Time does not heal you, you heal you.
Human beings, aren't we an amazing species! We learn, we love, we play, we fight, we feel, we grow, we choose.
Feeling out of balance, whack or 'off' is common in todays world. Now, that doesn't mean that people back in the day were always on top of the world. Different environments no doubt brought different challenges. However, there is an undeniable trend of people noticing that the status quo just isn't working for them, speaking up and seeking help. The notion of 'heaven' isn't enough to satisfy and provide peace anymore for many.
Things we had fed into us from people and places such as relatives, school and church for example when we were young were accepted and believed. How many children were brave or aware enough to challenge this?
When we become an adult, our beliefs sometimes become skewed and incongruent with our feelings and thoughts as the mind attempts to make sense of things as we know it.
In order to achieve a congruent life we must first go through our 'stuff'. Commitment to ourselves to explore, learn, grow and alter things needs to come first before change is possible. Unresolved and unfinished business can wreak havoc on our unconscious mind. Therapy in its many forms can help to gain new perspectives and create new ways of being.
Self-Disclosure in counselling is when a therapist reveals personal information about themselves. It can be deliberate or unintentional, verbal or non verbal.
Verbally, a therapist can talk about an experience they have had or are having. It could be mentioning something about their lives like being married, having children or it could be about an experience they have had as a child or their own healing journey for example. This type of disclosure is called Extra-Session Disclosure as the topics relate to life events and experiences that occurred outside of the session. Often following a question or out of therapist choice.
Another form of deliberate disclosure which is usually therapist initiated, relates to the counsellors feelings of the client and the therapeutic progress itself. This is called Intra-Session Disclosure. For example. A therapist may say something like 'I notice you've been very quiet during our last few session and i'm wondering if i've done anything to facilitate this?'.
As well as verbal disclosures there are many objects or things that reveal personal information about a therapist non-verbally. Intentionally or un-intentionally, therapists reveal information about themselves. For example, the counselling space could have family photos or a trophy won for a hobby. They could receive a compliment and state that they love a certain colour.
As my approach is one that derives from more humanistic psychological theories my opinion on this subject is based on my
feelings as a person, a women, a counsellor, a friend, a mother, a daughter, a wife, simply put a human being. This sense of
being at one with the client and meeting them where they are at are important factors in creating a safe and connected space, enhancing the work being done in and out of the session. I believe that self-disclosure if done right can be beneficial to the overall therapeutic process. All that being said, let's look at what should occur prior to self-discloser being
introduced into the session before going into the topic further.
Basic empathy requires a person to understand and recognise what the other person is feeling. Having awareness of the emotions of another person as if 'being in their shoes'. Not to be confused with feeling sorry or pity. If your busy thinking, 'poor them, their so unfortunate' this is sympathy.
Moving further, advanced empathy takes things up a notch and requires a deeper more intuitive level of understanding.
An attunement to clients feelings not yet verbalized. The ability to be with another person and convey what you notice from their body language or from what you have connected between the lines of their verbal and often non-verbal cues.
As therapists, we should have done the work necessary so we can ensure that any disclosure is of benefit to the client and the counselling process. Our own self-awareness and ethical exploration of disclosure should be carried out.
Here are 3 things to ask yourself as a client and a counsellor.
Questions for Counsellors
1) Are my experiences similar to my clients and what feelings are coming up for me?
Any unresolved feelings or unfinished business coming up for you during session can impede the counselling process and may lead to countertransference.
2) Is what i'm going to say of benefit to my client and how?
Consider the impact of your disclosure. Depending on your approach, you may view self-disclosure as unnecessary or counter-productive. It's important to know where you stand so that when faced with a question from a client that calls for disclosure you know how to react so that the answer is authentic and will illicit understanding and not offence or confusion.
3) Is this something the client does regularly?
What is the underlying need behind your clients questions? It could be the need to feel normal, validated, inspiration that their current status can change. If this is the case, maybe something is missing and more validation, normalization or paraphrasing is needed to name a few. Or is it a way for your client to stall, avoid talking about themselves or could there be transference in motion?
What to do
-Seek help from your supervisor
-Revisit study materials and watch training videos
-Discuss with your peers in group sessions/forums
This is something we will go through at some point. Being aware of it is the most important thing. As therapists, the aim should be to continue to learn and improve ourselves as we go along to better serve clients and ourselves.
Questions to ask yourself as a client
1) Does your therapist remind you of someone close past or present?
Whilst this can be the case. The thing to be aware of is your emotional connection to the person in question. Was/is the relationship a healthy one? Is there any resentment, anger, mistrust that was experienced with them.
