Eclectic Energies

Working through feelings

How working through your feelings (or "processing") helps to deal with the problems that the unconscious causes.

It is possible to deal with problems of the unconscious by learning more emotional and relational skills. This is what most people do, and it's done in therapy a lot. You can, however, only get so far doing that. The feeling patterns that you picked up during your childhood are not going away, and will keep influencing your feelings and actions, even though that'll get less.

What is needed, is to work through those feelings, especially those from your childhood. Only then will they stop influencing how you feel and react.

Working through feelings

The way to do this, is that you deliberately feel the feelings from the situation, and acknowledge the thoughts you had with it. When you have thus made the feelings and thoughts from the situation conscious, the memory of the situation dissolves. In therapy, this is often done by talking about what you remember experiencing, but talking is not essential. It is quite possible to do this on ones own, like in Mindfulness meditation, and that is the approach presented here.

Processing of your feelings is a skill. It's something that you get better at with experience. It is a very helpful skill for dealing with your feelings and emotions in general, and therefore it is a good idea to make this a practice that you do regularly. Once you get the knack of it, you may want to do it daily.

Exercises

In the next part of this section, there is a set of exercises that helps to get a process of working through feelings going.

These exercises are somewhat similar to Mindfulness meditation, but the focus here is more on processing, than on developing more general awareness. Also, it is encouraged to integrate this with the things you do in your life, rather than separate off meditation time for it, or sit in a special meditation posture. Therefore, no exercises here for becoming more aware of your surroundings, just for more awareness of your feelings.

Before you set off to doing the exercises, you might want to read the explanations about our memory, and what kind of feelings there are. These can help you understand more of what happens in the psyche when you work through feelings.

Eliza chatbot

You can also use the chatbot in this section, called "Eliza," for help with working through your feelings. It's not perfect, but it might turn out to be a nice "Witness" or "Listener" to things you want to get off your chest.

Terms

Here, the terms "Working through feelings" and "Processing" are used interchangeably. They are taken to mean the same thing, where "Processing" is just shorter.

Superego
Our memory