I talk a lot in my work about being in the “here and now,” or being present with your feelings. On the surface, obviously we are here, now. But in our minds we’re often other places – avoiding what’s actually happening in the present moment:
Replaying the fight from last night
Anxiously trying to plan a holiday that will make everyone happy
Stressing about when you’ll get everything done
Freaking out about what’s going to happen in the future
And then I invite you into my office. I invite you into my space.
It’s a made up place. I designed it to feel comforting and warm. It’s uncluttered and there aren’t many things to be distracted by. The few things you can find are blankets, tissues, and plants, intending to comfort and encourage your growth. It’s not like any environment in your actual world.
So when we start your work with being present, there isn’t a lot of external stimuli to get in the way. It’s just you, me, and a box of tissues. The “here and now” in my office won’t look like the “here and now” in any other part of your life.
But, with online counseling – you’re right in the middle of what your world looks like:
The room you’re in is the same room where you’ve fought with your husband
The couch you’re on is the couch where you anxiously analyze things you could change
Maybe on the other side of the door are the kids you’re feeling mom guilt about
Whatever the story behind your space, we’re in the heart of your experience. It’s an environment I can’t create in my office:
Objects in your room might trigger thoughts or feelings related to what we’re processing
You might act differently in your home than you would in my office
Things may feel different as we’re talking through them on your own furniture than on mine
Whatever comes up for you, we use it to be here and now. We talk through what’s happening for you:
What’s triggering you?
What does it feel like to be in the room?
What are you experiencing?
How can we slow it down?
Or shift it?
Or maybe just sit with it?
Then, when I’m not there, you know what it’s like to process something there. You’ve done it before. Maybe it doesn’t happen as neatly, or make as much sense, but you were there, then so you can draw from that to try and be here, now.