Unknowingly, you could be transferring unresolved feelings towards the counsellor which may stall your progress. If you feel this may be the case bring it up to your counsellor (if they haven't already :-) )
2) Do you find yourself wanting to be in your counsellors presence all the time?
This could be good thing, as the counsellor must be having a positive impact. If you feel that the time spent is helping you reach your goals then the connection to your therapist is strong and productive. Your counsellor could be the first and only person who listens, understands and really gets you. This intimacy can be so strong that it mimics a romantic relationship. Couple things here a) it is a real relationship. It's a real therapeutic one however. It's likely you have great admiration and gratitude for the person helping you through your healing journey. b) Sometimes feelings go beyond friendship, become romantic and even make appearances in your fantasies. This is normal and not as uncommon as you may think. Discuss this with your counsellor, they should be able to explore without judgement and discuss the reality of the situation.
3) Why is it important for me to know about my counsellor outside of their profession?
It's not uncommon to become curious about your counsellor. Some are more forthcoming then others, as are interactions outside of the therapy world. If you are asking simply out of curiosity and just that, understand that different therapists have different sharing styles. Self-disclosure may not me something that your counsellor believes is productive.
So what now...?
- Understand that the feeling of closeness is inevitable on the road to healing. People can get close fast especially in an environment that facilitates openness, empathy and unconditional positive regard. Intimacy is something we as human beings crave. Understanding what intimacy is and our relationship to it should be a point of exploration. A good therapist should understand and be able to help you with getting your needs met outside of sessions. Try not to judge yourself for having feelings.
- Review the forms you received at the beginning of your session regarding the therapeutic process. Remind yourself what therapy is and what it isn't. This can help you to get back to a place of knowing that therapy is about guidance, support and education.
-Be open to discuss this with your therapist and try not to take any non-disclosure personal. If this is impeding your connection and you feel that the therapy isn't quite working for you then maybe its time to move on. After discussing this with your therapist if you are still not satisfied with the therapy in general you are within your rights to find the counsellor thats the right fit for you. This doesn't necessarily mean 'easy' but allows for work to continue.
Therapy is a two way street. It's a therapeutic relationship that is only as healthy as the sum of two parts. Both parties have responsibilities to themselves and each other. I write this with the intention that both client and counsellor alike can sit on the same page as it were and see themselves first as human beings before anything else. Asking ourselves important questions acts as a check in. It highlights areas of improvement and exploration and reminds us of what were doing right.
As long as our disclosure is focused and relevant to the client, is kept to a minimum and delivered from a place of education and not from an unloading perspective. Self-Disclosure can be a helpful way to show validation, reduce any power imbalance and build rapport and trust.
Credits for Images Used - www.pixabay.com
Inspiration from http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/careers/blog/self-disclosure-in-counselling
Ever asked yourself any of these questions and are still searching for the answer?
- What is freedom?
- Ever wondered about the meaning of life and why we are here?
- Is (enter the religion born into) somehow not giving you the answers?
- Do those early teachings received relating to life and love leave you more confused?
- Why am I this way?
- Why do I feel stuck with the same things always happening to me?
So where do we begin. If you have asked yourself any of the questions above a good start would be to read the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It's a wonderful introduction for people who have decided that they want something more from life but are lost or have no idea where to even start. Off course this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how deep things go but we all need to start somewhere.
This book helps me on a daily basis and can help you too. If you like it please share with your family and friends so they too can receive some enlightenment.
What I liked about this book
I especially enjoyed the lightness of the text and layout. Sometimes books can seem intimidating and feel like a chore even before you've read past the introduction. This is one of those books that I call an easy read. Each chapter is thought provoking and relates to all human beings regardless of your race,creed,nationality,gender or economical status. While it doesn't answer everything it kick starts the journey into self-discovery and ultimately a life where we can regain more control over our thoughts and actions.
Then comes the hard part, incorporating the teachings into your daily life. Many of us will need help and further support as it will no doubt bring up many more questions and feelings that may need exploring. If you would like an online or in-person session feel free to contact me. If you have read the book please comment and let me know one of the ways in affected you.
Available online from retailers and amazon. (click image below)
After signing up for Christie Marie Sheldon's Unlimited Abundance course via Mind Valley Academy I completed an audio on clearing fundamental blocks and want to share my profound and deeply personal cathartic experience.
'Energy' - not the kind connected with stamina and fuel but the invisible forces that are above, below, around and inside us has always been a topic of curiosity and the more I learn about and explore the world of metaphysics the more intrigued I become. After recently watching the latest Star Wars movie the words 'may the force be with you' resonated in a completely different way to when I was a child hearing the same 'line'.
