I've been prompted by my website manager to write another Blog. I know it's been ages, but there's always so much happening it's hard to select a specific topic to write about. And I like Counselling Blogs to be intentional, usually about a current theme in my work. But what to choose?
I've got one. Hopefully this will be the right word at the right time for someone. I'm writing about Letting Go, because recently, I've been working with many older parents and adult children who are learning to do this, just as I've had to learn (and yes, am still learning).
So, I'm talking about the 'letting go' that's a requirement of life;...
Last Friday, I praised a client who has changed amazingly in the time I’ve known her. But it’s what she’s done that counts; and this is what I was praising her for.
Then I asked the question I always wonder about when people decide to take a journey of self-discovery. The question is: How did you find the courage to face your problems and begin this journey?
She thought a bit; then replied: I wanted to be honest with myself and I wanted self-understanding. And I think I knew what I wanted to be like, but I didn’t know how to get there. But that’s when I realised I had to confront my past, and figure it out.
As people, we’re good at lots of things. We’re innovative, so we invent new technology; we’re creative, so we express ourselves artistically; we’re sporty, so we strive to win; we’re intelligent, so we come up with new ideas.
But there are other things we’re also good at, and maybe we shouldn’t be. As human beings, we’re really good at blaming. We blame everyone and everything. We blame others for our failures, for our shortcomings, for our disappointments, for our bad decisions. We blame the weather, we blame our neighbours, we blame the teachers; we blame the doctors. You name it, we blame it. Blame! Blame!
We all put on social masks. They’re the personae, or facades we put on when we step out the door in the morning. It’s the person we are in the workplace, or when we attend a public meeting; on the sports field; at a social gathering, and on Facebook.
But sometimes I wonder if there’s such a thing as ‘authentic’ anymore? Have we become so comfortable with our social masks, we are that mask? Or, do we not only fulfil a role; we are the role? It’s become one and the same thing. There’s no difference.
Don’t get me wrong; social masks have their place. They help us survive in life. They protect us, promote us, and focus us on wh...
You may have heard the metaphor the walking wounded. It’s most commonly used in First Aid to refer to the people with minor injuries after an accident; the ones who get up and carry on while the urgent cases are attended to. But it’s a term also used in Counselling, (although as counsellors we use it in different ways). Since it’s used differently, I need to explain how I use it.
When I refer to the walking wounded, I’m talking about us. We’re walking around managing well; performing our roles; carrying out our jobs. But we have hidden emotional areas; painful ones. These are the parts of ourselves, the emotional wounds, we don’...
Have you noticed (I’m sure you have), that some people are endowed with a sense of entitlement, (sometimes based on privilege). And then there are others who also feel entitled, but theirs is rooted in lack of privilege. They feel they’re owed something in life because they’ve missed out, (and they’re probably right).
Then there are the Cinderella people, who don’t feel entitled at all. And that’s our problem. When people are kind to us, we don’t know how to receive it, and we thank profusely because they’ve done us a favour, which we don’t deserve. But when people are horrible, it’s no surprise, because our expectations of what we’re due are...
If you've looked at my website, you will understand a little bit about my approach as a counsellor. One of the counselling tools I use, is to help people identify their defensive behaviour (defensive behaviour = the way we mask our emotional wounds). Why do I help people do this? What's the point? The point is, so we recognise when our wounding has been triggered. And the point of this (hopefully), is so we can begin the journey of healing and change.
We recognise our wounding when we're over-reacting. Our reactive behaviour is not who we are. It's the behaviour of the unhealed self.