Memories and anxiety

Sometimes when something distressing or traumatic has happened we can push away those memories that most disturb or frighten us; it can be like we have shut them behind a door.  The view is that as long as that door remains shut we will never have to feel that way again or remember what has happened - this is a very reasonable response to unpleasant experiences.  However what can happen is that shut away with those memories may be important information that can inform future actions.  At times clients come to me saying how they feel depressed or unhappy but they cannot think why because life is generally quite good.  Or it may be that for as long as they can remember life has not felt good at all, yet they cannot work out why.  

Working through what may be taking place with a trained counsellor can enable us to consider how past events may be impacting upon the present.  This work often needs to be undertaken slowly, respecting why we have needed to shut away experiences that may have hurt us.  Yet by gently peeling back the layers during counselling, we can start to gain insights into ourselves and our thoughts and feelings.  We may then be able to let go of unhelpful behaviours and feelings enabling us to find new ways of living.