In the 19th century, a pivotal evolution occurred. It is one that still echoes today and underscores the entire field of psychology and a lot of the work I do as a psychotherapist.

During this time, it was discovered that major physiological diseases had a psychological basis. The French neurologist Jean Charcot was able to move physiological distress in the body through suggestion; you may know this phenomenon as transference. It is connected to the idea that much of our psychological life manifests itself in our physiological body, and that the body works to vehemently protect us against exposure, vulnerability and humiliation.  

This can be difficult for some when there is an increased need to reach out to others for help; one can go from vehemently protecting themselves one day to desperately needing others the next. This can cause a war between the part of us that longs to be comforted and the part of us that has warned us sometimes for decades against needing others too much. The energy expended trying to solve this conflict causes distress on the human body and manifests as fatigue, distraction, and a general feeling of being lost or disoriented.

Today’s guest, Charlene Jones, introduced me to the power of our emotional life and the need for strong containers and embodied emotion. I was tremendously fortunate to meet her when I did. She came into my life at a time when I needed someone who had compassion for my situation while also providing the boundaries necessary to pass through it. 

Charlene was also prompted in her life to dig deep and build a container for her own experience. She later poured those experiences and knowledge into her career as a writer, therapist, and teacher. Tune in to learn how to manage your grief and get through difficult life transitions. 

Show Highlights:

  • The story behind how Charlene and I met and why that situation still reverberates inside of me.
  • Why emotional structures and containers are so important in life and how Charlene came to understand their significance.
  • Why not fitting into your culture can sometimes be a sign of good mental health.
  • How Charlene works with people who are resisting their negative emotions.
  • How our emotions can physically manifest.
  • Why our society needs a greater capacity for tolerating anguish.
  • When Charlene decided to pursue psychotherapy.
  • What has surprised her the most about her work.
  • What the trauma of the present is and how to work through it.

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Supporting Resources:

Charlene’s podcast, Soulsciences:

If you believe in combining Western Reason with Eastern Faith and enjoy knowing the science behind how meditation works, you’ll love Medicine Buddha Medicine Mind. Begin meditating with both sides of your brain. Buy Medicine Buddha Medicine Mind now! Available in print, ebook, and audio formats:

My Impossible Life: Trauma, Travel & Transcendence is an inspirational exploration of never giving up, no matter how hard. If you like relatable people, luminous prose, and the intersection of Eastern and Western thought, then you’ll love Charlene Jones’s moving revelation: