“Physical Sessions”

In Re-evaluation Counseling, “physical sessions” can happen in at least three different ways:

1. We can play together physically and in the process release tension with laughter and feel closer to others. (Children do this spontaneously all the time.)

2. With some outside assistance, we can try physical activities that, because of earlier traumas, we would not otherwise try. 

3. We can physically step out of the passivity or silence installed by earlier traumas by physically struggling against a trusted person’s thoughtful resistance.

Infants have an innate ability to heal from emotional distress—and after a release that involves their whole physical self, they often rest deeply or re-engage with fresh, relaxed energy. 

Children spontaneously seek emotional release from experiences of being dominated by having what adults call “tantrums.” They also work through feelings in the games that they play. Play-wrestling, tackling, chasing, and being chased are favorite pastimes. When the children aren’t frozen in having to win, such games can go on for hours in a fluid way, with lots of laughter and closeness. 

As we grow older, traumas big and small may accumulate faster than they can be fully healed, and we may become resigned to feelings of defeat and stop initiating emotional release. However, we can regain access to our natural healing process, and the supportive presence of another person helps.

Many of our early defeats had physical components—for example, being drugged or physically dominated. To recover from these, we can contradict the passivity we were forced into by trying all-out in a way we couldn’t at the time and physically struggling against someone who is providing thoughtful physical resistance. This can look like what is thought of as wrestling. It is, however, quite different. Winning is not the object. Rather, one person is struggling against old feelings of defeat, while the other is providing thoughtful resistance.

Chuck Esser

International Commonality 
Reference Person for Family Work

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

(Present Time 205, October 2021)

Last modified: 2021-10-17 03:08:44+00