Understanding boundaries Pt2.

As I said previously being able to say no is really important when trying to establish boundaries. Boundaries work to protect yourself from other people and is essentially a form of self care. It links to how you want to be treated by others, what you are willing to accept or not accept.

The difficulty with boundary setting is that it is up to the individual to continuously exert them. People will test your boundaries and push against them but it is up to the individual to maintain them.

Having good boundaries is key to having better balanced relationships which ultimately leads on to more fulfilment.

Understanding boundaries Pt1.

An individuals boundaries will change over time. A person will not not have the same set of boundaries for every relationship. The type of boundaries you have within yourself towards another person depends on the dynamic of that relationship. For example you can have very clear boundaries with a friend but with another friend you may find it difficult to assert yourself.

Having good boundaries does not mean you are selfish or cold. Being able to say no to someone is an act of setting a boundary. Saying no is really important as it shows that you are able to take your own opinions into consideration.

What no one tells you about self worth

A common misconception about self worth is that having self worth means being happy, confident and out going. When actually it is not about those things at all.

Self worth means being able to acknowlegde when something is good or bad for you. Self worth is a way of noticing yourself. For example an individual with self worth would be able to walk away form someone who was taking advantage of them. This would still be difficult and painful but they would be able to act on their feelings. Whereas an individual with very little self with could have an awareness that they were being used but they would not have the power to walk away from the situation.

Having self worth is a powerful tool to have. It can prevent an individual from staying in an unhealthy relationship and it helps an individual to know when a relationship is good for them. It is not something that can develop over night and it is not reflective of how good you feel.

Misunderstanding intimacy

Many people believe intimacy to mean sex but it is not. Some couples who are unable to feel close or vulnerable to one another may feel they need to be physical to feel close to one another. However that only creates a temporary feeling of closeness. Prolonged closeness between two people comes from emotional intimacy which is a feeling of being able to be open and vulnerable.

A lack of intimacy between two people often feels like there is a great distance between the two people. Lack of intimacy can result in boredom, being defensive, arguments, frustration and a general lack of communication.

Intimacy

Intimacy issues are often associated with relationships. Many individuals feel concerned that there is a lack of intimacy in their relationship. But what is intimacy and what does it mean to be intimate. The simplest way to describe intimacy is too feel close. So when a person complains of lack of intimacy with their partner what they are really saying is that they do not feel close to their partner.

Being able to feel emotionally close to your parter, family member or friend is really important. It is trough that closeness that you are able to build on a mutual understanding which therefor leads to an emotional fulfilment.

Perspective

Every individual has perspective which is their own way of looking at the world. Perspective gets developed over time which is why someone cannot change their perspective overnight. It gets developed through interactions and experiences with significant people in your life. Such as parents, extended family and friends.

Early experiences with the wold begin to shape how you see the world and what you expect or do not expect from the world. Whatever your individual perspective is, it often informs how you relate to the world and other people.

Being a minority and dealing with mental health

Being a minority myself I know all too well the stigma and pressures that minorities face when dealing with mental health or trying to access help. Going to therapy has been associated with white middle class people whilst everyone else just has to get on with it. But this simply is not true.

Everyone can benefit from therapy no matter race or class. So why do so few minorities access therapy? Within certain cultures suffering from psychological distress is not accepted. You have to be strong and get on with things otherwise you won’t have the same chances as everybody else.

This idea of being strong and tough makes many people feel as though they are failing somehow if they admit they need help. The whole ‘get on with it’ attitude has been passed down through generations and then becomes engrained especially in male minorities. More recently certain footballers such as Danny Rose and Rio Ferdinand have gone public with their own battle with mental health which I feel does increase awareness.

Does therapy change your relationships?

Sometimes people can come to therapy with the view to change their relationships. When an individual enters therapy it is themselves that change. It is not possible to change another person but what does happen is that you begin to change.

As you begin to develop emotionally you may begin to see your relationships around you in a different perspective. You may start wanting things from the relationship that you did not realise you wanted. Other people around you will not change but they may very well have opinions and feelings towards these changes. So it is not therapy that changes your relationships it you who begins to change and alter relationships if you want to.

Experiencing bullying as an adult pt.2 (workplace)

Identifying bulling in the workplace can be extremely difficult as there are many hierarchal dynamics that exist. Bullying can take place between co-workers and managers. The drive to want to be good at ones job and to get promoted or recognised for their hardwork can deter someone from taking action against bullying.

