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First Counselling Session (Repressed Emotions)

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by thech1mp, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. thech1mp

    thech1mp New Member


    I had my first ever counselling session today and as a man's man it was a big step for me. Its now two weeks since I discovered the great Dr Sarno and realised I may need some help even if Ive made lots of progress I had stalled. I would really love to hear from anyone else who has had a similar experience or who has any advice.
    I kind of always thought I was tense at times and know I have been through loss which my wife says I have never delt with. She says I can be emotionally dead with sad emotions, but it seems a contradiction as I am very outgoing, confident, loving and generally fun to be around ( I think). I also run a medium sized business and people would turn to me if in trouble to think I handle things well.

    But what happened today in my session was strange, I was tense from the start and without being prompted into detail about things that have happened . It was the realisation that when someone talks about something 'deep ' or 'emotional' to me I either try to use humour or change the subject. I started noticing the nervous laugh and the jokes and highlighting them myself. When I tried to stop this I felt pins and needles in my hands, light headed, tight chested and felt like I could have passed out. It was awful, it was almost like my body hated the thought of dealing with things. The irony is I didn't deal or discuss anything in isolation just how I deal with issues. I just felt physically awful. I just wondered as even though I have another session next Thursday because it has bothered me so much I would love to read a relevant self help book or hear from someone else who has or had this problem.
    Two weeks ago I was a normal man someone with lower back pain but felt mentally fine all be it fed up with not being able to physically do what I wanted to now I realise I have some very real issues psychologically that I didn't know I had.

    Any advice or reading material would be really appreciated as today has kind of messed my head up.


    Kevin T, JanAtheCPA and jaumeb like this.
  2. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Paul,

    It sounds like a difficult but important first session you had. A lot of us here (myself included) have gone through the process of becoming more aware of our inner states and emotions, and this can be painful- get worse before it gets better. This is the process of awakening to your emotions, increasing your awareness. You can recognize that the back pain was distracting you from some emotions and thoughts that were hiding in your unconscious, not being dealt with. It can be very hard to realize this. The physical reaction you had was another TMS distractor trying to prevent you from dealing with all of this.

    I personally have gotten so much out of mindfulness meditation for becoming more aware of my emotions and inner state, for accepting them, whatever they might be, however painful. It also really helps with acceptance of the present moment and for dealing with unpleasant physical and/or mental states. There is a free online mindfulness meditation course that I did a while ago and really liked: https://palousemindfulness.com (Online MBSR/Mindfulness (Free))

    It's good you've started the process of uncovering some of the causes of your TMS, though. Hopefully it will translate into less pain and more self-awareness over time.
    thech1mp likes this.
  3. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Regarding your question about reading material, Paul, I recommend pages 151-59 of Sarno's The Divided Mind, which were written by his chief psychologist Dr. Arlene Feinblatt. The next 20 pages after that were written by two other psychologists who worked with Sarno.

    There is a whole book on the process written by two of Sarno's psychologists: Anderson & Sherman, Pathways to Pain Relief.
    JanAtheCPA and thech1mp like this.
  4. thech1mp

    thech1mp New Member

    Thank you both for taking the time to reply, it has come as quite a shock to me how messed up I actually am. Feel really strange and not myself now. I will check out the online meditation course and I am about to read the relevant pages the Divided Mind. Will also check out Pathways to Pain Relief. Thank you for giving me stuff to go at as I always feel like I need to be doing something and was at a loss of what I should be doing.
  5. thech1mp

    thech1mp New Member

    Another thought I just had is that I feel like I have managed to be "unplugged from the matrix" but the reality is going to take some getting used to.
  6. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Don't be too focused on being "messed up." Society and family expectations has done its number on most people.
    You're actually very courageous to take a deep and introspective look at your life.
    It may take a couple weeks to feel like your true feelings can come up, but I think you'll feel a new life.
    Also, let the anxiousness pass through you. Don't worry about it, if you can help it.
    As Sarno says, the mind can try many ways to block a person from getting to their emotions.
    thech1mp, JanAtheCPA and MindBodyPT like this.
  7. thech1mp

