Accepting Difficult Emotions

November 30th, 2012

Anger therapy“I want to stop feeling this way.”

I’ve heard that phrase so many times as a therapist.  I’ve probably said it myself when I’m not in therapist-mode as well.  What exactly are we speaking of when we say “Feeling this way”?  Most folk usually mean feeling sad, angry, rageful, disappointed, frustrated, lonely.

No one wants to feel these emotions or feelings.  There’s nothing enjoyable about them.  It’s much more pleasant to experience happiness, joy, fun, lightheartedness, and contentedness.

However, as a therapist, I actually encourage folk to experience all of their emotions.  I hear people say that they fear that they’ll “fall apart”, “lose control”, or be “devastated.”  In some ways this is a possibility.  However, it’s interesting that most of us don’t mind losing control in our happiness or joy.  That’s a great experience.

I believe that difficult emotions don’t – on their own – need to be feared.  They are simply part of being human.  We are wired to feel all of our feelings.  It’s when we work to not feel them that we experience real pain; sometimes in the form of self-hatred, suicidal thoughts, depression, or addictions.

As a therapist, I help my clients accept and experience all of their emotions…in a safe, nonjudgemental way. It’s possible to feel the full range of human emotion and not simply survive it, but feel even better overall.  These emotions might feel overwhelming at the time, but all emotions, even the pleasant ones, eventually pass.

If you’re looking for a therapist or counselor in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC, feel free to contact Mike Giordano at 202-460-6384 or


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