- Facilitate and a witness your grief journey. The counsellor walks alongside you. Is sensitive to your physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs.
- Provides constructive and supportive guidance, and focuses your attention and priorities.
- Facilitates self-reflective and deliberate choices, after evaluation of alternatives.
- Helps you build a sense of trust in yourself so you can give new direction to your life.
- Helps you builds a stable of coping strategies that recognise your vulnerabilities and limits and has your self-care at heart, but also stimulates a new way of being.
- Moves you from a sense of helplessness to a growing sense of self-esteem and confidence.
Carl Rogers, the father of person-centred therapy, revolutionised counselling and psychotherapy. Roger’s articulated a philosophy of being. His main hypothesis was that “Individuals have within themselves vast resources for self-understanding and for altering their self-concepts, basic attitudes, and self-directed behaviour; these resources can be tapped if a definable climate of facilitative psychological attitudes can be provided” (Rogers 1980, p.115) by a therapist, in a client-therapist relationship.
The relationship creates a safe therapeutic space so the client then has the freedom to choose who they really are. This allows a client go behind their roles and masks, examine how they are living, how they think they ought to, to go into the frightening realm of the unknown, discover the full breadth of experience of feelings, and experience all the parts of themselves which have been hidden. The result is a unique person, who is more open to his own experience, who is less defensive, whose reality is less distorted by previous experience, who can trust himself and his experience, and as a result, can choose behaviour suitable, even in the face of contradictory feelings.
The process engages a person’s creativity, it moves the locus of evaluation, from an external one, where the client relies or looks to others for approval or choices, to an internal one. A person can then create a life which is rich and is truly satisfying. It is an ongoing process of becoming. (Rogers, 1961). The process leads to empowerment, a sense of personal responsibility and an ability to make conscious aware choices.
The core conditions of congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathetic understanding exist over time. As a client is listened to with acceptance, clients then “gradually learn how to listen more acceptingly to themselves” (Corey 2009, p.173). As they are cared for and valued by the therapist, then clients will give that to themselves. Client’s learn to value themselves as they experience congruence and realness from the therapist. This self-actualising journey is shared by the client and therapist, as the therapist is on the same journey (Corey 2009). The counselling journey is both intensive and extensive.
If you would like to explore how to be more trusting of your own self, then then consider making an appointment with Bronwyn, an experienced counsellor at Your Path Psychotherapy and Counselling, in her rooms in Greenlane, Auckland.
Corey, G. (2009). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, Eighth ed, Thomson Brooks/Cole, CA.
Rogers, C R. (1980) A Way of Being, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.
Rogers, C.R. (1961) On Becoming a Person. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York.
Is there a risk to practitioners who care for others due to continual exposure to the stress, emotions and ailments of their clients? The answer is a resounding YES!
Practitioner’s as they listen with empathetic understanding to their clients, will often access the same emotions and awaken a range of experience in themselves. Our client’s emotions are contagious.
Although we are different from our clients, we as humans have common vulnerabilities and life experiences. We all at some level have the same fears of being alone, of not being enough, of not being understood or appreciated. When we identify with a client’s predicament, we can be plunged into a bodily felt empathetic understanding, leading to a constant quest for finding answers and a continual questioning our own belief systems. This can be draining emotionally and physically.
It’s quite simply uncanny how often we attract clients to our businesses that are going through the same life issues that we are. We are changed both by our own experiences and as a result of our clients.
If this sounds familiar then it may be important to have a deeper understanding about your triggers, an increased ability to experience and contain a range of emotions, a stable of coping strategies that are both protective and nourishing, and to have a self-care regime that recognises and validates you.
Your own wellbeing is of paramount importance.
I am not just advocating a regime to ward off burnout, I am advocating a way of being which allows you to regularly take stock of your own wellbeing, and allows you to turn up the degree of vibrancy and aliveness in you, that will be a shining light to your clients.
The risk is if you don’t, then any emotions that you continually push down may later pop up with vengeance and manifest as disease or come out sideways in unhealthy coping strategies. Both will result in you being a less effective health practitioner.
Regular counselling is one path to a more vibrant and lived life. Counselling in this light can be seen as growth promoting and the ultimate in self-care. An investment in your own wellbeing.
If you would like to make this investment, make an appointment with Bronwyn, in her counselling rooms in Greenlane, Auckland, by calling 021 127 7738 or emailing email@example.comRead More
We all procrastinate and put off doing certain tasks that need to be done. Your procrastination may be specific to one area of your life, such as starting that diet, exercise, making a call, meeting a deadline or making a decision. Or it may be in all areas of your life. Either way, procrastination may be holding you back from living a free flowing vibrant life.
So why do we procrastinate?
Why do we choose not to do what we need to do, in favour of doing something less important, all the while knowing that there will be negative consequences to our in-action.… and we still choose to delay.
Awareness of your own procrastination processes will bring the answer.
First it is helpful to understand what you say to yourself when you put off that important task, because there-in lie’s a belief which may need to be challenged, and replaced with a more useful belief.
Some common excuses:
- I’m tired.
- I will do it tomorrow.
- I am in the wrong mood.
- I can only start if I know I can do it well.
- I will do it when I want to, not because someone is telling me to.