    thech1mp New Member

    Thanks that makes a lot of sense to me. I started reading Pathways to Pain Relief this morning and love it. I am already halfway through it. My back feels a bit better. I'm about to meet my friends for a game of golf only my 3rd in about 4 months. I won't let TMS stop me but feel to be completely cured I have to go through the psychological process which I am very uncomfortable with but understand it's importance.
    MindBodyPT likes this.
  8. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    Hi @thech1mp,

    I am so glad you found Sarno's work and this very supportive forum. I too got into TMS reading because I wanted to heal my hands and "get back to work / life". (I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel / RSI).

    I read some RSI (repetitive stress injury) / carpal tunnel success stories on this site and others. In sheer desperation to fix my hands and keep working to support my family, I dove right into Sarno's book "The Divided Mind" and started its treatment program (pages 129 to 150).

    Like you and your counseling, I had no idea what I was getting into. By simply "fixing my hands", I soon realized it was much much more than that. I had started a journey inward and one by one, I realized I had lot of things to sort through.

    I had never been to therapy either. However, I quickly realized my Sarno books and my journal was only the beginning. I needed someone to talk to about all of these surfaced emotions. That is when I sought therapy for the first time in my life. It wasn't a TMS therapist, it was someone local who could meet me on Friday. (Time was of the essence) i was already on my TMS plan so it was simply someone to process emotions with more than anything. We met about 10 times. It was scary at first but then I really started looking forward to the sessions.

    You sound so much like me at the beginning of my journey. I got anxiety for the first time in my life. One year later the hand pain and the anxiety is down @ 85%. While difficult to maintain, I kept my job and underwent a lot of difficult but positive changes in my life.

    One of the most difficult was realizing what I thought was strength (I can handle anything) and perseverance (I can work my way through anything and be successful at work) was really just fear and perfectionism . I learned reading David Burns' "When Panic Attacks" that these are cognitive distortions and there is a better, more healthy way to be.

    I am sharing this because I really believe you come out of this process a better person. It is hard and it changes you. Having said that, your life can become lighter, more authentic and more in the present.

    Good luck and have faith you are on the right path - even if it hurts now.

  9. thech1mp

    thech1mp New Member

    Thank you so much for this post. I can't believe how amazing people are on this site. Truely inspiring story and the fact you took the time to write that message. I will check out 'When Panic Attacks'. It really reasonated with me talking of being strong ( I can handle anything) when really it wasn't healthy. I have been the leader of my family ( mum and dad included), built a business and been through some loss but felt nothing zero. It's all been put in a rapidly overflowing box. I just wanted to play sport again but now I realise how much more I have to do. I want thank everyone on this site for being so informative and compassionate x
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
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  10. C-john12

    C-john12 New Member

    Hi there,
    I'm also a newcomer and am thankful for your post and the replies. It really helps me have hope that I am on the right path. While I've been unplugging from the matrix (my favorite movie, btw), I am having all kinds of weird symptoms like you described.

    I've read The Divided Mind and am on the 2nd reading and have started the TMS Structured Education program a week ago. After I read the book the first time, I had 5 days of relief..about 30% better overall. Then, I started feeling much worse overall.

    I have chronic migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS, reflux and well….all signs point to TMS. This 'awakening' has caused me odd physical feelings like extreme nausea, dizziness and anxiety. It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one experiencing different physical symptoms. I, like you, started going to a counselor and also started trying to figure out what has caused the TMS. I also just started seeing a Wellness Coach. It's hard to completely accept this diagnosis as I consider myself to be a very emotionally intelligent person who is very in touch with my emotions, but I am confident that I'm on the right path and you are as well. If we didn't have TMS, we wouldn't be experiencing all of this!

