The Antidote to Vulnerability is Courage
Vulnerability is a painful sensation. It is human nature to move away from our awareness of anyone or anything that touches our sensitivities. Rather than blame, can you explore your strength and compassion in the midst of vulnerability? It is human nature to close off our awareness to aspects of ourself. We all feel vulnerable at one time or another although we often do not talk about these sensitivities with other people. A more profound and ongoing sense of vulnerability underlies many, if not all, symptoms of depression, anxiety, and mental health suffering. What one does with that feeling makes the difference.
Vulnerability and shame inevitably come into the therapeutic process and work. At the start you wonder: Will I be heard? Do I dare call for the first appointment? Once in the process a feeling of vulnerability may arise as you open yourself up to new awareness. Will I be received? Can I be accepting of myself as I am? Will I be understood? Can I tolerate what I might feel or think? And what happens if I find I am not the person I want to be? Shame is an exquisite sensation, often arising first in blushing, a hot flash, sweating and/or a queasy stomach. Shame prompts us to recoil first and find words later. Vulnerability is linked with a sense of shame. It says: I am bad, or I am unlovable and shame also fears, and sometimes assumes that I will be unloveable “in the eyes of the other.”
The antidote to vulnerability is courage: a readiness to open yourself to your “Achilles Heel.” Each person feels vulnerable in different ways. A “therapeutic alliance” is a unique kind of connection, that over time makes it possible to discover and integrate your story and your very sense of confidence. Meaning is born. In the consistency of frequent appointments, the process of psychoanalysis invites, receives, contains, and consolidates your experience to facilitate transformation and healing.