Creating the Ultimate Self Healing Session
By Carol Ann Rowland, MSW, RSW, DCEP
There are times when we wish to do our healing work with a counselor or other professional, and there are times when self-help better meets our needs.
Whether you use energy work, journaling, meditation, or any other self-healing approach, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that you achieve the most growth and healing possible, from your self-healing sessions.
1.) Choose a focus.
Begin by choosing an issue that you wish to heal.
If you struggle with identifying specific areas you want to focus upon, you may find it helpful to keep a small notebook with you. Whenever you notice a pattern, issue or concern that you would like to feel better about, quickly jot a note down to yourself so that you will remember it later.
Going through personal journals you keep – or emails you have sent to others - is another way that you can identify areas you would like to heal.
2.) Make your healing a priority.
Set aside the time – preferably regularly – where you will focus upon your healing. Write it into your schedule so that you make a commitment to setting this time aside and do not forget.
Alternatively, build self-healing work into your day: a 15 minute healing session in the morning when you first wake up, at the end of the day, or at any other time that feels right to you, can be a wonderful way to get yourself moving forward and feeling better.
3.) Give yourself the time and space you need.
One of the reasons that people often find that they get more out of healing sessions guided by a professional is simply that they focus much more deeply during those sessions. This is partially because a space is created in which outside distractions are not permitted.
Whether you choose to set aside an hour or a smaller amount of time, create a comfortable space in which to do your self-healing work. Find somewhere that you can sit or lie down comfortably. Make an effort to minimize distractions – turn the phone, television or computer off, and ensure that you have the time that you need to accomplish the personal work you would like to get done.
4.) Have everything you need, close at hand.
This may include Kleenex, a glass of water, a warm soft blanket, or pen and paper to write down thoughts or insights that come up during the process that you wish to address or make note of.
Have any healing resources that you have found to be beneficial nearby. If you have a self-help book or journal you find to be particularly helpful, you may want to refer to it. Pictures of loved ones or of peaceful scenes of times and places that you felt loved and safe, may also be beneficial.
5.) Plan to do something nurturing afterwards.
Part of healing involves experiencing greater love and compassion for oneself. You can begin to put this in motion both during and immediately after your healing session.
This is particularly important if you have chosen to focus upon healing something that feels “big” or particularly painful. In all likelihood if you stick with the process, you will feel much calmer, better, and more peaceful than you would have thought possible prior to the healing session beginning.
However, the biggest obstacle that people sometimes find with self-healing work is that if they start to feel upset, they may suddenly decide to stop the process. They suddenly find themselves distracted, or they decide the issue is “too big” to tackle alone.
If the issue is too big, seek professional support as needed. However, in most cases simply taking a moment and reassuring yourself, using any self-help skills you have found particularly helpful, and focusing upon your breathing while thinking comforting thoughts or using helpful imagery, will help you to quickly move past the current upset.
Let yourself know that if upset is encountered, you can handle it and move through it gently. Make the decision and commitment to yourself to do this, so that this moment will be the last time that this incident, issue or experience, feels so upsetting to you.
You owe yourself the greater peace that you will feel if you stay on track with the process. It can be easier to stick with a self-healing session if you are aware that you will be taking really good care of yourself afterwards – whether this is by going for a walk, calling a friend, reading a comforting book, or watching a favourite TV show or movie.
6.) Be kind to yourself.
In the absence of a supportive professional, be a support to yourself. If you booked a session with a therapist and during it she or he criticized you or gave you negative messages about your past or present difficulties – or your likelihood to heal from them – would you feel helped by that? Would you be interested in going back to do more work with them again? Not likely!
During your healing process, treat yourself the way that you would expect or want a friend, counselor, or therapist to treat you. Practice seeing yourself with compassion and understanding.
7.) If you can not - or will not - set aside specific periods of time to work on self-healing, take full advantage of any hidden moments that you do have.
Not every self-healing session needs to be done with the level of detail and care that is described above. Significant, profound healing can occur simply while going for a walk and focusing upon healing thoughts, affirmations and imagery.
Making it a habit to give yourself loving and compassionate messages on a regular basis, as you go about your day, can go a long way towards altering your overall outlook and emotional state.
8.) Know your limitations.
If it feels unsafe to you to process a particular personal issue on your own – or if you are currently feeling completely overwhelmed or unable to cope in general – it may be a greater act of self-help to make the decision to ask for assistance with your personal healing work. This help may come in the form of a trusted and supportive friend, support group, or skilled professional.
Know that there is a middle ground between going it entirely alone and being “in therapy”. You can choose to do mostly self-healing if that feels right to you, and still seek professional assistance occasionally, whether this is once a month, a few times each year, or simply as a one time session.
Even those people who enjoy the benefit of regular counseling or therapy sessions will get the most value and benefit from that work, and will they further accelerate their progress and healing by working on their concerns between professionally facilitated sessions.