When you realize you are struggling in life but do not know why, the first step in improving your day to day life experience is to understand that all improvements to our life situation comes from improving the contents of our thoughts. What we are thinking about is what our life becomes. If we are plagued with dark, painful thoughts, we have very little resilience to deal with the strangers at the grocery store or the neighbor making noise.
Conditions around you improve only after your reactions to those conditions improve. Your reaction is determined by how you understand what happened. Feeling diminished, insulted, or mistreated is actually in our control to prevent. It is possible to experience what people say or do from a distance and not have the strike land. Someone elses anger towards us does not have to disrupt our own personal sense of peace. I do not need to get angry with someone just because they got angry with me. I can give us both space and recognize that what they are going through is not something I have to get involved with.
Learning how to gain distance from other people’s emotions and hold space for the learning process is one of the benefits of group therapy because these gatherings are all about practicing how to learn what triggers our anger so that we can interact with people without feeling anxiety of impending injury. It can be helpful to see first hand how everyone is struggling with the same challenges we face. And group workshops that focus on healing what triggers us are a great way to find new freedom and resilience in life.If we are going to learn how to differentiate our experiences from another person’s experiences we need to find a safe way to interact with a variety of people. Jumping in and navigating the dynamics of a group is how I develop the ability to decide for myself how I spend my emotional energy.
But why is it we have to learn such boundary lessons in the first place? The answer to that lies in the biological process of becoming a grown adult. Most of our thought structures that we currently use every day to make decisions were actually shaped from between the ages of 0 to 7 years old. We humans spend at least 14 years developing to full physical maturity. When we are in our mother’s womb, we are actually an extension of our mother. We are a part of her, we are one with her. We feel and react to every slight sensation she experiences as she carries us around. Her body is our whole foundation for existence. As we grow up, we develop into a distinctly different being physically. But mentally, that differentiation has not been made so clear. Children identify as one with their caretakers. They are in total devoted sync with them. Once fully grown, that identification with the ones close to us does not just vanish. How our parents feel becomes how we feel, even if we have nothing to do with what they are experiencing.
It takes time and effort to feel safe as a separated individual because our literal lives depended on our bonded connection with our parents. Our biological attachment to our parents is a foundational influence on our mental understanding of our sense of identity. Learning how to identify for ourselves what our preferences are independent of any one else is one of the benefits of group therapy because we are given a variety of styles and personalities with which to interact. Group healing circles like Family Constellations workshops can develop our own personal sense of belonging while being free to express our unique and diverse personality.
A sense of belonging to a community is one of the benefits of group therapy that can energize all our other life interests. Making social connections is vital to feeling safe and balanced. And these days, it is all too easy to let meaningful social interaction slip away from us. Incorporating alternative group therapy workshops into your monthly routine can really help you see if your private self improvement efforts have really produced a lasting positive change. In a group, we often experience the the same dynamics we felt while growing up. If we were the youngest child, we may feel like the youngest in a group even if we are the oldest! In alternative group work we can learn how to separate from the psychological dynamics of childhood and interact with others as an equal rather than from the emotional memories of our family dynamics. It is only by engaging a group of people that we can discover any remaining triggers that may be preventing us from establishing a sense of safety when socializing.
We can’t know what causes us to freeze or flee until we jump into the challenge of social interactions. Gatherings that are specifically dedicated to helping people strengthen social skills and heal emotional injuries are the safest place to learn about ourselves because everyone has gathered for the sole intention of self improvement.
If you are working to overcome a struggle such as anxiety, depression, anger, grief, or any other form of distress, it is helpful to know that there are many ways to navigate through the stress of life. We have western approaches, eastern approaches, physical, body-based methods, and psychological methods. No one method of healing or problem solving is any better than another. It is all a question of what works best for your unique situation. Every method we try out is a valuable contributor to our learning process.
I find it important to explore a variety of approaches to overcome a challenge in life because working with diverse methods helps us to see our issue from many different angles. That is also how Family Constellations work. When we investigate a situation in our life using the diverse perspectives of a group, we invariably learn something new about the issue. Family Constellations work also helps us put our issue into a larger context so that we can understand where we are in all the dynamics that comprise the situation. Seeing a situation in a larger context helps transform our understanding of that situation.
There are so many beautiful healing modalities in the world at this time and I enjoy exploring them all. The most powerful approach to healing I’ve discovered, however is Family Constellations Work. These gatherings have the benefits of group therapy without feeling like traditional therapy at all. In fact, in a Family Constellations workshop, we speak only briefly about the issue we want to investigate and resolve because the work focus on discovering what we do not yet realize about the energies involved rather than on the narrative we already understand about the situation.
Family Constellations workshops are an alternative to traditional group therapy which offers an opportunity to meet a diverse range of people in a safe and supported environment.