Unlocking Emotional Growth: Understanding Primary Defense Mechanisms and Working with a Jungian-Based Shadow Work Coach for Transformation
As human beings, we are wired to protect ourselves from emotional pain and discomfort, and our ego takes the driver’s seat in this endeavor. One way we do this is through the use of primary defense mechanisms. These are coping strategies that help us deal with stress, anxiety, and difficult emotions. While these are coping mechanisms that prevent or postpone the feelings of discomfort and / or pain, when we use them too much they prevent us from growing and ultimately may actually block us from getting what we want out of life. To be centered within ourselves and show up authentically we also need to learn to weather discomfort and difficulty, this means facing a tough conversation or situation head on instead of leaning into these primary defense mechanisms.
Every time something awful happens in the world, it makes its way into my clinic. This week Roe v Wade was overturned and it’s been the topic of every patient’s mind and heart. I often hear the words ‘you’re not my therapist but….’ while my patients explain to me their emotional or spiritual troubles. This happens so often that it’s now one of the main things I treat in my clinic - emotional pain, upset and trauma, and it’s also why I’ve become a transformational Jungian Life Coach, so that I can truly help you in the entire process of body, mind and spirit. You might think heading to an acupuncturist to deal with your break up doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the truth is, emotional pain goes far beyond just the mind, it affects our body and our spirit, and Chinese medicine is especially equipped to bridge between these three aspects of our lives: body - mind - spirit.
Maybe the Instagram or Tiktok algorithm has been sneakily suggesting it’s time for you to look at your shadow self by showing you posts about shadow work, or more likely, you’ve been noticing that life feels extra difficult lately - haven’t we all! Perhaps most things in your life are going pretty ok, you may have even gone to some therapy before and are making progress on becoming your best self, but something still isn’t quite right. When things start feeling stuck or prickly in a sort of abstract way, it might be time to look into shadow work.
Dr. Kim Peirano, DACM, LAc is the Owner and Acupuncturist at Lion's Heart Wellness, the San Francisco Bay Area and Marin's #1 Cosmetic Acupuncturist and #1 Holistic Healer.
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