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Marc Brackett - Emotion Scientist vs. Emotion Judge

Updated: Jun 11, 2021

The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. Peggy O'Mara

We all have narratives regarding how we handle feelings or what we do with our internal processing. Caregivers' actions growing up are an inherent model and we then tend to follow these patterns as adults. A lot of us learn to be alone with our most difficult feelings and to judge those feelings. Then we hide behind pretending that we "know" what to do when really there is more difficult work required: to lean into the discomfort and name our internal experiences with others.

The "work" in therapy directly relates to this. Clients will sometimes say that they want to feel in control at all costs. My response to this is: what would it cost you to be vulnerable and share that part of yourself that others don't usually see. What's the thing that needs to be said that isn't being said. I'm impressed when a client can have humility to name that they don't have it all figured out and they are open to new ideas. This is counter-cultural and goes against the grain: leading with the heart is like starting to exercise a new muscle and it is usually foreign for most of us in the beginning. But the goal is to be able to lean into discomfort, to approach it from a learner mindset, and to be open and curious about your inner child's experience.

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