I’ve been to countless workshops for “emotional expression” where they give you a tennis racket and you’re told to yell and beat the sh!t out of a pillow.
I’ve really given it my all… and honestly, it’s never done much for me.
After a lot of personal experience and a decade of working with clients I’ve come to the conclusion that there needs to be 3 things present in order for emotional expression to be a cathartic experience.
1- Is the person connected to themselves and the previously unexpressed feeling?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people put on rage music and have people punch pillows. This could help them express a little more, but its missing an opportunity for profound healing and deep resolution. People often make noise, but it’s not always connected to a deep and authentic release.
What can help create a more cathartic experience is through a powerful context and helping people to connect to something deeper inside of themselves. Often there is a prompt or exercise that helps them get in touch with something REAL that wants to be expressed.
2- Does it give permission for previously disowned forms of expression?
I once talked to a man who had been focused on channeling his repressed anger through intense workouts. When I asked him if it worked, he admitted that he didn’t feel that different.
After closer examination, we discovered that as a child he wasn’t allowed to “talk back” when he was upset. When he practiced expressing his anger with a “Things Left Unsaid” exercise, he felt a drastic difference in his ability to express and move through his anger.
3- Are people connected to BOTH safety/permission AND the sensation?
Creating an experience for someone to express something that was previously disowned means first creating a sense of safety. This can look A LOT of different ways to do this. Similar to a workout, we can create a “warm up” before jumping right into a more intense experience. Then we offer up far more MORE permission and acceptance than they have experienced in the past.
Next Tuesday & Friday I will be offering a f-r-e-e workshop called “Tuning” that is one of my favorite exercises to do with clients to help them authentically express hidden or repressed emotions and resistances. This is a great workshop for any facilitators, leaders, healers, or anyone interested in learning more about coaching techniques.
You can register for free here: https://fb.me/e/ZQWxJLPT
If you are a facilitator, healer, therapist, coach or someone who loves guiding others into more authentic expression, I invite you to join me for my Tuning Workshop next week.