Wednesday, 30 November 2016

What are you ready to change and what do we mean when we ask that question?

This question is harder to answer than it looks.

A person typically goes to counselling to talk about what is happening to them, express their feelings and gain validation through being heard. But, rarely does a client get asked 'what are you ready to change today?'

We seek assistance for a variety of reasons, and often, without even realising it, not really know what it is that brings us to counselling; we only know we need 'help.' 

When you work with a Resource Therapist, you are going through a process that connects you to your feelings, thoughts, emotions and reactions that are at the root of why you sought help in the first place. 

We go to counselling to talk about something; something we don't like, something others don't like, or life issues that are confusing or weighing us down. With Resource Therapy, there is little talking or delving into a person's past. All that is really needed is a willingness and desire to create change in your own life.

Through a process akin to facilitation or family therapy, our internal resource states that hold on to pain, hurt, shame, anger, betrayal and abandonment, as well as multiple other emotional responses, get an opportunity to heal through validation, expression, removal and relief.

Inside each of us is a rich diversity of resource states ready to help out if called upon. Some are nurturing states, some hold our flight or fight responses and others protect us.

Some of these states were formed in childhood, bringing their childhood coping strategies to the adult world, where they may be expressed as inappropriate anger, rage, fear and all the range of emotions that each of us feels in our day to day worlds. As we mature, some of our resource states remain connected to the original experience that brought out the reaction.

We call this the Initial Sensitising Event, and it can be something innocuous to us today, but highly traumatising to a child. A child's fear of being 'abandoned' by his or her parents as the result of a 'joke', may find themselves unable to form appropriate attachments as an adult, always fearing abandonment by those closest. 

As an adult, your resource state may cause you intense feelings of anxiety whenever you start to get too close to someone, and react by pushing them away or creating self-fulfilling experiences of loss when relationships become damaged.

Whatever it is you want to change, change can happen. 

You can find out more about this amazing therapy by contacting Lisa at Loving Therapy.

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Friday, 9 October 2015

On Feelings of Sadness

Sadness comes in to our lives in many different ways.

As the counterpoint to happiness, we often don't like sadness, but it's an integral part of who we are.

Without sadness to help us reflect and learn, we wouldn't appreciate the good times we have with self and others.

Remembering this is important, because when sadness does come it can often be overwhelming and blind us to the reality of our situation, which is usually only temporary.

Our feelings are real, but they aren't facts.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Why we work with smokers differently

Recently I had someone contact me to ask about quit smoking. They were quite some distance from my rooms in Morwell, so I referred them to a local practitioner.

But, what they said about the cost of quitting smoking got me thinking.

Why should it cost hundreds of dollars for a client to quit smoking using hypnotherapy or any other modality?

Why should a person be disadvantaged because they have an addiction?

This caller told me they couldn't afford to stop smoking because if they could afford to save up the 'package fees' a lot of quit smoking practitioners charge, then they would have quit on their own, thank you very much.

That got me thinking about the cost of all the quit smoking programs out there; the guarantees, quit in 60 minutes and so on.

I've had clients stop smoking after one session, so why should I be seeking to capitalise on another persons pain by charging them a steep fee just to see me?

Why should I charge hundreds of dollars when I could just charge my normal sessional rate.

I don't charge hundreds for quit smoking because I believe the burden is already heavy on the shoulders of the smoker as they see their hard earned money drift away on the smoke.

Being ready to quit shouldn't be measured by how readily you part with hundreds of dollars.

Having accessible and affordable programs is what my practice is about.

If you are ready to quit smoking, help is just a call away.

I'm ready to quit smoking today!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Can our relationship survive an affair?

Yes, it's not guaranteed, but it is possible.

The fallout from an affair can be intense and long term. It doesn't just go away, and it will continue to fester until all parts are resolved. Lots of people say 'but it was just flirting', or 'it didn't mean anything' or 'it just happened'.

The language used by the unfaithful partner to minimise and shut down the hurt partner can seriously undermine a relationship.

Communication suffers, people withdraw emotionally, and the toxicity gets stuffed deep down into unspoken resentment.

Everything can appear to be ok, you might even be ok, and then something will happen which will trigger an emotional response and you'll be left reeling and wondering what is happening to you. 

