Breathing is fundamental to life itself. It connects us to every living, breathing being-other humans, plants, and animals and yet it is something that we so often take for granted. The simple act of filling up our lungs with oxygen to then release carbon dioxide plays such an incredible and important role in our lives. Breathing not only provides us with insight about the state of our current selves, but focusing on how to work with the breath itself, can serve as an important and transformative tool to help us regulate our nervous systems and improve our overall psychological and physical well being.
I had the opportunity to connect with Michele Meehan, a registered psychotherapist and shamanic practitioner, who uses integrative breathwork to help individuals integrate all parts of themselves- body, mind, heart and spirit. In her work, Michele draws upon various tools such as breathwork, relaxation, visualization, ritual and other Shamanic practices to help individuals deepen their self-awareness, heal from trauma, reclaim disowned or unloved parts of themselves and reconnect to their purpose in the world and with nature.
The Journey: Breathwork and Emotional States
I asked Michele a bit about her own journey as a healer and what led her to study integrative breathwork and Shamanic practices. “When I started working with people as a counsellor, I found that all the standard tools, such as straight talk therapy, was very limiting. I’d get people describing to me what they needed to do and how to do it but then having difficulty moving into action”. Without a doubt, many of us have the tendency to do this. We have the awareness that we would like to improve our habits or lifestyles but then get stuck moving into action. She then told me that while she was a counsellor, a good friend of hers was studying hypnotherapy and helped introduce her to the importance of working with the subconscious mind. Michele noted that often it is important to work with the subconscious to help peel back the complex layers of our psyche and understand some of the barriers that may be holding us back and preventing us from taking actionable steps.
After completing a 2 year internship in hypnotherapy and working with a wide range of conditions, Michele continued to expand her understanding of the human experience and was led closer and closer to more spiritual experiences and practices which then led to her engagement with Shamanic studies, where she could examine the role of spirituality in well being. As her journey continued, she went on to study integrative breathwork as a psychotherapeutic technique. In her practice, all aspects of the Self are welcome, and she supports people to embrace the intersection of personal, psychological and spiritual growth. “Breath is the thing that literally bridges the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our beings. Each session working with the breath can reveal where healing or integration is needed”. Michele explained to me how the breath tends to mirror our emotional states, as well as our defence patterns which may arise from perinatal (early life) to about the age of 6. What she really loves about working with the breath is that it is an organic process driven by the breather's breath. Her role as a facilitator is to provide support and encouragement when resistance comes up and to follow the client’s breath to see what it may reveal about their state of being. We then spoke about the experience of anxiety, which can keep individuals very much so in their heads and which perpetuates shallow breathing. Other difficult emotions, such as anger, sadness, or grief, can also disrupt healing breathing.
Several of us have developed poor methods of breathing, as a result of coping with long term anxiety or emotional distress. It is unfortunate that most of us were simply not taught how to work with the breath as this abundant source of medicine. Michele mentioned that during this COVID pandemic, she has witnessed quite a lot of anxiety among clients in her practice. The uncertainty of these times and the anxiety and fear that accompanies it, has left a lot of people living up in their heads, trying to imagine a different future and spinning various narratives as a way to cope with the unknown. Michele equates the state of anxiety as being similar to creating “castles in the sky without a solid foundation”. In her work, she helps clients combat anxiety by teaching them how to really ground and settle into their physical bodies by guiding them through specific grounding techniques and helpful breathwork practices.
After I began to feel more solid within my body, Michele brought my attention to my breath. Without trying to change it, she encouraged me to notice my breath and notice where I felt movement in my body, perhaps in my chest, belly or both. She asked me to notice if the exhale was the same, longer or shorter than the inhale. “Notice if the breath seems generally long or short and notice if it seems even or if there are places where there might be a hitch or a pause in the breath”. Michele then guided me to gently deepen the breath, allowing it to become slow, full and even. Without stressing or straining my breath, she encouraged me to really feel myself breathing so that my lower belly expanded on the inhalation and deflated ever so slightly on the exhalation. After enjoying a few more soothing deep breaths, Michele guided me back to my sitting bones on the chair beneath me and encouraged me to really feel that my body was supported by this surface and by the floor underneath me. Gradually, I returned my awareness to the room and gently, in my own time, allowed my eyes to open.
