Psychological Solutions For A Better Life

Archive for the ‘Therapy’ Category

Is Stress Killing You?

boat sinkingStress is practically unavoidable, isn’t it? How damaging stress really is, most people are not aware of it. And many of those who are aware of it are rather at a loss of what to do about it. When we google STRESS, there are 234.000 thousand websites that offer some commentary on the topic of STRESS. Given that it is becoming more and more of an epidemic, these commentaries and advises don’t seem to make much of a dent in the problems stress is causing people. So what are we doing wrong?

  • First of all, most people mistake the cause of stress. That is a big problem, because if you think your cause for being hungry is the lack of exercise and you subsequently exercise more, you are barking up a very very wrong tree.
  • Secondly: most people use tools, skills, and techniques that – for a fleeting moment or two – relieve a person’s stress but do not address the cause of it. That’s like providing a sinking rowboat with a bigger bucket … no no no, you have to fix the leak!

If STRESS is something that plagues you, you might want to start learning about the origins of stress and what it does to your body. Most people don’t take stress serious enough. IT IS A KILLER and it pays to ACT NOW!  Watch the U-Tube clip and when finished, make contact with me or another health professional you trust! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYG0ZuTv5rs

New Beginnings

20140107-145801.jpgIn my preparation for coming ‘back to work’ I glanced through old comments and notifications and found a comment left in 2008 “How do I know I am with the right therapist”? I don’t know how I answered back then, but today I thought “What an interesting question”. How do therapists/counsellors know that they are right for a particular client, and how do clients know that they are with the right therapist?

Often both clients and therapists fall prey to the assumption that therapy is the only path to recovery and/or that therapy with a particular therapist is the only path to healing. This is a dangerous assumption. Let’s not forget, the client is doing the healing, not the therapist. The capacity of the seed to become a fully grown, healthy plant is within he plant, not with he gardener. He or she is only providing an environment in which that growth can accelerate. When the seed is not growing the gardener has failed to provide the appropriate environment. (more…)

The Secret to Great Relationships and Good Parenting

Going by the many ‘how-to’ books and articles you would think all it takes is to learn a few techniques or skills and you are well on your way to a great relationship and good parenting. Whilst it is very helpful to use the concept of ‘time-out’ (parenting) or ‘making I-statements’ (relationships) focusing mainly on skills will let you fall short of the desired outcome in both relationships and parenting. Skills are the icing on the cake.

The cake, however, the vital aspect that forms the basis to a great relationship and also is instrumental in being a good parent: is Self-Awareness. Having self-awareness means that you have been able to make sense of your life, that you have been able to reflect on many, if not all, aspects of your life from early childhood onwards. It means you have been able to process the painful aspects of your life, you understand where your defenses and compulsions originate from, that you have access to a wide range of emotions, that you can regulate your distress well enough to not fall often into acting out behaviour, and that you like yourself.

Working through one’s personal life-story is not an easy task. It requires courage and commitment to stay with a process that is often uncomfortable and emotionally draining, especially when you have experienced childhood trauma (abuse or neglect), grief and loss, long-term illness, or disability. Not doing so may result in a lower level of functioning we all may experience in times of stress or fatigue. Unresolved trauma or grief however interferes with our clear judgements, social skills, self-understanding, attunements to others’ needs, and emotional intelligence. 

If you experience problems in your (intimate) relationships or in your parenting, engaging in self-exploration with the help of a psychotherapist might be a solution for your problems.

Does Counselling Work?

Hands The other day, on my way to town, I listened to talk-back radio questioning the counselling industry and wanting to hear from listeners whether counselling ever worked for them. Listening to some of the comments made, I was amazed how quickly people are prepared to judge without bothering to do at least some research, looking for facts, or doing at least some sort of deeper thinking.

Counselling and counsellors have been the target for much ridicule and sarcastic comments for many years. In a society that puts a lot of emphasis on being successful, showing no weaknesses, and appearing spotless, having to go to a counsellor must mean for many people the ultimate declaration of personal failure and weakness.

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Improve Your Sex-Life

Love-3 Sex is the most profound and intimate way people express their love to each other. Through the ever increasing access to information through traditional media and the internet we are very well informed about the many different ways people enjoy and pursue sex and sexual gratification in their lives. Even though one might think we have been 'immunised' and desensitised by explicit sexual depictions in public, in movies, and in the media, sex or the lack thereof is still a very reliable barometer of the quality of people's relationships with each other.

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The Grieving Process

Butterfly yellow pink A lot has been written about the grieving process. The Kuebler-Ross model, also known as the grief cycle, is probably the best known description of the grieving process. Dr. Kuebler-Ross’ model offers 5 stages of grief that needs to be traversed for grief to be resolved. However, grieving does not always, or better hardly, follow a clean model of stages. Kuebler-Ross has already pointed out that grieving is a very individual process. People may wander back and forth in the grief cycle, repeat stages over and over again, and may get stuck at some point. The 5 stages are:

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Grief And Social Support

Butterfly flower Although loss is a normal part of life for everyone people are rarely prepared to deal with it on their own. One characteristic of human societies is that people come together and seek closeness with others in the face of traumatic experiences. Emotional attachment to supportive others is seen by many as the most important protection against feelings of helplessness and meaninglessness. Emotional attachment is probably the primary protection against feelings of helplessness and meaninglessness. Emotional attachment is essential for adults to make meaning out of their existence.

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