Freedom Horse Collage 100dpi 260

 I imagine all of us have had our share of anger, as it is a natural and normal human emotion. Anger is fundamentally a defense strategy. It arises from the solar plexus area of the body to protect us from being treated with disrespect or harmed in any way. Although anger can cause much harm, it is fundamentally a healthy emotion.

Can you imagine what it would be like if, as a child, all your angry emotions were strictly forbidden?  I once worked with a client “Sue” many years ago who’s mother was very inconsistent. One minute she was supportive and sweet, and the next she would fly into a rage over the smallest infraction. Sue was furious about her mistreatment, but she also learned early on that it was not ok for her to have any angry feelings toward her mother. She could not risk threatening the attachment relationship with the person who also gave her nurturance.

Fast forward 30 years, and we find Sue with a lot of pain in her body. Her anger got packed into her tissues after years of a chronic “clamping down” pattern. She came into therapy to work on this, but every time we touched her anger, fear would arise and she would disassociate.

First, we had to work on her belief systems, so she could give herself permission to have her anger. We had to separate the past from the present and future. It was unsafe then to have her anger, but it is not unsafe now.

We then moved to the felt sensation of anger in her body. It started as a contraction in the solar plexus area. As Sue’s capacity to stay present increased, the congested energy began to soften and move up toward the throat chakra, where it met another constriction. It took a while to open this constriction, because it meant directly expressing her anger. Eventually the backlog of repressed anger moved out, and Sue began to feel much more alive. She was able to express her anger appropriately and attract more loving people into her life.


Y1DTfXN9During an introductory psychotherapy session I often do an energy chakra reading. This serves as part of my intake process. When I offer a reading, many people are curious about how a reading interfaces with psychotherapy. Let me give an example. Let us imagine that a prospective new client, “Jane”, is considering psychotherapy. She has a lot of trouble with her work life. She changes jobs frequently and never seems to be satisfied with work. On more than one occasion, she has been fired. When I read into Jane’s Solar Plexus chakra, I sense a lot of constricted energy. There is a big knot in her belly. I see an image of her inner child hiding in the back of a cave. I also see an image of a heavy male energy. I tell Jane about the child image, and mention the male energy. She starts telling me that her father was often critical, angry and verbally abusive.

         The Solar Plexus chakra is about empowerment in the world. Our personal will lives there. When this chakra is fully functioning we can move through the work world more effectively. The abuse Jane experienced has left its mark in her chakra. With this information we can now design a treatment program for her. I utilize a combination of body-centered awareness, mindfulness, inner child work and other healing modalities, to treat her work challenges and restore her Solar Plexus chakra to full functioning.