Letting Go CeremonyJan 03, 2023
By Danielle Roessle, LCSW, GCDFI, CCSP
Back in 2016, I was working with a client who had left a position at a company where his supervisor was abusive and as a result, his confidence went down the drain.
At the time, I was learning about using rituals and ceremonies in my coaching practice from fellow psychologists and clinical social workers. I conducted a "Letting Go" ceremony for myself releasing a relationship that no longer served me and I used something similar for this client, with his permission, to let go of his traumatic work situation.
We pushed all the furniture to the corners of my office, dimmed the lights because we couldn't use candles, and sat in the middle with paper and a trash can. I had my client write down quick notes about what had happened to him while simultaneously saying, "I'm letting go of..."
He eventually ripped up each piece of paper containing all the perceived harm that he had experienced and toward the end of the ceremony, we transitioned to reclaiming what he felt had been taken from him. E.g. "I take back my confidence."
It was cathartic for him to move all the frenetic energy that had kept in his body for so long, and he could release a layer of the hurt and shame.
It's been a while since I've done a Letting Go Ceremony with a client or for myself. I miss facilitating them because they are incredibly impactful (so much so that I taught a continuing education class called 'Using Rituals and Ceremonies in Your Career Coaching Practice' for the Maryland Career Development Association Annual Conference in 2018).
Ceremonies are as natural to human beings as breathing — we have used them to mark occasions such as births, milestones, and grief and loss. I think ceremonies are important psychologically because they can help us make sense of our experiences, and allow us to open up in ways that we normally don't give ourselves permission to do.
That's why I'm going to be facilitating a Letting Go Ceremony this Sunday from 8 to 9 PM EST via Zoom (free of charge). The focus of this ceremony will be to release what has negatively affected us both personally and professionally in 2022 and reclaim the lost parts of ourselves, our psyches that want to be expressed moving forward in 2023.
For those who have never worked with me before, I tend to be psychology focused and practical, but this ceremony might seem a little more woo-woo if you haven't built a practice of going deeper within (in a good way). If you'd like to join me, send me a message saying, "I'm in" and I'll send you the details. Happy New Year my friend!
All the best,
P.S. If you live in the DC area, I'll be facilitating two workshops for the Adulting Series at the JCC on January 10th from 6:30-9:30 PM: Master Storytelling for Job Interviews and Staying Alive 9 to 5: Pivoting Vs. Changing Your Career. To learn more and register, please click here.
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