One of the first things you learn as a therapist is unconditional positive regard. This essentially means that we are warm and accepting of our clients, even if their beliefs are different from ours. Although, mainly talked about in a therapeutic setting, unconditional positive regard can extend to all areas of your life. If you received September’s Brain Brief in your inbox, you would have seen I talked about compassion, this is a good flow on from that.
Holding space is about simply being there for another person while they have their experience. It’s about listening to them, listening to them from a heart space. It’s about being there. Sitting with that person without trying to change anything, this helps to create that safe space for the person. Allowing them to feel whatever they are feeling, and do whatever they need to do.
Walking alongside someone in their pain, holding space for them, is incredibly powerful. Sometimes it can mean holding space for someone, while they hold space for someone else. We all need this sometimes. We all need to have relationships where we can be space holders, but also where space can be held for us. This is where vulnerability in relationships is powerful. And where forging strong, intimate relationships is powerful. Within these relationship, holding space can happen very naturally, without much thought or effort. It just is.
Mindfulness and remaining grounded also play a big part in holding space for someone. Checking in with yourself, making sure that you are in the present moment with that person helps you to stay connected with them, and also help you to limit your contagion to their pain.
Holding space gives us permission to trust our instincts, tap into our core values and find those answers that we all carry inside of us. This allows us to be able to navigate through tough times. NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback really helped me to be able to navigate my tough times. It allowed me to clear out my mental clutter, and really allow my true self to emerge. Once I did this, I was able to forge those strong relationships, and I’ve been able to hold space, not just for my clients, but for my friends and family as well.