Talk About “Common Myths About Letting Go of the Past” on “Healing Talk” radio show. This week’s Talk Radio Topic is “ Common Myths About letting Go of the Past.”
Salem, UT – Aug, 25, 2011 According to Diana Hoffman, Licensed Professional Counselor, Trauma Specialist and Clinical Hypnotherapist, brain imaging research and neuroscience in the last decade have opened up a great deal of information about how emotions are stored in the brain, and how they can most effectively be resolved. Even so, a number of prevalent myths continue to shape our attitudes about resolving emotional pain.
Myth # 1. The way to let go of the past is to talk it to death. Putting feelings into words doesn’t access the language of the deep brain, and can bringing up the pain of the past over and over without producing the needed feelings of resolution and safety.
Muth #2. The best way to release anger is to vent and get it all out (anger catharsis). Every reliable outcome study to date shows anger catharsis makes people feel and act worse True emotional release usually leads to discovering what is beneath the anger, and involves dissolving the anger as well as resolving the underlying emotions.
Myth #3. Changing attitudes and beliefs about painful events is the best way to change painful feelings. This approach sometimes helps with guilt, shame and identity issues, but with trauma emotions it tends to puts the cart before the horse. The parts of the deep brain that store traumatic emotions do not respond to words or logical reasoning. However, when the deep brain emotions are released using appropriate techniques, consciously-held attitudes and beliefs often change spontaneously as a result.
Myth #4. If I just keep my focus on the present, the past will go away. Research show the past doesn’t go away. Trying harder and harder not to think about it or feel it produces a host of “distraction behaviors” such as overworking, addictions, thrill-seeking, or trying to overwhelm the conscious mind with constant noise from radio, television and computer activities. Yet in spite of all these distractions, the unresolved traumas from the past persist, frequently producing substance abuse, depression and health problems even fifty years after the events occurred.
Myth #5. Repressed events must be remembered to be released. This belief has been the foundation of a lot of “age regression” therapy, which is often unnecessarily traumatic. Now it is known that emotional pain can be effectively released without ever knowing what caused it. Repressed pain can be accessed through affect bridging or by identifying a somatic expression of an emotion–and can be permanently and completely resolved without recovering memory.
Myth #6. Traumatic events don’t matter if I was too young to remember them. Trauma events in infancy and early childhood are particularly damaging because an infant has so few coping mechanisms to handle pain and stress. Emotional trauma from infancy can persist throughout adult life, causing depression, anxiety and other problems without a consciously-remembered cause.
Myth #7. Emotional release has to involve crying or a lot of intense emotion. Good emotional releases should be paced to unfold gradually and manageably, and should be grounded in enough emotional safety to proceed with relative little distress. The completion of a release requires that pain be replaced with a deep sense of peace and safety.
Myth #8. If I cried about an event, then I must have released it. Many individuals without training or support in release work will cry, but never reach the needed level of safety and resolution. Thus the pain remains, even though crying episodes related to a traumatic experience may happen over and over again.
About “Healing Talk” Radio Show: The “Healing Talk” Radio Show explores the best of current research and resources for healing mind, body and relationships. Hosted by Diana Hoffman, Licensed Professional Counselor, Trauma Specialist, and owner of Salem Counseling Center in Salem, Utah. Listen LIVE every Wednesday at 5 p.m. Mountain Time on Planetary Streams Talk Radio. Listen to internet replay repeating daily at 11 am , 2 am and 5 pm MT for a week following the live show on http://www.planetarystreams.com and http://www.wcww.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit the radio blogsite, http://healingtalkradio.wordpress.com