How I Can Help
There might be many reasons for seeking therapy and below I have listed just a few;
Overcoming Low Self Esteem
Some people think it’s a sin to love yourself. They consider those who love themselves to be conceited and rather unpleasant. But they’re mistaken. They confuse self-love with false pride and narcissism (being in love with yourself) which is quite a different matter. Vanity and arrogance are usually a form of bravado engaged in by people who love themselves too little and are trying to cover it up. If you don’t love yourself you are likely to have no sense of self worth or feelings of belonging.
Furthermore, your capacity for loving another is directly related to how much healthy love you have for yourself. You can’t share anything you don’t have. How can you truly love another if you don’t feel love for yourself? What would be your reference point?
The first step in overcoming low self esteem is to become more accepting of yourself and to realise that nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes occasionally and this is absolutely normal and perfectly acceptable. We should resist the unhealthy desire to judge ourselves by competing with others. We are all different, and thank goodness for that. For you to become confident, it’s crucial that you try out new experiences and embrace challenges and risks and see them as an opportunity for growth rather than something to be frightened of.
Our sense of identity and self-worth often rests on the strength of our relationships and we may despair when they fail. Our ways of relating are learned at a young age in the family in which we grew up and we can become stuck in unhealthy habits that restrict our lives.
Under pressure we often revert to familiar patterns. Self-respect and liking oneself are the most important ingredients for any good relationship. Therapy can offer the chance to examine our patterns of interacting with those around us to allow us to lead healthier and happier lives.
Managing conflict is one of the corner stones to improving relationships. Learning the skills to negotiate and communicate better can allow unhealthy patterns to change. Understanding the value of self-esteem can help address difficult issues with the greatest chance of success.
Increasing Confidence Levels
Increasing confidence levels is something most of us would like to achieve. Self confidence relates to self-assuredness in one’s personal judgement and ability. It is a vital ingredient to help you achieve the happiness and success you deserve in life and increase your self esteem.
Self confidence is a way of thinking, feeling and being that shows you accept, trust and believe in yourself. With self confidence you can live comfortably with both your personal strengths and weaknesses without undue self-criticism. You acknowledge your own dignity and value as a unique human being and treat yourself well, in much the same way that you would treat someone else who you respect.
Increasing confidence levels is a gradual process, and one that will improve many aspects of your life.
Beating Isolation & Loneliness
In the busy, over populated modern and increasingly connected world that we now live, isolation and loneliness have paradoxically become more and more common place.
With the sense of community and family structure less cohesive than in past years, and social pressures greater, we can often feel out on a limb and this can affect psychological and physical health.
Social media and the media generally collude in creating an image of the perfect life we should have, that although we know it unreal, it still grabs onto and attaches to a fragile part of our psyche and impacts negatively upon our sensitivity.
Dealing with Anxiety
Anxiety and worry are very fundamental human emotions that we will all feel at times. Anxiety has a very healthy purpose. If we did not feel anxious about certain situations, we would risk falling over cliffs, stepping into fires and so on. Similarly, if we had no anxiety about ourselves in relation to others we might well behave with great insensitivity. However, sometimes anxiety can become excessive and unhealthy.
Skills in dealing with anxiety and anxiety attacks may include taking an active interest in how your anxiety manifests itself, identifying what sort of worry(s) you have, consider how you react in different situations and understand the ingredients that are particularly worrying. By looking at the situations you are avoiding because of anxiety, begin to think about how you might expose yourself to these in small but increasing steps and by developing a problem solving attitude that will allow you to dismantle the large problem and help in dealing with it in small practical steps, will go a long way to understanding and dealing with anxiety better, and as such begin to actively reduce it.
Dealing with anxiety is about taking an incremental problem solving approach.
Handling Workplace Stress
Workplace stress is the reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them within the workplace. Skills for workplace stress management are many, from taking care of yourself, maintaining the right attitude and applying time management/prioritising resources.
