Have you ever wondered why the same problems keep cropping up in your relationships? Or why it is that some people get into healthy relationships but it never seems to happen for you? It may be to do with the attachment style you learnt as a child.
Given the option, most of us would generally prefer not to feel pain. That is the way it is meant to be.
When we are functioning well, we experience a flow of emotion within a tolerable range and we feel balanced, well, socially engaged, and able to cope. We have systems in place to maintain such a state, which is optimal for our survival and functioning. Spending too much time in a hyper- or hypoaroused state (outside of this “Window of Tolerance”) is detrimental to our physical and mental health, and can even result in death.
In the natural way of things, a child learns to regulate his emotions through his attachment to his primary carer, usually his mother. When he experiences distress or pain, he runs to his mother, and in finding comfort, his distress will subside. Through this natural cycle, repeated over a period of time, a child learns that he can experience pain, but not be overwhelmed by it. He gains the tools to comfort himself and regain his equilibrium. Conversely, if the mother is for some reason not attuned to the child or is unavailable to meet his needs, the child experiences emotional abandonment. If this happens frequently, the child’s ability to regulate his emotions will be limited and this may lead to relationship difficulties later in life. [Read more…]
If you’re having difficulties in your relationship and find yourself going round in circles and resolving nothing, the Karpman Drama Triangle may help you to get a handle on the dynamics and help you to make healthy changes.
Depression and anxiety are the most common forms of mental distress in the UK. Because these conditions impact so much on the lives of sufferers and their families, it is understandable that many people seek a quick fix that will get them back to normal as quickly as possible. Antidepressants seem to offer this possibility; however, recent research shows that antidepressants may not be as effective as previously thought, especially in cases of mild depression. The Royal College of Psychiatry estimates that between 50% and 65% of people treated with an antidepressant for depression will benefit. Furthermore, according to a Canadian researcher, Dr Paul Andrews, individuals who take antidepressants can be nearly twice as susceptible to future episodes of major depression than those who don’t.
Have you ever thought of yourself as lazy, unintelligent, less capable than others? Have you ever wondered why you’ve underachieved in life, despite having been praised in your early years for being clever and good at certain things? I certainly have.
During my counselling training, I had the opportunity to seek an understanding of why I was so scared to risk progressing in life. From what I had learnt about person-centred counselling theory, children need to know that they are loved and accepted just as they are. However, the reality is that all children are exposed to “conditions of worth” to some degree, and learn that they are only acceptable to significant others if they think, feel or behave in certain ways. The way I made sense of my underachievement was that I only felt acceptable if I achieved. If I failed, I would be judged, therefore it was easier not to try at all. But how did this situation come about?
Until fairly recently, I had thought of anger and rage as being on a continuum; I believed they were different shades of the same emotion. I then had a life experience that triggered what I now know to be rage. I experienced this as an extreme and primitive emotion, which was way beyond any angry feelings I had ever experienced before. Underlying this rage was a terror of not being able to cope alone.
Whether we’ve experienced small setbacks or major traumas, we are all influenced by past experiences we may not remember or don’t fully understand.
In Getting Past Your Past, Francine Shapiro explains how our personalities develop and how we become trapped into feeling, believing and acting in ways that don’t serve us. Through detailed examples and exercises readers will learn to understand themselves, and why the people in their lives act the way they do and will learn techniques to improve their relationships, break through emotional barriers and overcome limitations.
Using a conversational style, humour and fascinating real life stories, Shapiro makes it easy to understand how unprocessed memories can keep us stuck and what we can do about it.
If you carry negative beliefs such as “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not loveable”, which are holding you back, this book will help you to find the roots of these beliefs and establish more realistic ones.
Click on the image below to purchase Getting Past Your Past on Amazon.
People in England with mild to moderate mental health concerns, including panic attacks, anxiety and depression, are to be prescribed self-help books which they can borrow from their local library. The Books on Prescription scheme, developed by the Reading Agency charity, is being rolled out across GPs’ surgeries and libraries in England in May.
Mobile apps for your iPhone can be very helpful in tracking emotions, moods and thoughts between counselling sessions, providing helpful material to work with and helping you to identify patterns and triggers. They can also help you to soothe your emotions and can even help you to get to sleep!