This is such an important concept. I think we get so caught up in trying to hold onto the good times and get out of the bad times, that we actually do not accomplish either one. If we are so busy trying to hold onto the positive, then we are not actually allowing ourselves to fully experience it and appreciate it.
On the flip side, if we are trying to avoid, deny or minimize the more painful situations, I often find that this just adds fuel to the fire and can actually prolong our distress. Now, this is not to say we should accept deep despair or suicidal depression and run with it. But we do need to learn to tolerate these painful emotions.
And if there has been a history of complex trauma from childhood, this can be a really difficult concept. We have to address things by both finding a way to help them comfort themselves and to get out of prolonged or dangerously painful emotional states. And at that same time, we have to help them build a tolerance for these painful experiences because in this world we live in we cannot avoid pain and suffering. That is true for all of us. For trauma folks the problem is often that they don’t believe it will actually end.
So, finding a trauma therapist who can help balance these needs is important. Finding a therapist who can help you process through those problematic beliefs that keep them stuck in the trauma or believing that it will never end. That is why I think EMDR Therapy is so wonderful. It helps bring a felt sense that the trauma is over, beyond a simple, cognitive knowing that it is over.