Some people are scared they will be seen as weak or a troublemaker. This results in an overwhelming amount of people suffering in silence because they believe it is part of being an employee. Bullying happens in many different disguises. Humiliation is very common in the work place because it uses humour to cover an insult. For example a employee often gets jokes made about their attire. Other employees laugh at the jokes and the employee also feels that they have to laugh when in reality it actually hurts them.

Experiencing bullying as an adult

Most people have experienced bullying on some level. Typically bullying is associated with school. We think of name calling, trolling, being picked on for being different or just not fitting in.

When your an adult bullying can be harder to recognise. There might be bullying in work place, amongst friends, socially and in the family. Being picked on when your an adult can feel shameful and is often not talked about. There is a pressure amongst adults to be strong capable individuals that can overcome and handle any situation. This is not the case.

Panic Attack Pt.2

Step 1: Try to sit down. If you are having a panic attack and your breathing becomes rapid and shallow you may begin to feel light headed so try and sit down. If there is no seat near you and you are in a public place try and alert a member of staff. They may be able to offer you a stool.

Step 2: Try to focus on your breath, this will help your breathing to slow down. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. For example: Breathe in for 3 counts and breathe out for 3 counts . Repeat this until your breath has returned to normal. 3 counts is good because it is easy to manage.

Step 3: Take your time. If you have just experienced a panic attack try not to rush around too soon. If you have obligations like work, school run or class. The best thing is to ring them and say your running a little late. It will take time for your heart rate to return back to normal if you rush back into something you could have another panic attack that may feel even worse.

Step 4: Have some juice. The sugar in juice will help your body to recover. Having a panic attack is a tiny trauma for your body. The sugar will help your body with replacing some energy in a short amount of time.

Panic Attack Pt.1

A panic attack can happen to anyone at any time and any where. Panic attacks are usually a symptom of some kind of underlying psychological distress. During a panic attack an individual can feel overwhelmed and there is no space to think or to stop yourself from feeling overwhelmed.

A physical response to a panic attack usually results in an accelerated heat rate and breathing becomes shallow and fast. A light headedness or dizziness can also be felt. Unfortunately there is not much you can do to prepare for a panic attack because they are so unpredictable but there are a few steps to take when you have a panic attack. Please see upcoming blog post.

Dissociation

Dissociation can vary from mild, moderate to severe. It is a feeling of being detached from ones self as though the world and our experiences are not real. Often an emotional numbness can manifest and at times a lack of identity can be felt.

Dissociation can brought on by stress or trauma as a way of defending against painful feelings. Dissociation can be helpful when it is in response to trauma however if it is prolonged then it can result in a difficulty to form relationships.

What to expect from a therapy session (Short term)

My short term counselling model consists of 12 sessions. I always agree a set focus with the client, this is done in the initial assessment. I let the client know that whatever comes up during the sessions I will always bring it back to the agreed focus as that is what we will be resolving.

If something comes up during the counselling that does not relate to the focus, I acknowledge that we cannot explore that and bring the counselling back to the focus. The reason for having a focus in short term counselling is to be able to resolve anything in a short amount of time there needs to be a focus. 


What to expect from a therapy session (Long Term)

When you come to a session we will explore what ever you bring to a session. Unlike other modalities such as CBT there are no pre agreed objectives for the session. At first some clients find this daunting as they are unsure what to talk about. But this process becomes more familiar over time.

It is up to the client to bring what ever they feel they want to talk about. Some clients worry about the relevance of what they are talking about however everything a client says is relevant and it is up to me to help you to make sense of what your saying and to gain a deeper understanding of yourself.

Sometimes there will be silences in the session and that is ok. At first there maybe a degree of discomfort for the client to sit in silence but it is important that the client is allowed to feel safe in the silence and not feel they have to talk for the whole 50 minutes if they do not want to. There is no right or wrong way to be in a session.

How talking about your feelings can help!

As humans we experience an array of different emotional states. These differing states can take us by surprise or we can expect them. We are very complex creatures with the ability to feel more than one emotion at any given time. Just think how many times you have felt angry and sad at the time towards the same issue.

Emotions play such an important part in our lives but it is often the part of ourselves that is least talked about. Experiencing different emotional states can feel overwhelming and cause anxiety. Talking about what you are feeling is vital in order to move forward and to gain some understanding about what your emotions are trying to tell you.

What is the unconscious?

The unconscious is a state of mind that is different from the conscious. Your unconscious is something that you are not aware of. Whereas you are aware of what happens in your conscious for example making dinner.

What lies in our unconscious ultimately influences how we behave to ourselves, other people and how we view the world. Things that are too traumatic or frightening to process usually get pushed into the unconscious (repression).