Sometimes an event happens that's outside our control and causes an upset or trauma.
This doesn't have to be a huge event, sometimes the smallest of issues can cause emotional turmoil if repeated.
But there *are* ways to get context and perspective on an outside event, to help yourself feel better. Let's dive in...
Describe how you feel about what happened (these are the conclusions, meanings, and feelings you gave the event in the outside world).
Now, describe *only* what happened in the outside world - the event, without any meaning, opinion, or feelings added.
Can you see the difference between 1 and 2?
What would several of your friends say, about this same event?
Imagine this event was playing as a movie on your TV. You invite several friends along to watch the event play out, and offer you their perspective on it. Imagine their differing opinions in detail.
Now, if your friends made different conclusions than you, about the same event, then can you see that the meaning you gave the event *cannot* be part of the event itself... correct?
In other words, can you see that the meaning you gave the event, is not the *only* thing that event can mean? Since your friends have now confirmed, that other meanings do exist, for this same outside event.
If the event has no *one* definitive meaning, then consider - where did your meaning come from?
Usually, we realise, it's an assumption we made, without the context available from other sources at the time.
Consider how you feel about the event again now. Do you feel differently?
Now, consider - in what way could the event in the outside world, actually mean *the opposite* of your original conclusion?
In what way does the original event mean nothing at all?
Complete this sentence - (Original Event) could also be explained by ...
Let's switch gears again to get yet another perspective...
Now, consider what background and history you know about:
(i) this situation and;
(ii) the people in it.
These can provide valuable context that can help explain this event (and help you feel better).
Given what you know about the history of the situation, and the people in it, in what way could the event be explained by those historical considerations?
What historical patterns exist, in either people or things, that might explain this event just as well as, or better than, your explanation?
Can you see now, that any one of the above explanations, could explain this event, just as well as the meaning you originally gave it?
Take stock of your feelings about the event again now.
And finally, if it still needs a little help...
As you look at this event happening, what do you feel? What do you need? Take time to consider this carefully. What would help you feel better, in this situation? We can bring those resources in, now.
Here's what we mean. As you look at this event happening, what resources could we invite to help you understand it better, and get better context on it? What do you need, to feel better here? Given what's going on, what sort of support do we need to bring in? This could be a friend, relative, celebrity, exercise, method of relaxation, literally anything that could help you see this differently.
Imagine that support or person coming in to the situation now, and advising you of helpful context, meaning, and ways to see the scene differently.
Listen to your feelings as a guide, and bring in new resources, people, contexts, or supports, to help make the situation feel better.
Take the time to bring in multiple new resources, e.g. invite someone in for help and guidance, do what you didn't do then, or even change the scene entirely, to something different.
Continue this process of bringing in needed resources, new perspectives, advice, and changes, until you feel better, by simply using your feelings as your guide. i.e. how do I feel about the scene now? Does it feel better? Do I feel...neutral? still negative? more positive? What needs to be cleared? What resources could help with that? Use your feelings as your guide. Repeat until the event feels clear.
Hope it helps.
Our counsellors work with these methods - and many more - day in and day out, helping folks resolve difficult issues.
Our counsellors adhere to the BACP code of ethics and practice.
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