Monday, March 26, 2012

Emotional Security

I had a conversation with a client recently about a subject that comes up often in therapy--emotional security.

Feeling safe emotionally is not the lack of feeling fear about bad emotions. It is very possible to feel fear when we are not actually in danger. When we see a horror movie, for example, we feel frightened, although we know we are safe.

Likewise, emotional security is not the absence of emotions, or the ability to turn emotions "off." Emotions are a part of our lives, and important both for our survival and for our well-being.

Basically, the idea of emotional security is the ability to cope with the emotions that we have in our lives. Some things are big and will produce big reactions, and those times might be more difficult. But even so, emotional security means being OK with strong feelings, and being able to face them.

So I propose that emotional security is being able to say, "No matter what happens, I believe that I will be able to cope with it." Saying that--and really believing it--I think that's a goal that's worthy of striving for.

Image credit: Syd Connelly and winning safety slogan, Library of Virginia.

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