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Talk Therapy: Comfort in Talking About Your Hurt


Talk Therapy: Comfort in Talking About Your Hurt


Guatemalan kids have colorful and small “muñecas quitapenas” or “worry/trouble dolls” to talk to when they have trouble sleeping. Parents would put it under their child’s pillow once he/she “hits the sack” and remove it in the morning to make the child believe the worry is gone.

Interestingly, the folklore was picked by medical practitioners to treat sick children. Modern science (of course) has evidence to disprove that a worry doll can’t treat a disease or make the worry dissipate. If there is one thing this culture-spanning idea underscores, it is the power of talking. It reinforces the fact that talking about hurt can relieve emotional pain.


Not Talking as a Defense Mechanism

Not talking is a manifestation of repression; a defense mechanism to keep unpleasant thoughts and memories out of your mind. Not talking can also be borne out of fear of being misunderstood. People around you who really care will try to help you with your fears and pain, but many would not know the right thing to say.

Maybe not talking can help you avoid the stressful rehashing of the unfortunate event in your life, but not talking can’t make you live life to the fullest either. Your repressed pain will linger and continue to haunt you. Like a wall, your pain will isolate you from the world and prevent you from having fulfilling relationships. The hurt will be expressed some other way, usually in a negative, counterproductive behavior. You will most likely fail to develop resilience to stresses or recover from emotional pain.


Science Behind Talk Therapy

Is the benefit of the Guatemalan worry doll a myth/legend? Talk therapy is not merely based on a Guatemalan worry doll. Many psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists believe that talking or verbalizing the hurt can blunt the emotional impact of an experience. Moreover, the idea that verbalizing the emotion relieves the hurt inside is scientifically supported by studies.

One study was undertaken by Matthew Lieberman, PhD., a UCLA psychologist, and his colleagues. Using FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging). They observed that social rejection can activate a certain area in their subjects’ brains. Those who have less distress showed more activity in another part of the cortex, the area associated with language production or verbalizing thoughts. The results have been reinforced by yet another Lieberman study confirming that talking or verbalizing activates a certain part of the cortex, while it suppresses the brain part that produces emotional pain.


Talk Therapy: The Value

Verbalizing worries or talking can help heal your hurt. It lets you get real and ready to face life when it “throws curve balls at you.” Talking gives shape to your emotion so that you can better look at it squarely to manage your hurt more objectively. Just talking about how you feel can help you find comfort as it lets you release bottled feelings. If you feel talking to people can just unduly burden them of your worries or you have fear of being rejected, seek out a professional.

At  Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC, we have professional “talk” therapists who will listen and give you reinforcements so you continue talking and healing. Call, text or leave us a message in the Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC website so we start YOUR “talk” therapy!

Confidential / Private Sessions

Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC contracts with Licensed professional counselors/therapists/psychologists who provide a friendly, caring, and relaxed atmosphere in the Southern Pines/Pinehurst/Aberdeen/Raeford area. These independently contracted therapists/counselors assist adult individuals, couples, families, and children with resolving issues and getting back to enjoying their lives. Whether you are non-military or military, the independently contracted therapists with Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC are able and happy to assist you!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, NC, Montgomery County, NC, Richmond County, NC, Randolph County, NC, Chatham County, NC

Cities: Southern Pines NC, Pinehurst NC, Aberdeen NC, Taylortown NC, Pinebluff NC, West End NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Ashley Heights NC, Ashmont NC, Five Points NC, Wind Blow NC, Jackson Springs NC, Whispering Pines NC, Vass NC, Cameron NC, Carthage NC, Eastwood NC, Lakeview NC, Narrow Ridge NC, Robbins NC, Roseland NC, Tramway NC, Troy NC, Zion Grove NC, Biscoe NC

We are located at:

Carolina Counseling Services - Southern Pines, NC
780 NW Broad St. Suite 210
Southern Pines, NC 28387

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 725-6336 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Choose your Therapist

  • Kristin Vernon, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Adolescents, Couples, Families, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Issues, Grief and Loss, Communication Skills, Divorce, Adjustment Disorders, Mood Disorders, Coping Skills, Parenting, Family Conflict, Marital Conflict, Relationship Issues
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, cash
    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Gretchen Montesanto, MA, LPC, NCC

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Teens, Individuals, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Issues, Grief and Loss, Stress, LGBT, Adjustment Disorder, Motivation, Life Transitions, Mood Disorders, Military Spouses

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare and Cash
    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Jaime J. Fitzpatrick MS, LPCS, LCAS

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adults, Families and Couples, Anxiety, PTSD, Trauma and Abuse Recovery, Depression, Military Life Issues, Adjustment Disorder, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Focused Therapy, Addictions, Emotional Disturbance, Coping Skills, Impulsivity, Grief and Loss, Self-Esteem
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare,  Tricare Prime/Select and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Pinehurst, NC and Southern Pines, NC
  • Kathryn Wiens, PsyD. HSP-P

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adult, Individuals, Couples and Families.
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare, Tricare Prime/Select, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Pinehurst, NC and Southern Pines, NC
  • Tracy Goldberg, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Individuals, Adolescents, Adults, Couples, Children and Families. Attention Deficit, Oppositional Defiance, Behavioral Issues, Peer Relationships, Family Conflict, Depression, Anxiety, Parenting Anxiety, ADHD, Self-Esteem Issues, Family Conflict/Divorce, Marriage Counseling, Adjustment Disorders, Relationship Issues, Grief and Loss, Communication Skills, Behavioral Issues, Coping Skills, Mood Disorders, Parent Skill Building, Christian Counseling upon request
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, Cash, HRA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Robin Caswell, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+), Individuals, Adults, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Loss, ADHD, ODD, Trauma/PTSD, LGBTQ, Self-Harm, Military Family Life, Mood Disorders, OCD, Phobias
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC