Tears: a positive sign in patients resistant to crying

Some time ago in clinical practice I cared for a number of clients who were prone to crying. Crying in therapy is not uncommon and has to do with the emotional implications of the content and memories you are working on. But other patients showed more resistance to crying; these cases can become a challenge for many therapists.

    What happens when a patient resists crying and does not cry?

    To cry is emotional and physical expression in the brain, Linked to a large number of neurotransmitters and hormones that perform a relaxing function.

    Within the psychological community, he has a finger on the fact that “if a patient cries, he heals”, and certain psychological currents, this could have a certain veracity. But when a patient resists crying, many therapists make the mistake of looking again into the depths of the patient’s life to release their pain by crying. It is counterproductive, because insisting that the patient cry could cause conflict in the therapeutic relationshipSince our goal as psychologists is not for the patient to “cry”, but to resolve the conflict that presents itself to us by crying is another part of the path towards resolving that goal in some cases.

    The recommendation is to let the patients follow their rhythm and to build the therapeutic link block by block. Work on patience and unconditional acceptance This is a good key to successful treatment of these patients.

      Resistant patient cries during session What does this mean?

      Here are some of the implications of a crying patient in therapy.

      1. Acceptance of suffering

      Many patients who come to the consultation are in deep denial of their conflicts, both internal and external, they hesitate to remove the blindfold. When the patient succeeds in adopting a new approach, it it can be an explosion of new emotions and new behaviors that might terrify him. At this point, everything will depend on the therapist and his working methodology.

      2. Acceptance of the therapist

      Some patients go through several sessions without immersing themselves in their conflicts, as they seem to test the ethics of the therapist. It is normal that at the start of therapy they do not have enough confidence to show their weaker and more fragile side; therefore, when the patient sheds tears, it is a sign of confidence and is positive for creating a strong therapeutic bond.

      3. Possible depression or associated diagnoses

      In some cases, there are patients who show “atypical” because they have depressive symptoms but there is no sadness, crying, etc. We would be faced with an atypical case and not with resistance to conventional crying. It is important to do a thorough evaluation to rule out a diagnosis of a mental disorder. In these cases, the ideal is to refer to a clinical specialist or to the field of psychiatry if the case is serious.

        4. Breaking up beliefs

        For a brief anecdote, I have had the experience of treating several patients who resisted crying because among their beliefs were some such as: “crying is a woman’s thing”, “crying is a sign of weakness” and at worst cases “crying is for homosexuals.”

        During the consultation, it is common to meet this type of patient who grew up in a sexist cultureSo, you will have to work on patience and work with “tweezers” these beliefs. When these beliefs start to become questionable and irrelevant to mental health, it is likely that tears will begin to flow.

        A sign that the therapist is doing well

        When patients stop crying after so much psychotherapy, it is certainly a good sign. In these cases, the therapist is on the right track. Following patients is not at all easy, it is difficult and exhausting, but rewarding. Taking so much care of emotional health is key.

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