After the breathing exercise, Michele asked me about the experience. I reflected and noticed a few interesting things. I seemed to have no issue with my exhalations, in fact, it felt quite cathartic to release my breath. However, I also noticed that my inhalations were much more challenging. Sometimes I found myself struggling to take in a full, deep breath, noticing hiccups along the inhalation. Michele replied, “Since breathing is a metaphor for life, sometimes noticing the breath can inform us of certain things”. She then asked how receiving was for me? At first, this question took me by surprise. I replied, explaining that receiving was often difficult for me. I was always a natural giver, even at a young age. I was always able to identify suffering and dis-ease and found it much easier to support others than to really receive support or support myself in the same capacity. I explained that this was something that I’ve been working on within the last few years and that it was so interesting to see how my breath mirrored such specific aspects of my emotional life. Michele equated the ease at which I was able to exhale, with my capacity to support others effortlessly and again noted that the hiccups I experienced during my inhalations, reflected some of the challenges I face with regards to receiving. I then told her about some mantras that I have been saying to myself lately to assist with this. One of which goes, “It’s safe to stay open, it’s safe to receive”.
It is so incredible that our bodies can reveal so much to us, if only we take the time to tune in, listen to and honour all aspects of ourselves. Michele works with individuals on every level-mind, body and soul and incorporates not only breathwork into her practice but also several other tools, many with roots in Shamanic practices. Michele reminded me that it is so important to be gentle and supportive of ourselves, to express ourselves authentically and to give expression to the primal aspects within us. When we allow what needs to come through us without judgement, we can then move that energy and really hold curiosity for all that is showing up for us. Michele uses her gifts to help people unblock stagnant energies and bring emotions into expression in a safe and healthy way. She helps individuals reconnect with themselves, integrate mind, body, heart and spirit and provides a safe and sacred space where clients can embrace their complex human emotions and move forward in their lives with more compassion, forgiveness, grace and kindness.
Connect with Michele
If you are interested in learning more about Michele and the work that she does, I encourage you to get in touch with her directly by following the below link: https://www.innerartscollective.com/michele-meehan.html
You can also contact Michele at (416) 762 - 8054 to schedule an appointment with her
Back in early May, I was walking down the Danforth and noticed a sign that caught my attention. It read “A community hub for personal development and healing” and immediately, I was intrigued. This was the first time I came across the Inner Arts Collective, a community of practitioners who specialize in a wide range of healing modalities. The sign stated the many services that were offered including: traditional alternative medicine, body techniques, talk techniques, energy work, divination and several other amazing modalities.
Later that day, I went home and took a closer look at the IAC’s website. As I scrolled through the many dynamic healers, one practitioner in particular stood out to me right away. Her name was Monica Kovacs. Monica is an Integrative Sexuality Coach, certified Somatic Sex Educator, Sexological Bodyworker and De-Armouring practitioner. She has quite an extensive educational background and has studied all over the world. Monica has studied everything from Integrative Psychotherapy to Yoga, Reiki, Breathwork, Tantra, various forms of massage and more. She is also trauma informed and brings a diverse skill set into her work to help support her clients.
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with Monica a few months later and gain first hand experience about the unique work that she does. Monica works both in person and online with individuals and couples who are looking to connect more deeply with themselves, with their bodies and embrace their sacred sexuality. She helps her clients overcome blocks such as guilt or shame and works with individuals who may struggle with a variety of common issues, some of which include difficulty with arousal and orgasm, sexual trauma and sexual shame and anxiety. Monica also teaches her clients to learn new self pleasure techniques, engage in more mindful masturbation and explore the intersection between sexuality and spirituality. She offers several different ways to engage with her clients and helps them work towards their unique goals and intentions at a pace that feels comfortable and guided by the individual.
Shaking the Stigma
Prior to meeting with Monica, I was sent a comprehensive intake form which I was to complete before our session together. The form included several different questions which helped to gather information on my background and my experiences related to my sexuality, spirituality and well being. I was asked to note my intentions and goals, as well as provide detailed information surrounding aspects of my sexual and sensual history. Additionally, several medical questions were asked regarding my physical and emotional health.
When I first met Monica, immediately I felt at ease. She has this super easy going, open and inviting energy that truly makes you feel that you are safe and in good hands.
Before diving into our session together, she let me know that there was a whole range of activities that were available to me and wanted me to feel into what was possibly a bit challenging but still within my “window of tolerance”. Monica explained that any of the hands on touch practices that she provides to her clients is always dependent on their enthusiastic consent. She reminded me that there was absolutely no pressure to get into some of the touch based exercises and that she would continue to check in with me throughout our session together to see what felt right for me at the time and within my body. She explained that at any time, we could stop or adjust the exercises, even midway through, to best serve my comfort levels and needs. This was truly a safe space where I could comfortably explore, release, and listen to my body at my own pace without any pressure whatsoever.