When we’re stressed, we don’t always take care of our bodies. This can lead to more stress. Healthy eating, better sleep and exercise are the fundamental ways of looking after ourselves.
The right attitude may include overcoming perfectionism, developing a sense of humour about life’s challenges or achieving mindfulness (the practice of becoming more aware of the present moment rather than dwelling in the past or projecting into the future).
Stressed people tend to be busy people simple because they have more activity in their lives. Because they are busy they have less time to devote to stress management. If time management and prioritising skills can be applied, some of what is causing the stress in the first place may be eliminated. Effective workplace stress management can liberate us from the resistance that arrests our career success.
If wanting to save a marriage or to better understand what’s needed to create a successful, long lasting and happy relationship, here are a few strategies to consider;
- Communication and working through ‘it’.
- Building lasting trust.
- Meeting each other’s needs effectively.
- Igniting and/or keep passion alive.
- Managing conflict.
- Seeing the strengths and celebrating the differences.
- Celebrating being you.
- Planing a good future together.
Dealing with Loss of Identity & Direction
Our identity is something that we hold most precious as being the core and representation of our self. The feeling of loss can present it self as an existential crisis to our very being and as such can challenge our perception of our existence and why we are here.
Coping with Frustration and ‘Feeling Stuck’
Frustration is an emotion that occurs in situations where one is blocked from reaching a personal goal. The more important the goal, the greater the frustration. The build up of psychological frustration is often claimed to be the cause of aggression, and aggression is defined as any form of behaviour by one person which is intended to cause pain, suffering, or damage to another person. This may be physical or verbal.
Anger and aggression often, but not always, go hand in hand. Anger is a normal, and necessary, human emotion. It is how people naturally respond to threats and it inspires powerful, often aggressive feelings that allow people to fight when they are attacked. When anger gets out of control however, it becomes destructive and people respond aggressively. People need to express their anger, but by doing this in an assertive, not aggressive, way is healthiest. Being assertive means that people make their needs clear and meet those needs without hurting others.
If you can achieve this you are unlikely to feel frustrated or stuck with your life.
Overcoming abuse, and that might be overcoming physical abuse or overcoming emotional abuse or very likely a combination of the two, is an area that I feel especially passionate about.
Understanding the dynamics of abuse may help with the shifting of the energetic patterns that hold the abusive patterns in place, and so aid the development of healthy relationships.
Abuse involves both an abuser and a victim and is about power and control rather than respect and love. We usually think of men as the abuser and women as the abused, but that may not necessarily always be the case.
You don’t need to have been the immediate victim of abuse to suffer from it. You may have witnessed an abusive situation or may have taken on the energy and the behavioural pattern from a parent who has suffered from it. Adults who had to deal with abuse as children are more likely to go along with abusive conditions in relationships than people who have grown up in healthy conditions. Abuse in childhood can have far reaching consequences that may take many years to overcome.
In all cases of abuse, boundaries get invaded and need to be re-established. With good boundaries you can regulate closeness and distance, stay in your own identity whilst also being able to connect intimately with another person. Overcoming abuse can be more easily said than done.
Problematic Social Media Use
Anecdotal case study evidence suggests that addiction to social networks on the Internet may be a potential mental health problem for some users, but proof as yet is relatively scarce. I think it very clear to many of us that although social media may at best be a wonderful tool, it also has a huge capacity to make even the most self assured and stable of us feel insecure and worthless and force-feed our own self-critic.
The tweaking of algorithmic filters for addiction means that social sites get more addictive every day, and that the sites are in a war for survival where only the most addictive sites will survive. Meanwhile, our innate human ability to resist this addiction doesn’t evolve.
This means that for most of us we are simply being manipulated by the social sites and content creators to waste far too much time in a way that benefits them, not us.
The best solution is to schedule your social media site use and keep track of how much time you’re spending there. Easily said but very difficult to do, particularly if your social life and/or business success depends on it!
Is it possible to separate or divorce well? It certainly should be, and if there are children involved then it really needs to be…