One of my clients endured the end of a 25-year marriage and career change at the same time. One afternoon, as I was kneeling at the head of the table, gently cupping the back of her head in my hands, she began to weep quietly and then sob. After the session, she shared this experience:
As a young child, enjoying an outing at a lake , she noticed a huge slide built at the edge of the water. Her mother encouraged the frightened girl to slide down saying “Don’t worry! I’ll catch you.” But the idea of her head slipping underwater terrified her. Trusting her mother’s promise, she slid down. Her head went under water and she thought she would drown in that instant.
As I cupped her head gently, with absolute presence and deep breathing, she was able to re-experience that traumatic moment, be safe, forgive her mother and be inspired to ask her children to forgive her for any hurt she may have caused. Hands, doing nothing more than holding and being present can help re-write a person’s traumatic experience.