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  • Writer's pictureStephen Carter

How Deposits Into Your Emotional Piggybank Can Help You Heal

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Years ago one of my clients offered a useful metaphor about why it’s important to choose who you spend time with:

"There are people who deposit a stream of pennies into your emotional piggybank and there are people who take out two pennies or more for every one they deposit, if they deposit any at all."

Yellow and Red Flags

There will be no shortage of people who offer unsolicited advice about how you should feel and what you should do about a traumatic event or situation. A yellow flag of caution should fly when someone says,

“I know how you feel.”

They don't know. They can't know.

Yellow flags turn red when you hear,

“Here’s what you need to do…”

Some people offering unsolicited advice may be well meaning, but too often people are attempting to place themselves in a position of authority to bolster their egos at your emotional expense.

Growing Your Emotional Piggybank

How do you know when people are adding to your emotional piggybank?

The first indicator is they listen, they really listen without interrupting you, without judging you, without offering unsolicited advice. When in their presence, you feel supported.

Indicator two is they’re gentle in voice and presence. If you ask for their thoughts, they will likely begin with words of support, words that validate you and your feelings.

A third indicator is, after listening and restating the important things you shared, they ask open ended questions that help you uncover emotions and insights you may not have been consciously aware of.

After helping you sort through your thoughts and emotions, they gently ask questions that help you tap into your resources and strengths. They help you discover healing pathways of your own choosing.

Healing is Possible

Healing is possible and there is no one “right way” forward. We at FREA encourage you to explore the resources on this website. If you need professional help, choose a therapist with extensive experience helping trauma survivors.

Building Emotional Wealth Beyond Measure

As you heal from trauma it’s vital to spend time with people who generously add to your emotional piggybank. Positive emotional pennies deposited daily into your piggybank soon grow into emotional wealth beyond measure.


Stephen Carter is the CEO of Stress Solutions, LLC, a company dedicated to helping people enhance physical and emotional wellbeing through stress mastery using mind-body methods. He is the host of the "EFT Tapping Junction" and "Mindful Way Living" podcasts. Contact Steve through his website at


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