- It won’t be fun or it will be hard, so I will put off the pain.
- If I try I might fail.
If that inner voice inside your head at this point is also saying ‘it’s because you’re lazy’, then we can dispute that belief too! How we behave is always looking for a good result. It may be that the payoff for procrastination is avoidance of feeling uncomfortable, and seen in this light it is understandable. If we try to avoid the anxiety and discomfort involved with the task, then we benefit from the avoidance, and means we are more and more likely to procrastinate.
If you feel you could benefit from finding the meaning of your procrastination and would like some practical help to STOP procrastination, then make an appointment for counselling with Bronwyn at Your Path Psychotherapy and Counselling by phoning 021 127 7738 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we can:
Find the meaning of your procrastination.
Develop strategies to end procrastination and tolerate discomfort.
Build confidence in your capabilities and meet your challenges with courage and confidence.
Help you step into a more vibrant life.
My counselling rooms are in Greenlane, Auckland, skype appointments are also available if necessary. For further information you can also log onto www.yourpath.co.nz.Read More
How many diets have you started and lost some weight quickly and then put it back on, or the diet is so restrictive that you blow it soon after starting.
Diets that fail to deliver have you end up blaming yourself for failing and becoming more preoccupied with food. Food becomes either good or bad with guilt attached. You eat to tend and feed emotions. You say no to invitations because of your size and how you see yourself, your sense of self-worth plummets.
You give yourself permission to eat because you are sad, or tired. You have a belief that having left overs is somehow a sin. You often say to yourself that you have blown the diet anyway so I might as well eat the lot.
There is a new approach emerging around the world to how we can better approach the issue of weight and health. The approach embraces the idea that it is more important to have healthy behaviours than it is to be a specific weight or BMI (body mass index).
Most importantly it recognises that diets don’t work in the long run. Our body has an innate wisdom ensures that they don’t work.
Studies are now showing that the old adage that as long as you limit what you eat and exercise more, then you will lose weight is too simplistic. Your body will only allow weight loss in the short term. As your body does not know the difference between a diet and famine, it will, in its own wisdom, compensate to regulate itself to regain fat, to ensure survival. Your body will work to undermine your best efforts to lose weight.
“When science tells us our body’s basic instinct to store fat is stronger than our sexual instinct, you appreciate that dieting is a much more complex process that it might seem”. Louise Foxcroft, Sunday Star Times 26 February 2012
You didn’t fail, the diet did.
Counselling can help you refocus your attention away from the diets that don’t work and concentrate on:
· Creating healthy behaviours which will support nourishing your body, heart and soul
· Understanding why you want to lose weight and working towards achieving those aims (which are never really achieved by just being thin)
· Living and eating intuitively
· Trusting your body and its wisdom by tuning into the signals your body sends you about how much, what and when to eat. Your body has within it systems to keep you healthy and at a healthy weight – you just need to listen
· Building self-acceptance and compassion for yourself
· Learning how to recognise your emotions, mediate them and take action, instead of using food to calm them (thus loosing access to addressing what you are really experiencing). By giving all your energy to food and losing weight you are not dealing with the underlying issues
· Move towards eating being a pleasurable nourishing experience again
· Finding ways to get you off the couch, to move your body towards fitness with fun activities rather than exercise for weight loss (which is never fun)
If you are saying to yourself, but I am fat and I need to lose weight and coming to counselling under this approach meaning forgetting about how much I weight, you are only partly correct. The approach is not about being an idealised weight, a weight which is often set in your mind “if only I was 60 kilos then I would be truly happy”. The approach is about being healthy, and more specifically being the healthy weight for your body. That may indeed be a weight less than you currently are.
If you would like to ditch the idea of diets forever and step into your own wisdom, make an appointment to see me, Bronwyn Alleyne by phoning 021 127 7738 or send me an email to email@example.com. My counselling rooms are in Greenlane, Auckland, skype appointments are also available if necessary. For further details you can also log onto www.yourpath.co.nz.
I have also listed below some books which you might like to read which expand on the science and this approach.
Bacon, L PhD, 2008. Health at every Size. The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. Benbella Books Inc. Dallas Texas.
Kausman, Dr R, 1998. If not dieting, then what? Allen and Unwin, Sydney Australia.
You are never quite prepared for the death of a loved one. Even if you know others who have experienced the resultant grief and pain, it can never be compared to your own. Grief is an individual experience. You will have your own reactions, feelings and a range of strong emotions.
To grieve you may need to express these emotions with supportive others such as family members, friends and colleagues. In the days and weeks after the death this support may be abundant, but as time goes on, it may be withdrawn as each person returns to their busy lives. It is common at this time to find yourself judging how you are feeling. Maybe you are feeling confused, your despair is increasing rather than lessening, or perhaps you think that others expect you to be coping better.
If this is the case, it may be time to seek professional support. Without access to being able to express what you are experiencing openly and be understood, then you may find yourself experiencing more intense emotions, depression or physical illness.
If you or someone you know is grieving the loss of a loved one and needs further support, acknowledgement and help creating a new relationship with their loved one after death, then please call Bronwyn and make an appointment for grief counselling.
M: 021 127 7738
The Psychotherapy Centre,
Level 1, 300 Great South Road,
Greenlane, Auckland 1051