Problems – 4 min read

Feel it to heal it

July 11, 2018
By Metaphorical Therapy

Understanding and managing emotions is a challenge of the ages

Capturing and expressing human emotion is no easy task. If it was we would all be Shakepeares, Homers, Tolstoys, Eminems, Euripideses and Spielbergs. Emotions are extraordinarily difficult to capture and even harder to adequately articulate to those around us who might give a shit. To coin a great if somewhat confronting Australian phrase: Our feelings are frequently as slippery as eels in a bucket of snot. Understanding and managing emotions is a challenge of the ages.

The wages of supressing of emotion form the cornerstone of literally libraries-full of classical and popular drama. The feuding houses of Capulet and Montague try to stifle the love of Romeo and Juliet. The tragic Miss Havisham in Dickens’ Great Expectations is trapped forever by her inability to get over being jilted at the altar on her wedding day. Then there is the line unwilling of heroes stretching from Achilles to the grief-stricken Penthesilea and poor Rambo; souls taunted, hurt and humiliated to the point of reactive violence of legendary proportions.

We love and embrace these stories because they express a universal human truth. We identify with these characters because we see an element of our own humanity reflected in their pain. We know what it is to feel as these beleaguered protagonists do. We know how just hard it is to express exactly what we feel. That’s why we have such an overwhelming propensity to ally ourselves so strongly with these frequently somewhat tortured souls. We feel a sense of relief and vindication when they finally cry, “Enough!” We enjoy nothing more than to grab another hopper of popcorn as we settle back to enjoy the ensuing righteous shit-storm that will rebalance our universe. The protagonist locked in an inner struggle with their feelings is a universal construct. Down the ages the psychological implications have remained the same: Repression and suppression, being the unconscious and conscious denial of our emotions, is a path that leads straight a river of tears if you’re lucky and to a gunfight at the O.K. Corral if we’re not.

If we are cut we bleed. If we are hurt we cry. If we suffer loss we grieve

Without understanding, expressing and processing emotion we cannot expect to sustain psychological health and wellbeing. It will therefore come as no surprise that the challenge of processing emotion is thoroughly addressed by the fourth of Metaphorical Therapy’s five fundamental keystone modules. The ability to deal with and work through emotional upset and loss is explained in a logical easily understood sequence.  Our tried and tested metaphors of the food processor and the rollercoaster ride of grief give graphic intuitively comprehended examples how this turbulent and distressing (and above all perfectly natural journey) to emotional resolution, can be undertaken, endured and brought to healthy closure in the form of acceptance.

If we are cut we bleed. If we are hurt we cry. If we suffer loss we grieve.  Metaphorical Therapy welds concrete simple and memorable visual metaphors to the often complex, confusing and confounding challenge of managing our emotions. The use of these metaphors breaks our emotional issues down to bite-sized, easily digested portions. The simple four-step method is clearly laid out in simple effortlessly accessed visual metaphors: 1 Picture the problem. 2 Label the problem. 3 Express the problem. 4 Catch or field an emotional problem on behalf of someone we care about. When the solution to processing emotional upset is explained in pictures we gain far more than just understanding; we achieve an emotional shift that provides respite and relief from anxiety. Why? Because we intuit that we are not truly alone and that somebody somewhere cares. Many have suffered before us and many will suffer after. In the words of REM and legions of other songwriters and artists down the ages: Everybody hurts.

Express don’t suppress

So; take up the catch cry of the Processing Emotion module: Express don’t suppress. You will discover the key to addressing a host of complications and illnesses lies in in a paradox: The simple but at the same time often incredibly complicated-seeming act of getting things off your chest.  It is said that a problem shared is a problem halved. The ability to identify who is most likely to be a good listener and a safe, supportive, caring and trustworthy catcher of your emotional issues can be positively life-changing – every bit as life-changing as the wounds and scars of betrayal, loss and isolation that come from being let down by those who we have trusted with our deepest most private emotions. In short: Metaphorical Therapy’s Processing Emotion Keystone Module will help you plug in and switch on your own powerful personal emotional processor. It is an essential ingredient in your recipe for psychological health.

About the author

Metaphorical Therapy

Metaphorical Therapy is an innovative new way to deliver essential psychological education, support psychological wellness, and prevent mental illness.


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