I apologize for not posting for two weeks… yes, the holidays are crazy-busy, but also, I think I was stuck, paralyzed… wanting so much to say something meaningful; having so much to say, and at the same time worrying about not having enough to say; wanting whatever I do say to be a clear, bite-size nugget, something useable, helpful… it was all swirling around in my head and the result was: my page remained blank. I did nothing.
Then I got to thinking, this happens in session to all of us, right? That stuck feeling… that paralyisis that comes from wanting so much to say or do something meaningful, that paralysis that shackles us when our clients are saying so much (with so much affect!), or that ices us when trying to evoke affect from our quiet or shut-down clients… I don’t know about you, but I know about feeling stuck with my couples. And I think it is important for us to be aware of what we typically do in those stuck moments with our clients… do we exit to content, do we transition over to the partner, do we turn inward and beat up on ourselves? Because the more aware we are of our action tendency (our reactive behavior) the more we can try to do something different, to make a more intentional choice for our clients.
One of the easiest ways to get un-stuck is to just get curious. Lean in, ask the couple to slow down (if they are going fast) and help you, what is happening right now? You can get curious about what is happening with one partner (intrapsychic) or between the partners (interpsychic). You could try what Rebecca Jorgensen, an amazing EFT Trainer based in San Diego, often talks about in trainings (check out her website at www.rebeccajorgensen.com), which is to combine curiosity with transparency and go back to the last place you felt grounded. Admit that you are confused, admit that after Susan said “I’m always the one putting effort into this relationship!” things fired up so fast that you couldn’t follow them. Say that what just happened feels really important (validating), an example of the cycle right here and now (bringing the process explicitly into the present), and ask them if we can all go back to that moment and try to unpack it together.
So this week, two things to keep in mind. Try to be aware of yourself in stuck moments… what do you typically do? And then remind yourself: if you feel stuck, lean in and get curious.