It was on a wet and windy morning that I noticed this woman in the photo making her way through the commuting crowds at the train station. Most of us had umbrellas for protection.

Yet she had wings…

So how do you protect yourself – especially when it comes to inclement emotional weather?

How do you find shelter from the (almost inevitable) storms in relationships?

And what about when those weather patterns have migrated inside and the clouds start to obscure your vision?

For instance, if you’re feeling down and the forecast is looking like more of the same, how do you prepare to handle it? Or if you’re caught in a turbulent time in a relationship, how do you get through it?

What are the sensible (perhaps more umbrella-like) approaches for you? The things that maybe first come to mind. The things that will do the job adequately. The stuff you automatically reach for.

Maybe they include things like self-soothing, or reasoning with any so-called ‘negative thoughts’, or negotiating with other people in your life, or planning ahead. All reasonable, helpful responses at times.

And could there also be other, more unexpected responses (perhaps more wing-like) that might give you the capacity to rise above it all for a while? Other less predictable ideas that just might grant you an entirely different perspective, and maybe even help a whole new solution come to light? Something that might set you free a bit.

How could you give yourself some distance from the problem like that for a moment?

To fly over it rather than be stuck down in the midst of it?

How might that feel?

And how far would you need to fly before it felt safe?
Before you could maybe relax a little.
Breathe a little slower.

What might you see about the situation, and maybe even about yourself, from that distance that’s important to know?

And what could help you don those metaphorical wings, even when you’re in the midst of the maelstrom, so you can maybe rise above the emotional storms for a moment if you’d like to?

Photo: Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar (Grad Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy) is a Sydney psychotherapist in private practice at One Life Counselling & Psychotherapy. Gabrielle also co-facilitates telephone support groups for people who are living with cancer, for their carers, and for people who have been bereaved through a cancer experience. She is the editor of a journal on counselling and psychotherapy and she provides regular therapeutic updates on facebook and Twitter @OneLifeTherapy.



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    Last reviewed: 22 Sep 2010

APA Reference
Gawne-Kelnar, G. (2010). Rising Above Emotional Storms. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2015, from


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