Many children are not allowed to have their emotions when they are growing up. So each time they feel angry (go to your room if you are going to act like that) or sad (big boys don’t cry) or afraid (there is nothing to be afraid of you scaredy cat) or any other emotion an adult does not want to deal with, the child learns to force that emotion inside. In doing so, it is as though he throws an unspent match of emotion into a pile each time he does not get the luxury of expressing it and experiencing it appropriately as part of the growing up process. By the time he is an adult or maybe even a teenager, he has many piles of unspent matches one for each hidden emotion.

So one day he decides it is safe to be angry, because after all he’s his own boss now, so he lights this particular match of anger. But instead of just being one match worth of anger, it falls into the pile of unlit matches and a huge blaze of anger gets set off. Maybe he hits his child or wife harder than he had intended. Maybe he yells at his boss and gets fired. Or maybe he acts out in other ways. And this is just for the angry match. Remember, there are many other piles.

The sad match might start a bout of depression. The afraid match might keep him from using his talents to his advantage or cause him to be anxious. Each pile of matches brings a negative outcome if they are not attended to. And unfortunately, unlike a real fire, setting the piles on fire does not destroy the piles. They are still there next time he decides to light a match and throw it onto the pile.

Gentle Reprocessing can free clients from their emotional piles of matches by allowing the child part of a person to experience and release those emotions from the past in a safe environment without the resulting negative impact or sudden infernos in their lives, essentially dismantling the piles. Once the piles have been eliminated, then the client is free to have their emotions without worrying whether they will get out of control.

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