As a long-time Spiritual life coach and an ex-journalist I've seen illusions, self-deception and denial in many different shapes and forms. Denial has a very significant reason for being there that should not be dismissed. If you are a reader or healer then I hope this story may give you aha's and tools to help your client better. If you are in denial yourself, I hope it may give you the understanding you need.
Let's look deeper into the energy of denial. Denial happens when facts are being ignored, which makes it difficult to see the reality of a situation. Everyone does it to a certain extent. It ties in with the beliefs you have about something. It's also a protection mechanism.
I love to share a conversation I had with someone just coming out of a domestic violence situation. However extreme or unrelatable this may sound, please stay put, because the mechanism of denial is the same in every circumstance. So here's what happened: Whenever I read or coach people, it's always about where you are at. In cases of domestic violence (and the early stages of coming to terms with it), there is often no real understanding of what actually has happened. This means that victims flip back and forth between still feeling deep love and covering up for their partner versus 'I did the right thing to leave, right?'
From a therapeutic standpoint, it's no use at all to dismiss anything that the other says or go straight to the TRUTH of the situation. The truth was that my client had ended up in an extremely dangerous situation with a violent person that was horrible to her. And that she could never have changed the status quo. It's not helpful to tell her now.
That's because the mind tries to protect the person from the truth. It would be too devastating and painful to come to terms with this straight away. Time, processing, and of course, professional help is needed to get through this. Also, recognize the need of discussing the good part of the abuser. It is a major part of the healing process. Don't dismiss that as a reader or healer. People can only hear what they are ready for. How can you hold the space?
Why am I sharing this story? You must understand that the mind uses denial as a protection mechanism and that it is helping in this situation. It may help you understand how to communicate to other people that are 'in denial' and it may help you understand yourself. Swift changes in our belief system can be extraordinarily unbalancing and disruptive. The walls and structures the subconscious put up for you are there for a reason. And the more vulnerable someone is, the more careful you should be. If someone is willing to work on themselves then truths and personal truths will trickle in with time.
You can't force an acorn to be an oak tree in a night.
I'm a pro in helping people change their beliefs and clear up the subconscious gunk, which is where to look to change anything. The best way to work with changing beliefs is in a natural pace. Just like you can't force an acorn to be an oak tree in a night. And here it starts with simply talking and listening. And that's my advice for you too if you are dealing with denial. Be loving and compassionate to yourself. What is going on with you? What are you confused about? How do you feel. Allow yourself to be instead of going into full force action figure mode shouting to yourself.
Whenever you encounter something like this (even from within - dealing with own past denials and/or outside situations) try to see that denial is a protection mechanism. Your mind is trying to do you a favour or has tried to do so in the past. So if you are currently facing up to certain truths then see that part too. Look at yourself with deep compassion. It's not always easy or as clear-cut as it may seem. A healing process takes time.
As a side note: this was an extreme, and it would have been a very dangerous situation for the client to stay in it. Remember that there would have been fear for the partner and she would have been isolated, which makes it hard to get out. If you worry about someone you know in a similar situation then please contact the local social work.
Love to hear if this was helpful for you.