Dr. Elayne Daniels

“How do I choose love if I hate myself?”, ‘Amy’ asked me yesterday during her therapy session.

I said nothing but could feel my eyes soften and water slightly. (Who does not know the feeling Amy shared?)

She continued. “My stomach sticks out. I have a zit on my chin. The guy I hooked up with on Friday has not texted me back. He has posted stuff about other girls. All of them are prettier than I am. I feel like such a loser.”

Amy looked down at the ground, shoulders slumped. Her body language reflected her words, “I hate myself.”

Her sense of disconnection from herself was palpable. And weighty.

I asked, “Where in your body do you feel sensations”?

She looked at me puzzled. “What do you mean? What does that have to do with anything?”

“All feelings have signature sensations in the body. You feel like a loser and hate yourself. What are the sensations in your body associated with that feeling?”

Amy said, “I don’t feel my body. I feel numb.”

“Ahhhh. Yes” I said quietly. I deliberately inhaled gently and audibly and exhaled in the same way. I invited her to take an inhale and exhale with me.

She did. We did.

‘Notice now what you feel in your body’, I said softly.

“Wow. I actually feel my body!” she said, as she lifted her gaze and looked at my eyes.

“I don’t feel anything specific, but I do feel my body. It is hard to explain”, she said.

I smiled.

She smiled.

​And then we began our session. Sometimes the first few minutes or the last few minutes of sessions is where the magic happens.

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