Do you find yourself:

  • Seething at your partners lack of insight into your pain?

  • Wishing your partner would 'build a bridge and get over it'?

  • Wishing your partner would find a way to move on, because haven't you apologised enough now? Can't we move on? Do we have to talk about this AGAIN?

  • Ruminating and obsessing about everything your partner says and does? 

  • Clock watching whenever they are late home?

  • Keeping an internal score on your partners honesty and consistency when they tell you things?

  • Checking your partners phones, emails and online history, as well as worrying about who they are facebooking with?

  • Fretting about the time your partner spends away from you on activities they do, such as exercise, cycling, hobbies, work, etc?

  • Listening in on your partners conversations with others in the hope of finding out something?

  • Spending enormous energy on trying to figure out if your partner has had an affair or not?

  • Becoming hypervigilant to changes in behaviour?

  • Lacking interest in any kind of sexual or physical intimacy and find yourself pulling away from anything that requires you to connect to your unfaithful partner?​

  • Not talking about things because they are in so much pain and you don't want to make it worse for them?

  • Telling yourself that you should be able to just move on and let it go?

  • Always bringing things up, and it always ends up in fights.

  • stuck in that place betwen biding your time and hoping things will get better.

  • Feeling confused because you are getting mixed messages all the time?

  • Thinking you deserve everything because of past life choices you may have made?

  • Shutting down so neither of you rocks the boat?

  • ​Feeling manipulated by your unfaithful partner because they say they have stopped, but continue the same actions and conduct as if they are still engaged in inappropriate behaviour? Is it becoming about you not trusting them, leaving you feeling as if you  should be able to get over it and trust him/her, no matter what is in front of you?

  • Getting along ok, but becoming more and more intolerant of each other, with little things taking on what can feel like irrational and overwhelming importance?

  • ​feeling as if you just have to shut up and hang in there until you are strong enough to leave?

  • Worrying that you'll never be able to rebuild trust and you'll always be blamed and held to account?

  • Feeling as if your actions will never be forgiven, and why bother if it's never going to get any better?

  • Wondering if this is as good as it's ever going to get...and should you just end it and move on?

If any of this sounds like you, or your relationship, then there is assistance.

When emotions don't get processed from intense trauma, it becomes ongoing emotional responses and reactions that can become overwhelming and end up driving our everyday actions and interactions.

You, the hurt partner, think about THE AFFAIR all the time! You obsess about it, you question, you get suspicious, and you wonder about the little inconsistencies, the times your partner was late home, those phone calls, text messages and on it goes.

It can seem as if you are going crazy if you are the hurt partner, but you aren't; you are just in a heightened state of tension, pain, vigilance and unresolved conflict, which is a perfectly normal state to be in when everything is taken into account.

How do you deal with it? You talk, talk and talk some more. You find a way to communicate what is happening for you to your partner, each of you, and this is how I can help you.

Heart Healing is a about helping you communicate with each other in a new and respectful way.

It's about learning what you need to do in order to help your hurt partner heal.

It's about the hurt partner speaking their truth and finding validation in the speaking.

It's about the unfaithful partner acknowledging the hurt they have caused and listening, really listening, and being present to their partners pain and anger...yes, especially the anger.

It's about supporting you through this time of talking, reconnecting and negotiating a new relationship out of the old one.

And, importantly, it's about honouring each of you in a non-judgmental way, giving you the tools and support necessary to work on building a new life together, while integrating the pain of the affair into an appropriate state within each of you, allowing it to become part of the relationship, without overwhelming it.

A relationship doesn't have to end because of an affair, it can grow stronger and deeper if we learn how to open up and be honest.

Even if your relationship has ended, you can still recover your life and move on. We think we deal with things because we 'don't go there' or 'that's in the past'.  The truth is, no matter how long ago the affair was, the impact of it continues to reverberate, like the ripples on a pond after a stone has been thrown in it.

Whether you were the unfaithful, or the hurt partner, you can recover from the hurt, pain, anger and grief that ensued and still lingers. 

I know this, because it's our journey too...we get you, we hear you and we understand you.

If you'd like to experience someone 'getting you', we invite you to send us a message or give either of us a call - we know how tough it is to have a safe place in which to talk and be heard.