This was truly a safe space where I could comfortably explore, release, and listen to my body at my own pace without any pressure whatsoever.
First, we began by spending some time sitting and talking together and noting some of my intentions for the session. Then she guided me through a series of exercises related to Bioenergetic release, whereby one activates the sacral pump and the pelvic floor muscles and also invites the voice to make some sound. She explained that when we move the hips, it helps move some of the energetic debris that we tend to hold within our bodies. Monica also noted that sound and breath are very helpful and powerful ways of expelling some of the more challenging emotions and stagnant energies that can coexist within the body.
After engaging in some of the bioenergetic emotional release exercises, we then started to work with smaller spinal movements that were coordinated with the breath. All of the exercises that Monica provides serve as helpful tools to release stagnant energy, as well as give voice to some of the difficult emotions and experiences that one may be carrying within their body. She explained to me that often with an emotion such as grief, there is a tendency to curl inwards and shut down. With some of these heavier emotions, she encourages her clients to try and stay open, to breath deeply and allow for big exhales and sighs to come through the body to allow these emotions to really move through.
De-Armouring and Emotional Release Work
Monica offers a technique called De-armouring which can be very helpful when working with individuals who feel stuck in their erotic expression and feel as though they are carrying energetic blockages within the body. We tend to create armour as we react to the various challenges we are faced with in life. Often, especially in our formative years, we encounter situations that are painful and overwhelming and we develop ways to cope with these experiences.
Monica states that armouring is “any kind of defence (physical, mental or emotional) that has become rigid in the system but no longer serves us in our present journey”.
After these experiences, our body may start to create armour and this might look like chronic pain, muscle tension, suppressed emotions or even repetitive thought patterns which do not serve our highest good. She explains that although there is a physical element of de-armouring, it is quite multilayered and can be physical, emotional or mental. This armour can not only deeply impact the way in which we can fully experience our lives, but also hinder our human right to pleasure itself.
In sexual de-armouring, Monica helps her clients to examine where they might be feeling stuck and assists them in consciously opening these blockages with the use of breathwork techniques, as well as pressure points on the body and parts of the genitals. During this process, clients are asked to notice how they are feeling within the body. What do you feel and where might you be feeling the particular sensation? Where is there sensitivity and where is there numbness? Where is there pleasure? All of these questions are explored deeply through a multitude of techniques that allow the individual to work through complex sensations and feelings. For Monica, one of the major goals of this work is to integrate all of these aspects, so that the body can eventually open itself up to receiving more pleasure.
Monica uses full body touch to give the nervous system a chance to activate. Her one-way touch bodywork techniques allows the individual to take the time to really tune inwards and listen to the various sensations and emotions that arise. This unique opportunity, allows the individual to focus on their own experience and to focus on receiving rather than on thinking about another person or being oriented towards a specific goal (ie. fixating on the goal of climax, rather than on allowing themselves to be in the present moment). Within her work, Monica encourages her clients to be vocal and communicate their needs and desires, as she believes that this is an important part of helping individuals own their desires and step into their sexual sovereignty.
With her loving support and guidance, Monica helps her clients to notice and honour whatever arises and utilizes the combination of breath, movement, sound and touch to hold space for the many emotions and physical reactions that may arise during a session. She hopes that through her work, she is able to provide a unique learning environment where clients can safely engage with themselves, re-establish a more loving relationship with their bodies and reclaim their erotic selves. Through ongoing communication and specialized techniques, Monica creates a safe container where individuals are encouraged to explore themselves fully, be present within their bodies, deeply honour their emotions and begin to create a more mindful, engaged and pleasurable relationship with their bodies.
Connect with Monica
So many different individuals and couples of any gender and sexual orientation can benefit from working with Monica. If learning a bit about this work resonates with you, I encourage you to connect with her to experience and receive some of the amazing benefits that her work can provide. She also offers a complimentary 20 minute phone call to see if her work is the right fit for you.
Please follow the below direct link to learn more about Monica’s offerings and book a session: https://www.monicakovacs.ca/
When I met with Nick to go through my own Past Life Regression experience, I knew very little about what to expect. I knew that we would be diving into parts of my subconscious and was quite open minded to the unique experience ahead of me.
