Make an Appointment: 704-456-9059 | [email protected]

  • Going through the Muck to get Unstuck

    Whenever I meet a couple for our first therapy session together it generally goes the same way each time. I tell you about who I am and how my practice works, we talk about confidentiality, couples not keeping secrets, and the therapeutic process.

    We talk about what to expect in therapy, even if they have gone through therapy before. Each therapist has their way of doing things, their own style, and specific theories or interventions they typically use. Each therapist has their own personality and level of comfort and expertise in different types of mental/emotional distress. And that’s ok. We’re different people with different interests, backgrounds, and different strengths and talents. Being our authentic selves fosters a safe, secure space for talking.

    Therapy with me may feel different. I hope it does. I hold this hope because if we’re sitting together it means that there is a place within the relationship that doesn’t feel good and wants to feel better. Whatever has been tried to heal that place before-infidelity, arguing, sweeping anger under the rug, previous attempts at therapy- didn’t quite hit the mark. It takes courage to be open about that hurt. It takes more courage to be willing to do the relationship differently. It takes courage to try healing one more time. That’s having hope.

    So we talk more about your goals, your hopes, how you might know when you have reached the place in your relationship you want to get to during our time together. We talk about what is blocking you from reaching those goals, from feeling healed, what leaves you searching for an emotional place that feels fulfilling and authentic and complete. We talk about how I view therapy, my style, and my professional beliefs.

    And it all boils down to this….

    Sometimes you gotta go through the muck to get unstuck.

    We move through life dragging a suitcase filled with unhealed moments from past relationships, negative self-talk, low self-esteem, and wishful sparkly dreams that just never seem to come true. That’s the muck. People sometimes laugh about their baggage in life, especially from previous failed relationships. Daddy issues, mommy issues, the controlling ex- the list goes on and on. The laughter hides the pain, anger, and rejection which weave their way through our memories. But that failed relationship we’re trying to laugh off may be the one we are still in; the marriage in which we feel like just roommates or some kind of infidelity has taken place and left shattered trust and questionable commitment in its wake.

    We are tired. Our bodies hurt and our emotions hurt from trying to lug that suitcase- or maybe multiple suitcases- with us everywhere we go. We try over and over again to let go of the suitcase and leave it behind by putting on a bright smile, maybe buying something that makes us feel good, try any distraction that helps us temporarily walk away from the suitcase without looking back, as if it never existed.

    But it did exist.

    And it still does.

    Our bodies store the pain and tiredness of the weight of it all. We feel it in our muscles, our headaches, grinding teeth, tightness in the throat and chest, churning in our gut. We see the dark circles under our eyes and slumped postures from the weariness of the constant weight our bodies and emotions bear from the hurt and pain of dragging the suitcase along.

    We are stuck in that physical and emotional muck of unhealed hurt, unmet expectations, swirls of unanswered questions about behaviors of other people that just don’t make sense. 

    Feeling better doesn’t come from dropping the suitcase in favor of the next bright shiny object- or person- that comes along.

    Feeling better comes when we sit down with that suitcase, open it, and say hello to what’s inside. Getting unstuck begins when we stop fighting against acknowledging what is in that suitcase and instead begin listening to what it has to say. That muck is a teacher, a guide, an opportunity for growth. That muck in our suitcase is the roadmap to living the life and having the relationships that lift us to our best and most authentic selves.

    Therapy with me? That’s opening the suitcase, taking out items one by one, making friends with them. We learn how to listen to the knowledge that lies beneath the pain, how to give that pain the TLC it needs to heal. We become free to live as our empowered, authentic selves.

    That’s going through the muck to get unstuck.

    Embrace your best self- Anne