Many times when we're facing a situation, crisis, fear or trauma, our natural reaction is to avoid it. Somehow we convince ourselves that by avoiding the situation, whatever it may be, it will get better. We couldn't be further from the truth.
As Teri introduced yesterday, boundaries are essential in relationships, and are what keep us feeling safe and secure. Boundaries are designed to keep the good in, and keep the bad out. Setting personal boundaries is a vital part of healthy relationships & is not possible without direct & honest communication.
Emotional/Intellectual Boundaries- these areas of boundaries protect our feelings and our intellect.
There are many things to consider when choosing a therapist that makes a big difference when seeking counseling. Individuals who seek a counselor need to feel good about their interactions with the therapist and the environment in which they will be having therapy. The relationship between the client and the therapist begins with the initial phone call. How did you feel when you spoke with the therapist? Did you feel comfortable talking to them? Did you feel that they listened to you and showed concern for your issues? Was the therapist polite and courteous in your conversation with you? In addition, the environment where the therapist practices has a huge impact on how someone feels when coming to therapy. Is the lobby comfortable, calming, and peaceful? Is there a positive and relaxed ambience to the environment? Was the location easy to get to and easily accessible? All of these are good questions to answer when selecting a therapist.
Feelings are a normal part of the human experience. You can't get away from them, but people do fight to hide them by using defenses. Our primary feelings are: Angry, Sad, Afraid, Lonely, Ashamed, and Guilty. Each of these have many others feelings that branch from them.
Some ways people try to hide these feelings are by defending through explaining, intellectualizing, and minimizing. When people use these defenses, others might see them as trying to be superior, arrogant, controlling, or manipulative.
For example, a person who feels guilty and ashamed of a mistake they made that hurt someone might use the defense of explaining or minimizing to hide how bad they feel.
When we expose our emotions, we feel vulnerable. When we feel too vulnerable and feel we need to protect ourselves, we will use defenses to not let others get too close.
Remember it is healthy to feel emotions. Pay attention to the defenses you use that might block you from close relationships. Check in tomorrow for more!
Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.