3 min read

What Does it Mean to Move Through?

What Does it Mean to Move Through?

Moving through is composed of acceptance, mindfulness, and accessing your wise mind.   Acceptance is accepting the facts both external and internal.

By accepting our reactions/feelings, then sitting with your feelings, (a mindfulness practice), this enables accessing your wise mind for guidance on moving through any problem.  

Acceptance + Mindfulness + Wise Mind = Moving Through

Sometimes action helps us move through anxiety, depression, obsessions, compulsions, and trauma reactions.  Moving through is not passivity, inaction, or trying to hold on.  The process works by basically slowing down your reactionary responses until a plan is foreseen.  


I think this word brings up so much repulsion.  It is highly misunderstood.  Acceptance does not mean we like it, or that we are passive.  It means we accept the facts and allow our feelings to move through us.  We cannot change how we feel or think.  When I was younger, I did years of CBT to challenge and change my thinking. It was a lengthly process that is important but only a peice of the puzzle. Every person comes to my office wanting change, but ironically that change only starts with acceptance of what IS. 

Acceptance is a practice.  Oftentimes it is assumed to work as if just by saying "it", a magic wand will make it happen.  If only it were that easy.  Practicing anything on a daily basis creates change.  Having a therapist encourage you through it only enriches the process.  

Change is hard and uncomfortable.  With anxiety disorders it basically means feeling anxious because we naturally tend to avoid what triggers anxiety.  Moving through means feeling anxious.  

Depression creates inaction and fatigue, therefore, moving through means doing the opposite of what you "feel" like doing.  


The best description of mindfulness I've heard is: training your brain through a practice of viewing your thoughts as if they are someone else's. If someone else's thoughts were on a computer screen, we probably would not judge them harshly or think of them as some indicator of who they are as a person.  However, when these same thoughts occur in our own heads we judge them as some indicator of action.  Thoughts are merely thoughts, nothing more, and feelings are transient emotions, they are not facts. 

Yes I said it --

Feelings are not facts  

We can learn to notice feelings and thoughts. We don't want to push thoughts and feelings away, or try to hold onto thoughts and feelings.  Instead, we want to  notice them like clouds in the sky.  

Mindfulness is also a practice.  We cannot run a marathon without training and we cannot manage our thoughts and feelings without doing the same.

Wise Mind

Wise Mind is a DBT skill that offers access when we are centered.  It is between our emotional minds (emotions) and rational minds (facts). These are concepts I just love.  When I went to DBT  training, I had to practice these wise mind concepts for a week.  Mind blowing!  I realized that I was able to gain access to my wise mind easily during therapy sessions when that session focused on someone else.  But,  when I am emotional, it is hard for me access my own wise mind. This is difficult for everyone.  

Most humans think they are unique in their suffering.  After being a therapist for 14 years, I know all symptoms are part of the human condition.  Every person struggles with accessing their Wise Mind when they feel emotional.  

Therapy is a Place to Learn to Move Through.

As a young therapist, I was a boat without a rudder, meaning I lacked direction in the therapeutic process.  I was warm and empathetic (which means I understood and conveyed it).  I can attune to others in such a way that I know how they feel ... I used to love my clients to death.  So much understanding with no direction had my clients so comfortable that they would not change or would end up just going in circles. 

I felt proud that I could create such a non-judgmental environment.  Today, I do things differently.  I am still warm and non-judgmental but moving people through their barriers means addressing these barriers even when it is uncomfortable. People's problems are normal human problems.  

Today, I create a plan based on your symptoms and implement techniques to best treat your symptoms.  Direction and knowing where we are going keeps all humans on course.  

Understanding/empathy and attunement actually help me to encourage you on your path forward.  The end goal is moving through your symptoms, not sitting in them

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