We began our session together seated in a cozy room at the Inner Arts Collective. First Nick asked me a few questions about myself, as well as my intentions for going into the experience. I explained to him that I was curious to see if there was something from a past life that I was carrying with me into the present that was no longer mine to carry. I wondered if there was something that could be holding me back in some capacity that I no longer needed to hold on to.
After our conversation, we were ready to get started. Nick asked me to lay down on a comfortable elevated table that was set up in the room. A blanket was also available to help keep me warm during the process and he provided me with an eye covering, which I used to keep my eyes closed and relaxed. As I lay down, Nick began guiding me through a few deep inhalations and exhalations. As I relaxed into my body and connected with my breath, he then started using a guided meditation (a form of hypnosis) to help bring me into my subconscious. I remember him counting down to initiate the transition and I vividly remember entering my subconscious through the base of a tree, entering further down into the soil and examining its roots. As I transitioned from above the ground down into the roots of the tree, an image of what looked like a large seed appeared floating in the centre of the lowest part of the tree trunk, right before the complex system of underground roots.
I remember him counting down to initiate the transition and I vividly remember entering my subconscious through the base of a tree, entering further down into the soil and examining its roots...
After this vision, things are a bit unclear to me for a period of time, though I do remember that Nick guided me to move back along my timeline, asking me to revisit memories from my adolescence, my early childhood and also my birth. Again, after this point, there is a bit of a blur in my recollection but the next thing I remember is being close to the Earth again and setting foot in what appeared to be a field or a desolate village. I remember looking around me and seeing nothing but expansive barren land, some old machinery, a wheelbarrow, a donkey, a somewhat dilapidated shed and some wood.
An image of an olive tree then appeared. I was sitting underneath what seemed to be an olive tree and holding an olive in my hand. I felt that I had been working on the land and that I was using my hands to plant seeds that would later become olive trees. However, there was an underlying sense of sombreness that surrounded me. Something bad had happened to this land, though it was unclear as to what exactly had taken place. I felt that perhaps the land was once filled with various crops and trees and yet now it appeared to be quite deserted. As I sat alone, resting under the only tree in sight which was quite young and small, I remember gazing out into the distance and feeling somewhat sad and responsible for resurrecting this land.
Nick then asked me what my name was. The word “Val” came out of my mouth. He asked if I was male or female and at this point I wasn’t too sure, though I was leaning towards likely being male and significantly older. Here I was, Val, an old man resting under an olive tree, looking out at all the work that had been completed in the day and all the work that was still to be done. There were a few other notable images and scenes during my experience but this one in particular stands out to me the most. The feelings experienced during this scene were so intense and real and yet I’ve never had such experiences in my present waking life.
It seems that in the process of hypnosis one is able to open up to the deeper levels of consciousness and with the right care and guidance, one can truly experience and connect with past lives. There is so much to explore within our subconscious mind and a Past Life Regression allows us to access parts of ourselves and parts of our reality that simply can not be accessed with the logical and rational mind.
A part of me wonders how much of my experience was a result of my active imagination or how much of it was me truly revisiting a past life? I am still processing the unique experience, though a few notable things have happened in my present life since then. I was walking around a few weeks after my session with Nick and stumbled upon a lovely hidden street. I had never walked down this street before but as I did, I remarked on how magical and quaint it was. As I neared the end of the street, I noticed a tree that looked quite familiar. I gazed up to see the name of the street that I had been walking on and to my delight and surprise the sign read “Olive Ave”. I smiled to myself and wondered if it was pure coincidence that I found myself wandering down this wonderful street.
My experience with Nick was very unique, insightful and fascinating. I would be very curious to have another session with him at a later date to see what other experiences might come up for me. If you are looking for a way to connect with your subconscious, examine or uncover unconscious beliefs or simply allow yourself to relax and be guided back to a previous space and time, I would highly recommend working with Nick. Nick is a very approachable, genuine, open minded and kind individual. Immediately, I could sense how passionate he was about his work and a few weeks after our session together, he gave me a call to follow up with me and to check in to see how I was doing. Additionally, he provided me with an audio recording of our session together, which I could refer back to at any time.
Connect with Nick
The experience of a Past Life Regression provides each individual with a unique opportunity to discover a hidden part of themselves which may serve as a helpful tool moving forward in their present life.
