Freud’s instruction to his clients was to say everything that came into their minds, no matter how seemingly trivial, unpleasant or irrelevant. This is called free association. For psychotherapy every thought that comes into our minds and every passing feeling that we experience potentially has meaning and importance. Although it is normal and healthy to be able to bat away pesky thoughts and feeling that we would sooner not admit to this requires a considerable about of energy and attention that is then not available for living.
The psychotherapeutic space is an opportunity to allow each and everyone of our thoughts and feelings to come into expression. While this may sound easy giving expression to every thought or feeling is an considerable challenge. This will often lead to long buried memories or feelings. It can particularly difficult when those thoughts and feeling seem unbearable, indeed they may be briefly overwhelmingly. Yet this process can be equally rewarding as once these memories and feelings have been experienced and shared they can be reclaimed and integrated leading to a greater sense of freedom and wholeness.