Case Study

Anger with drunk, late, needy friend

Maggie and I worked together in embodied coaching sessions for a few years. This time around she arrived at my home office flustered with anger: a friend of hers who was in the habit of asking for money, empathy, time and attention, arrived at her house late for an outing, and drunk. 

Before doing anything else, I suggested to Maggie an effective and cheap way to express the anger through her body: crashing ice cubes in the bathtub. Done wisely, coordinating breath and movement, and with a soft belly, jaw and eyes, this practice proves itself very satisfying, particularly the sound of ice crashing. And it’s by far cheaper than breaking china plates, requires no cleanup, and some of the ice cubes are recyclable to another round of crashing. 

Once the anger has been expressed and manageable, I led Maggie through an embodied empathy exercise which helped her see her friend through the eyes of compassion instead of anger or resentment. 

Finally I let my client through an embodied inquiry to assess the value of maintaining the friendship, and to devise strategies for clear boundaries in the relationship. By the end of the session Maggie had a sense of relief and peace.