Take a Peek with Anita Arrunategui


You just don’t want to go there. It’s scary. It’s puzzling. It’s something you have spent much time and energy “forgetting” so why go there now? This is the internal dialogue many encounter when counseling. This reluctance to show up when you are being asked about your past happens frequently.

Often, the memories make their way to the conscious brain when given a journaling assignment which prompts you to look at a certain relationship dynamic or dysfunction. It could be a parent  that may have offered you a disservice when they were supposed to nurture you. A teacher, whose job it was to educate you, instead opened a door to shame with your peers. Maybe as a young child, your security and safety were jeopardized. Those emotions needed to stay put for your survival and your body did a good job in keeping those feelings from actions at a time.

Now prints left on your brain need to be revisited. Often, when these traumas are revisited, the frozen emotions thaw out and are now felt. Becoming self aware of the trauma, exploring the information now affords the opportunity. You can begin to make sense of it. Only if you dare enter into, “The Process”.

According to Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, “As long as a memory is inaccessible, the mind is unable to change it. But as soon as the story starts being told, particularly if it is told repeatedly, it changes. The mind cannot help but make meaning out of what it knows, and the meaning we make of our lives changes how and what we remember.” This verbalization is just what one needs to make sense of it all and unlock the frozen memory.  A trusting counselor helps unlock the places you may have been stuck for years and not even realized it. It is more than a sounding board. When needing to remember and explain a trauma, often the emotional feelings and reactions also join in the verbal expression. Now you feel it!

I believe this is a huge reason people do not want to plunge in and deal with issues: it is just too painful “dredging” up the past. However, the past didn’t just disappear. It still dictates your everyday life, your choices, even your energy levels. Do you know how much energy it takes to keep the stuff under wraps? It’s exhausting! Add to that the fact that many people experience flashbacks. It’s the body’s way of telling you this needs your attention. This is all locked inside yet carries a ton of negative energy that causes much of the distress and issues one is experiencing. The secret is putting these unseemly unrelated life occurrences together and find a release within. Now one is free to walk a new path.

Counseling just one hour a week affords you the opportunity to go back in time to relive the moments of brokenness from the past that are showing up in the present in the form of dysfunctions, possible illness and difficulty moving forward. You have the opportunity to, like a time machine, go back. Now, with a new perspective, a trained set of eyes and ears and the knowledge that the past is still affecting you today could change everything. Your future can be altered for good. Coupled with doing the work at home, you lay the foundation for a trauma-healed, trauma-free future.

Revisit it today. 

Anita Arrunategui/Canva Pro/“Your Body Keeps the Score” Dr. Van de Kolk



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