Sometimes life just does not go as planned. We may face challenges that demand the utmost of us. In difficult times, friends or relatives can be of great help. Their comforting words might bring relief. In some situations, however, this well-intentioned attention is not enough, and it is reasonable to seek professional help.
In the 1960s, Paul Ekman, an American anthropologist, and psychologist identified seven basic emotions that, according to his research, transcend culture: joy, surprise, fear, anger, disgust, grief, and contempt. For a majority of people who find their way into my practice, it’s basically three of those emotions (one or several at the same time) – fear, anger, and grief that have taken persistent and overwhelming forms. Life may have confronted them with events such as illness or life-changing diagnoses, relationship problems, difficulties at work or in the family, or great loss. In such times of crisis sadness, fear and anger, are of course no unusual emotions.
They only become a problem when a person remains in a state of grief, anger or fear for an extended exceptionally long time; when they get “stuck”, so to speak. Especially when it comes to systemic crisis situations, stress and strong emotions can increasingly become overwhelming and it is hard to process it all. You might want to be strong for others or not burden them with your own feelings of sadness or anger because they are suffering as well.
Mental suffering can weigh heavily on a person; it can cause physical and psychological symptoms and may lead to exhaustion, anxiety, sleep disorders or depression. If that happens, positive attention and understanding from relatives or friends are no longer sufficient, and it is important to get professional help, rather sooner than later.
In such situations, it is reasonable to seek the help of a psychotherapist. In a professional counseling session, a safe space is provided and persistent problems and overwhelming feelings can be addressed. Together we find solutions, activate resources and bring life back into a positive flow.