Emotional Intelligence Therapy
Addiction Treatment Center in Oregon
Emotional Intelligence Therapy
Feelings exist in our physical bodies. Our bodies know what we feel before our minds do. However, our minds have learned to deny what the body knows. In the first stage of Core Belief Restructuring, we focus on creating self-love and self-acceptance in the place of shame. Once you learn to create enough self-acceptance and transcend shame and fear, the next thing that we want to achieve is the ability to fully embrace emotions.
This is another big hurdle, because there is the same pattern with emotions as there is with shame — you want to avoid them. That’s human nature and agrees with Freud’s “pleasure principle”: we all tend, whenever possible, to avoid pain and seek pleasure.
Addiction is all about escaping reality. Avoidance. Denial. Facing reality means facing the reality of your emotions without escaping, avoiding or denying. The antidote to addiction is emotional fluidity. Learning to tolerate your emotions – your reality. You cannot run from reality indefinitely. A major part of our holistic program includes acknowledging, confronting and experiencing reality.
In facing reality and being accepting of what is, you can experience or re-experience emotionally what was hurtfully done to you in the past or what you’ve hurtfully done to others.
& Ecstatically You
• Feel Free & Safe to Have Emotions
• Change Negative Thoughts & Feelings
• Instill More Empathy with Yourself
• Embody Joy by Allowing Your Feelings
• Let Go of Feeling Alone
• Be Deeply Connected
Why Do We Deny Our Emotions?
The reason we tend to deny our emotions is because of our programming. We grew up having certain judgments about emotions. We have false ideas about feelings, for example:
Happy is good.
Anger is bad.
Sadness is horrible.
Fear is to be avoided imminently.
Curating the Ability to Feel Feelings
What we want to cultivate during your recovery is the ability to feel your emotions fully in your body and still perceive safety. This is very much a skill that will be garnered by our expert CBR counselors through experiential therapies. One of the important abilities we want you to master, and take with you when you leave the program, is unwavering confidence in your ability to navigate any strong emotion that may arise at a given moment.
We can probably agree that in theory this makes sense, but we want to take it past a cognitive construct. How we do this is by having you actually create therapeutic emotional moments through our Experiential Engagement Therapy exercises. We guide you to practice experiencing ‘true safety’ and teach you how to face your emotions head-on. This allows your emotions to serve as a treasure map to your belief system, a clue to the deeper feeling you are really experiencing.
What is Emotional Fluidity?
At Avive la Vie, we teach that you can either be fluid with your emotions, or you can attempt to deny your feelings.
The best way to describe emotional fluidity is to think of a small child. Children can go from one emotion to the next in a blink of an eye. A child can go from being angry, to being joyful, to being scared all within a minute’s time. Why is this? Because children have no judgments about emotions. They haven’t yet learned that “being sad is bad,” or any of the other judgments we learn about feeling emotion throughout our lifetime. Children simply allow the current emotion they’re feeling to flow through them, and let it go when they’re done feeling it.
By doing this, children do not encounter the same level of anxiety adults do – because when we deny our emotions, our body knows something doesn’t feel right, and creates anxiety to offset this.
How Do We Teach Emotional Fluidity?
First step: we teach you how to feel feelings and to stop running away from reality. When it rains and the weather is not to your liking, getting upset about it is not going to make it change. The same is true for emotions. Getting upset about the emotions that arise and trying to change them or avoid them doesn’t help you. Instead, we will teach you to treat emotions with openness and to experience them without fear. We will coach you in a particular method of breathing to help you remain centered, as well as support you in identifying feelings in your body.
Second step: we teach you to follow your feelings back to your beliefs – your programming. This is the key to making your reality tolerable so you can take the next step to build a life worth living.
Emotional Fluidity and Substance Abuse Triggers
Substance abuse is often a coping mechanism for processing strong emotions. Stress, anxiety, fear, depression, anger and other emotions can trigger recovering addicted individuals. We know that relapse is common, and actually a normal part of the process for a lot of people. Teaching you the skill of emotional fluidity will support you tremendously when anxiety arises in your body.
You will learn to give voice to your feelings instead of denying them. Emotional fluidity will be an invaluable tool for relapse prevention. We are not seeking to change your emotions. We teach you to honor your emotions and to honor the full experience of them.
We teach you to be congruent with your experience and have your emotions lead you back to the belief that you’re operating from that’s linked to the emotion you’re having.