A sweet client of mine was processing with me the sudden loss of her husband. As we talked about feelings of loneliness she stated, "It's quiet... a loud quiet, if that makes sense." Oh yes, it makes sense and I bet many of you reading this can identify with what she was describing. You might experience the loud quiet as a result of loss like my client, a hurting marriage, overwhelm as a parent, stress at work, demands from family or even an unsettled past. When we feel emotionally burdened or hurting, the quiet can seem very, very loud.
One common reaction to the loud quiet is to want to get away from it as quickly as possible. It doesn't feel good, it can even feel scary or overwhelming. Of course we wouldn't want to stay there! Who would? We do all kinds of things to get away. We distract ourselves with tasks, we may drink, overwork ourselves, have affairs, gamble, the list goes on and on. We do something... anything... that allows us to not have to experience the loud quiet. What scares us so much about the loud quiet, though? What makes us want to get away from it so quickly?
Of course the answer to this would be different for each of us, depending on our circumstance and how the loud quiet feels to us in the moment. The one thing that would likely be a common thread, though, within our answers is, "It's too big for me." The quiet becomes so loud because of the depth of emotion we're experiencing and the speed of the thoughts swirling around in our mind during those moments. It all feels so big, complicated and impossible. We feel it move toward us and might think, "I can't handle this."
If you take a moment to slow down and plant your feet, I think you would surprise yourself with all that you can actually do. The loud quiet isn't a big, heavy impossible monster to be battled and tamed. It is a lot of thought and emotion that longs to be seen, heard and understood. I help people sort through those challenging spaces, to calm and soften the edges, to find peace and to allow the quiet to not feel so loud anymore.
The amount of time and energy it often takes to sort through these things is so much less than the energy it takes to run from it or escape. Not to mention, much less harmful to you and your family than the options you might be choosing (or thinking about choosing) to use as an escape right now. You don't have to do all of this on your own.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Counseling for Women & Couples
I know a few of you looking through my site may be in search of securing an approved clinical supervisor in the Knoxville area as you begin, or continue, your journey toward licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Tennessee.
I am not accepting new supervisees at this time. However, you may contact Stacy Hernandez, LPC-MHSP at (865) 531-9126 or visit her practice site at www.affinitycounselingknoxville.com for more information about her supervision services and rates.
Stacy is a trusted colleague, and fellow approved clinical supervisor, happy to answer questions you may have about supervision or help you get started in the counseling licensure process.
Have a great week!
Isn't marriage weird? We go through life and end up crossing paths with someone and ask, "Will you be my friend for the rest of our lives?" That's a pretty big question to answer but doesn't seem so hard in the beginning. Let's fast forward a few years, especially around the 7-8 year mark, and you both might be looking at each other going, "WHAT was I thinking!?"
Relationships are complicated and messy but, the good news is, they are also super flexible and forgiving. By that I simply mean that things we may have declared as "deal breakers" before walking down the aisle aren't as cut and dry when you add years of shared life experiences to the mix, along with significant life decisions, memories, family / social bonds and possibly children. Not so easy anymore to quickly say, "I'm done."
I'm sharing all of this to help normalize what you may be experiencing in your own marriage right now. Maybe you feel betrayed, hurt, alone or frustrated and trying so hard to figure out what step to take next... should you stay or should you go? This level of decision making can be downright crazy making and consuming. In fact, I can feel the stress and tension rising up in me simply writing about it!
When people are faced with this kind of heavy decision making, it can feel hopeless because you keep looking at the same person, the same information, feeling the same feelings and left to believe there is no chance for anything different. Our views, thoughts, and even emotions, can begin to feel rigid. One of my goals in working with couples is to help them regain some flexibility in the relationship dynamic. Working together, partners can begin seeing aspects of their spouse that they haven't seen or felt in years... maybe ever. Tension can begin to soften and people can start to feel hopeful.
Even if you've been in marriage counseling before, I encourage you to try again. Emotionally Focused Therapy is an evidence-supported approach to marriage counseling that offers much more than dry, stale "solutions" to old "problems." As a male client just stated this week about previous counseling attempts, "We're not looking for advice on how to argue better." EFT helps couples get to a place where they can see and hear each other... and find connection and partnership again (or possibly for the first time).
Counseling doesn't have to take years, really. The time spent in counseling is not only an investment into the health of your marriage, but likely will end up being a fraction of the amount of time you have spent feeling hurt, alone or angry. Call me anytime with questions or to schedule your first appointment.
Have a wonderful Friday!
Jodi Clarke, MA, LPC/MHSP, NCC
Licensed Professional Counselor
National Certified Counselor
Knoxville, TN 37931
Licensed Professional Counselor
9219 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, TN 37931
I am also a contributing mental health writer at