powerful transformation emerge when I invite clients to compare their physical responses during significant interactions with me (their "gut feelings") with the psychological meanings they assign to such moments ("She's only being polite," "She really thinks I'm a whiner").
Recently a client was suddenly gripped by an unexpected jolt of fear when I asked about a difficulty she was having at work. She found herself stumbling to describe her experience and then becoming uncomfortably self-conscious, frightened that she wasn't answering the question I'd asked her. She flashed on an early memory of having been unexpectedly hit on the hand with a ruler by a grade-school teacher, and became certain I, too, would turn on her at any moment.