A Word To The Wise

With Kate Schroeder, M.Ed, LPC, NCC

Learning To Care for Ourselves

One of the harshest realities of childhood is that children are not taught or encouraged to grow emotionally, much like they are in terms of their physical progression through life, or even their cognitive development that unfolds over their school years. Most parents do a decent job of attending to their child’s physical needs, by getting them to doctor’s appointments, paying attention to nutrition and hygiene, as well as providing their children with clothing and shelter. Most parents also do a fairly decent job of attending to their child’s cognitive needs as well by ensuring that they are enrolled in school, get their homework completed, and for some children, their parents go an extra step and are invested in connecting them with after school and enrichment activities, all designed to foster their cognitive, and physical development in some cases, too. As with anything, there are always exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking, supports to foster a child’s physical and cognitive development are imbedded in our societal structure, and there are even legal consequences for those parents and guardians who fail to meet the required expectations when it comes to their child’s development in these areas.

But what is dismally true here in the United States, is that there are no current societal structures in place that require a child’s emotional development to be given the same kinds of effort, time and attention as their physical or cognitive growth. And what is equally true, is that most of these children grow up with little to no experience in the realm of their emotional world, and become adults with minimal knowledge and skills about how to manage and express their feelings in a healthy way. As such, they are forced to manage their emotional life primarily out of defense mode, doing the best that they can to function in a world in which they have no experience. The reality is that emotions are an integral part of life, and are always present and influencing our life choices and decisions, even if we are not aware of their impact. Most of the world of emotions and feelings, lies far below the surface of our consciousness, and yet also is the greatest influencer of our physical and cognitive worlds. What is also true is that most people would like to deny the influence of their emotions, and accept as true, that their consciousness is in charge of their life at all times. Never is this more untrue than when you see people who cannot seem to find a way out of their “unhappiness”, depression or anxiety, or individuals who are mired in an addiction or destructive pattern of behavior in their lives and relationships. These disruptive behaviors and choices are fueled directly by unprocessed pain that has been put away deep in the unconsciousness. The only way to change these realities in the outside world is to go inside and explore the world of emotions that exists in the deep unconsciousness. When the unfinished feelings have been processed, the outside world will sort itself out. We owe nothing less to our children and our future.

For more information on therapy services, guided imageries, meditations, classes, and upcoming programs visit Kate at:
Transformation Counseling, LLC
8084 Watson Road, Suite 226
Saint Louis, MO 63119
(314) 761-5310