Holding hearts.

Holding hearts.


GUEST POST by my talented friend, Ally Berttucci, a beautiful soul who has a heart and a counseling degree to help kids from hard places.

In therapy we talk a lot about “holding environments.” We seek to provide a space -– for an hour a week– to “hold” our client’s thoughts, feelings, futilities, fears, grief, regrets, dreams and relationships. We push back against wanting to rush in too soon with answers, solutions and fixes.  Healing will come, but it’s a journey. And so we listen. We create space, remain open, stay available, and wait with consistency and patience. We create an environment in which a person can be seen, share honestly, emerge with the vulnerable parts of themselves and be met with acceptance, love, and connection. In these moments, it’s as if we are saying, “You don’t need to be alone. I see you and I care.” It’s within this holding environment that safety and trust begin to grow and people find their way and their voice.

I can’t help but think of foster parents when I think of holding environments. For indefinite amounts of time they hold their child’s stories, emotions, behaviors, fears, grief, dreams and worries. They make space without knowing how long. They stay present, knowing that they can’t fix or control. They show up, enter in, remain present and choose to be with another in their pain.

And in the safety of these holding environments kids are given space to rest, to play and to grow. Here, in these holding environments the work of healing and repair can unfold.

Ally Berttucci, MAC, LPC

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  1. Sara

    Thank you for this: In therapy we talk a lot about “holding environments.” We seek to provide a space—for an hour a week—to “hold” our client’s thoughts, feelings, futilities, fears, grief, regrets, dreams and relationships. We push back against wanting to rush in too soon with answers, solutions and fixes. Healing will come, but it’s a journey. And so we listen. We create space, remain open, stay available, and wait with consistency and patience. We create an environment in which a person can be seen, share honestly, emerge with the vulnerable parts of themselves and be met with acceptance, love, and connection. In these moments, it’s as if we are saying, “You don’t need to be alone. I see you and I care.”
    I’ve printed it out and posted it on my mirror; it’s exactly what I need to be doing more of for my teenage daughter.

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