There are many different ways of working with a problem once you can figure out what the problem is. Usually, the problem is about how you are reacting to something in your life that does not please you. For example, a client of mine told me that she no longer wanted to see her father because she felt that he was holding her back. I asked "How exactly is he holding you back?" and she started explaining it to me. As we unravelled the story it became clear that it wasn’t anything in particular that he was doing or saying that was holding her back, more so it was about how she was after seeing him. How what he said to her seeped into her veins and affected how she was, bringing back memories, back thoughts and back old energies so that the day after she would see her father, she would be agitated and then by the third day she was right back being openly angry at things she thought she was over. And she would then take it out on her daughter by losing her temper too quickly. She would then get angry at herself and feel like all the progress she had made with me in session was lost.
So I said to her "Let’s clarify the situation. Your dad is holding you back because three days after seeing him you are angry at things you thought you had already worked with?" and then she got it. "He isn’t holding me back is he? I am". At that moment the energy in the room changed, as it so often does when there is a shift in consciousness, with a breakthrough. She got it, only when the client sees this can something be done about it.
My client took it very well, she was glad because she also realised that she doesn't have to cut her father out of her life completely in order to move on. And instead of feeling she has to change something about him, which is next to impossible, she was glad that she can take control of her response to him through being aware of it and choosing to react in a different way.
She decided that her solution was to take a break from her dad for a few weeks, to clear the energy around their relationship, so that she can be around him again and not react in a way that is damaging to her. By taking a break allows her to rebuild her boundaries without him in it, to clear the emotional energy around her old issues and to reaffirm that she has dealt with the old stuff and is ready for the new stuff. “Bring it on” she said with a wide grin.
The key is this - to be aware, every step of the way, of who is doing what to whom. Her dad was just being her dad, not doing anything different to anything he had ever done, at any time of his life. She was allowing the anger in, she was allowing it to build up and bring her down - therefore her reaction to seeing him was what was holding her back. Not him directly. Who will she be without this anger? Will she recognise herself? This is something for another day.