    Thanks again for your post and I hope all goes well.
    Kevin T and MWsunin12 like this.
  11. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    You would probably really like Steve Ozanich's book: "The Great Pain Deception." He's a real "regular guy," and he writes out his whole story and his many, many symptoms and explains the whole TMS process really, really well. He took 10 years to write his book and it REALLY helped me far beyond Sarno's books. He plays golf, works out, has kids, etc. It's definitely worth the $ (which isn't much). BTW, Sarno endorsed Steve's book and they have become well acquainted over the years. Steve always gives props to Sarno first and foremost.
    thech1mp likes this.
  12. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    I read your post. It's late and I'm too tired right now for a full response, but I can very much relate!! If you want to read more about my journey, see my website (healingfromchronicpain.com). My upcoming memoir will have more details, but the website gives you an idea of my journey.

    I thought I was a normal, happy go lucky, athletic, successful person. Then I was stricken with horrible, debilitating pain. Then... A couple years later, I discovered so much more!

    I also found Ozanich's book to be great.
    thech1mp likes this.
  13. Un0wut2du

    Un0wut2du Peer Supporter

    What an incredible example of the body reacting to what was going on in the mind/emotions. I hope you dont doubt mind/body. Because you've just described it!! Can I ask, did you use a Skype TMS therapist oro go to someone local? I ask because I have been thinking of using one of the Skype based therapists found here because I cant find anyone in the Chicago area that knows how to deal specifically with TMS. Sounds like you are on your way for sure.
  14. Kevin T

    Kevin T Newcomer

    Thanks so much for the posting. I know it was a question but it and the responses have given me a shot in the arm I really needed. I have been struggling the last few days with frustration with trying to "feel my feelings." All I feel is anger and frustration at my back or the pain, not sure which. Seems I don't have a back, just something back there constantly stabbing, burning and squeezing the life out of me.
    I also am the outdoor rough and tumble guy who still thinks as C-John-12 stated "I consider myself to be a very emotionally intelligent person who is very in touch with my emotions" but from all I see I expect there is a lot more of the iceberg under the water than out. I am on my first week so looking forward to keeping tabs. Steve's book got me in the program 2 years after stopping at pg 30 of Mind body connection after I said "I don't have any emotional baggage." So much for that brilliant thought.
    Thanks and good luck
  15. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    "I don't have any emotional baggage."

    Haha @Kevin T , that's exactly what I said!! ... in 2006 when I first read Sarno (after being in horrible pain for over a year). Then, after another year of misery, in 2007 I discovered that I had repressed the memory of being molested by a relative when I was most likely 10 years old. I had absolutely no memory of it until I was 42 years old (and in debilitating pain).

    Yeah, "so much for that brilliant thought!" :)

    (Of course I'm not saying that you have something similar, just that we don't always know what's hiding underneath!)
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
  16. thech1mp

    thech1mp New Member

    Glad I may have helped a bit as feel all I have done is take so far since I joined here. I live in England and visited a councillor about an hour away that was recommended through this amazing site. I have another appointment tomorrow morning ( can't say I am looking forward to it) so hopefully I will make more progress. I am playing golf again today as my back is at about 85% already sometimes its perfect. The improvement since reading several books and joining this site is massive. Also be aware of the pain moving as I was on the driving range yesterday and my back for a while felt 100% I was hitting lovely pure irons and then the moment I thought about it my wrist started hurting! If I hadn't read about it I would have stopped and thought my wrist was badly damaged. I ignored it and 5 minutes later it had vanished. Good luck going forward lads, if a caveman like me can get better I believe anyone can.
  17. Un0wut2du

    Un0wut2du Peer Supporter

    The "moving" pain is what helps me know that the pain is complete bullocks (I'm so international). I too yesterday had a moment of no pain until I remebered....wtf?!?! But that helps catogorize it as TMS.

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