If Past Life Regression is something that speaks to you, please do connect with Nick Veit directly by following the below links:
Nick also offers a complimentary 30 minute phone call to see if this experience is the right fit for you
About the author, Isabel Fiorino-Habib
4. What are some of your go to pieces of advice to help someone cultivate more self-acceptance?
It’s very easy for people working on their own development to measure so much of their personal value against an imaginary standard. In reality it's a tough skill to continuously recognize that challenges are there for a reason. If a person is in a funk there's often a lot of resistance to what they need to embrace for their benefit, but it’s easy to get into blame and self-rejection. That’s the problem, though, it’s easy to reject self. It’s seemingly convenient, but it’s ugly and unnecessary. It’s worth it to be there for yourself.
5. How does somebody find out if you are a good fit for Past Life Regression or not?
Anyone who resonates on any level is suited to PLR:
8. What do you think are the key ingredients to living a happy life?
I can say that I'm happy when I'm not living simply for my own needs and seek out experiences that are going to benefit others as well as myself.
9. What is a quote that you resonate with, which reflects what you believe in & what you practice?
I like this (sort of long) quote by the German poet, philosopher and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe because it is a guiding ideal for me:
"Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideals and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred... Whatever you can do, or dream to do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."
by Isabel Fiorino-Habib,
Community Engagement Coordinator
When working with clients in person, Andrea often incorporates Body Psychotherapy and Somatic Inquiry into her therapeutic sessions, which involves observing and attending to our sensory experiences, and helping clients to identify potential energetic blocks that may present themselves as difficult feelings, emotions, pain and other physical challenges held within the body. As she is temporarily only seeing clients online, Andrea now focuses on supporting her clients in similar ways by incorporating guided imagery, dialoguing, emotional release techniques and talk therapy into her practice.
Guided Imagery & Dialoguing
“In creating a relationship with the pain, the individual is able to key into some of the feelings which might be associated with it, which then allows them to dissipate, better manage or even move that pain to a different part of the body where it can be dealt with more easily.” Andrea mentioned that the use of dialoguing and guided visualizations may help a client incrementally reduce their pain, starting with something manageable like 5 or even 20%, with the hope that they can move as close to 100% as possible.
Emotional Jars Exercise
After identifying some of the stronger and potentially more challenging emotions that present themselves, Andrea then helps her client to reframe and re shift these emotions and uses further guided visualizations to help individuals cope with and manage these emotions. She may also ask the individual to identify where the emotion is located within the body and to describe the characteristics it posses, such as colour, texture or shape. In identifying and describing these emotions, Andrea would then invite the client to see if they can change its characteristics. “Can this emotion be exaggerated? Can we change its colour or texture and invite them to see that they have more control over this emotion than perhaps previously imagined?”
Once the individual is able to identify this emotion, Andrea would ask them to see if they can change the emotion, move it through the body and with her guidance, would ask the individual to send love and light to the place where it used to reside. After the exercise is complete, she would check in with her client to see how they feel within their body at the present moment. She explains that if you can take control of the shape or colour of the emotion, exaggerate it, and alter its characteristics, then you might actually be able to shift something that once felt overwhelming to something that is a bit smaller and more manageable.
I really like how Andrea encourages her clients to get in touch with their intuition and to trust their inner wisdom and guidance by really listening to what comes to mind first, rather than second guessing the emotion and asking oneself if it is in fact correct.
“We are often told not to listen to our intuition and to shut it down. We are told that we are wrong and we are made to constantly question things. I really encourage individuals in these sessions and within their own lives to rely on these pings of intuition and to trust their gut responses”.
Connecting With Andrea
Andrea uses several different unique and creative approaches when working with her clients and really empowers the individuals she works with to take control of their lives through her non judgemental, multifaceted and safe approach.
If you would like to learn more about Andrea and connect with her to see if she might be the right fit for you, I encourage you to visit the below links:
Andrea offers a free 20 minute phone consultation where people can speak about their concerns, explore potential therapeutic goals and ask her more about her approach and practice.
About the author, Isabel Fiorino-Habib
Andrea Tirone is in the spotlight this week. Take a look at her particular gifts as a psychotherapist and what she finds most fulfilling about this type of healing work. Andrea also offers some great insights around self-talk, self-care during COVID, and how she finds that having the choice to create is key to creating balance and happiness in life.
