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Unpleasant Feelings

For most people it is perfectly natural that they seek pleasant feelings and avoid unpleasant ones. Our organism has evolved to try avoiding the unpleasant. This is comfortable and gives stability.

With regard to change, however, this principle is unfavourable. Every limitation of wellbeing is based on an inner conflict between a need and the ‘ouch-feeling’ which is connected with it. In order to process this connection between pleasure and pain you must, inevitably, occupy yourself with the aspects (representations) in your psyche

• which make you fearful

• which make you feel vulnerable

• which make you feel shame or guilt

• which make you feel incompetent, unlovable, or ill-equipped for life

The same applies to aspects of yourself in which you feel full of jealousy, envy, rage, hate, anger or destructive impulses.

There are many approaches in psychology which promise that you can only arrive at an accomplished life by means of so-called positive feelings (see “Positive Psychology”). Thereby, aspects of the inner life, mentioned above, are excluded or ignored within self-perception. As a result, inner conflicts remain and resurface under stress or in challenging situations. To acquire the abilities to perceive uncomfortable feelings in yourself, to tolerate finding a good relationship with them, to find out how they can be dissolved and become a source of strength, this we see as an essential feature of an effective and successful psychological change process.

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