"Exploring the nature of their self-talk - are they impeccable with their word when it comes to speaking to themselves? - can build a foundation for clients to expand their self-talk outward." (Andrea Tirone)
5. How does somebody find out if you are a good fit for psychotherapy with you, or not?
Finding a therapist that is a 'good fit' takes time, patience and discernment. In most of my therapeutic relationships, I would say that it takes an average of 3-5 sessions for a client to get a good sense of their trust in the therapist, first, and second, whether the style and methods used by the therapist are a good fit for what they want to do. This can be especially difficult if someone is new to therapy, because they may not know what therapeutic approach will work best for them, and on top of that, they have to feel comfortable with the person who is on the other side of that work. I offer potential clients a free 20 minute phone consultation where we can speak about their concerns, they can ask me about my approach and practice, and I can get a sense of the goals they would like to work towards through therapy. In these phone calls, I offer a suggested framework for how we might work together and if applicable, I provide insight on therapeutic modalities that may work best for their stated goals.
6. If you were to write a self-help book, what would the topic be, and why?
I would love to write a book called, "How to Communicate from my Adult Self". It would be based on transactional analysis, where the idea, simply, is that we have different ego states, the Parent, the Child and the Adult. In every interaction we have, there is a transaction between one of these ego states within us and within the other. Sometimes, we come up against resistance from another's ego state and feel trapped, as if there is no way out of a transaction that seemingly only goes back and forth. Helping people ground in the state of their Adult Ego can move transactions from frustrating to fruitful, or at least bring them to a less combative end.
7. Do you have a daily self-care practice or ritual that is helpful for you?
For me, movement has become a very important part of my day. Since COVID-19 shut-down in-person activities for a good portion of this year, I no longer have my daily commute, by foot. Instead, I have made time in my days to go for neighbourhood walks, to do some at-home yoga and am contemplating the purchase of an indoor stationary bicycle for some increased cardio. Most of my work is done seated, so making sure I have time in my day to be on the move is key.
Stay tuned for a follow-up article, showcasing our Community Engagement Coordinator's personal experience with Andrea!
by Isabel Fiorino-Habib,
Community Engagement Coordinator
Working with Youth, Young Adults, and Families
I wondered if Niles often encountered resistance while working with younger patients who may not have decided to come into therapy voluntarily. Niles explained that he did sometimes encounter this and shed some important insight as to how he connects with these individuals to overcome this initial obstacle.
As I spoke with Niles, I could really get a sense of his adaptive and chameleon-like nature. I felt intuitively that Niles would have no issue modifying his approach to best suit the needs of the individual at hand. Niles’ genuinely inquisitive and down to earth nature, alongside his open minded and warm approach would definitely provide a safe environment for younger patients who might be struggling and allow them to begin a process of growth and transformation. His light hearted and fun disposition makes him super easy to speak to and I can see how his personality would be well received by patients both young and old.
I then asked Niles to tell me a bit about Emotion-Focused Therapy, something that he says he has really come to love. “Personally and as a therapist, I am all about emotion and I like to believe that from the time that we awaken to the time we go to bed, we go through a range of emotions”. Niles believes that it is important for the individual to have space to express what is coming up for them. He explains that the emotion itself is not the issue but more so when the particular emotion comes up, he asks “are you able to express it and is it being expressed in a way that is appropriate and healthy for you?”.
Niles tells me that we do not want to shut down or avoid emotions but rather we must honour the feelings that arise. He explains that we must investigate what is happening and ask things like “What do I usually do when this particular emotion comes up?” or “Is this behaviour maladaptive, adaptive, is it healthy or not healthy?”. Niles helps people to identify with and address these questions and normalizes the fact that we as humans experience a multitude of emotions.
“It is unfortunate, that we can be socialized into this idea that we should only feel happy, that we should only feel positive emotions ‘you shouldn’t be sad, you shouldn’t be angry, you shouldn’t be frustrated, etc’..and then when we feel these emotions, we feel bad. We suppress them, we don’t talk about them”.
Niles stresses the importance of having a space to express every and any emotion and hopes that in his therapeutic sessions, clients feel that they can express, process and let these emotions come out. Afterwards, he would begin to work with his client to identify ways to cope with the emotions, all while acknowledging that it is perfectly normal to have a wide range of emotions.
About the author, Isabel Fiorino-Habib
This week we shine the light on Psychotherapist Niles Patel. Here, he shares his perspective on his work, and why experiencing a full range of emotions is the key to personal fulfillment and self-care.
Stay tuned for a follow-up article, showcasing our Community Engagement Coordinator's personal experience with Niles!
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