People of different faiths have at least one all important thing in common - A FORCE. A mighty, caring, gentle, forgiving, powerful, magnificent, creative energy, named or nameless. Scientifically, the stuff which makes all things including us humans are elements, on a more molecular level, atoms. So guess we are all made of stardust in some way but this doesn't mean I think this was all a giant explosion, we are far too intricate and magnificent to be 'an accident'.
So anyway, I'll get on with the original topic as getting side tracked in the black-hole-like realm of religion and science would need more coffee then I could obtain from the whole of South America. So putting a lid on that I will state that when the topic of religion comes up in conversation relating to my personal connection to it my response is that I am Simply Spiritual.
Esotericism also known as Spiritual Energy is a phenomenon that's creating waves across the world. Despite the lack of scientific back up, there is a rise in consciousness that is undeniable. In fact, science is playing catch up and finding links between mediation and science. Please read to the end for more on this.
I was perhaps 21 years of age when I saw the ripple and began to take an interest in something other than the religion of my baptism and schooling. Feeling like there was something missing, something that didn't feel quite right, I began to open my eyes to read between the lines and decided to accept only what resonated with me. I mean really resonated on a deeper level, so If I read, heard or saw something that touched my soul or altered me in a way that shifted my thinking I held it to form beliefs of my own. I felt enlightened you could say. Imagine a blank canvas titled 'My Beliefs' author 'Your Name' instead of your parents or society. Now that doesn't mean my beliefs were concrete but it did mean that I allowed myself to be curious, open and most of all create my own reality, after all, it was my life.
Moving forward after countless hours of learning, meditating and experiencing, I believe that our bodies are made up of the physical, the parts that move, require fuel, grow, carry and repair (physical), the parts that think, analyze, determine and memorize (mental) and the part that feels, holds, believes, and loves (spirit/soul). Our spirit is the energy that flows into our bodies at birth and is larger than our physical bodies. This space is known as our energy field. It exists in and around our human forms, our Aura's.
I recently had a powerful and amazing experience so wanted to share and also convey gratitude. I completed my morning mediation followed by Christie's Clearing Block Audio. I began the clearing process while listening to a 528hz Love Chakra audio of my own choosing. When I got to one particular block pertaining to one of my Dads beliefs I wept profusely and felt a huge shift. I then felt a warmth in my tummy/uterus area and felt the need to cradle as if a baby was in there. I allowed myself to continue and then realized that I was in there! I was being reborn and renewed as I let go of a belief that I didnt even realize I was holding on to.
Now without going into too much detail, this experience has been an enlightenment. I have a clearer awareness
on something that my body was holding onto in this area and have chosen to explore it further. In experiencing this, I was also reminded that I have the power to do what I need to for my own healing journey as does everyone else who believes that they can. The work that we do on ourselves allows us to move towards a lighter existence where we can flow. Clearing our inner space of debris makes way for the joy and peace we all deserve to feel in this life and beyond.
Are you having a persistent problem with an area in your body, hereditary or ongoing? Click Here for a great article I found on the meanings of Chakra Colours. Perhaps there is something stuck that needs addressing. Our bodies are amazing communicators, listen to it, honour it, and don't forget to give thanks for all it does for you.
Click for more on Scientific Reasons Why You Should Meditate
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-it/201309/20-scientific-reasons-start-meditating-today - Emma Seppala, Ph.D - 7 Feb 17
http://www.color-meanings.com - Jacob - 7 Feb 17
Images - Credits to www.pixabay.com
Desires,goals,wishes,wants. You name it, it all boils down to the same thing. Something we don't have but would like in our lives in the future (or perhaps the not so distant future - we can get impatient us humans).
Not to be confused with needs however as these are something different. As human beings we all have needs, basic ones like food, water and shelter and other needs like all important LOVE. But thats a whole new blog or rather a few million. So today, I'm going to briefly talk about the things we want/desire in life and one way we can begin to manifest them.
Today, I bought some lottery tickets, something I only do randomly I might add. For a moment, I day dream that I will be the 'next BIG winner', leave Walmart kiosk and go home. That could be me one day according to the Lottery ads but until that big win that will solve all my financial woes and fill in a few (well a lot) of needs I tell myself I must make a plan.
In the chopped words of Benjamin Franklin, "fail to plan, plan to fail". He was right. Anyone who has ever made it big or been successful in business and life in general has made a plan in some way shape or form. Now there are the plans we make in our heads which get lost and buried, the plans we talk incessantly about but never actually get around to doing and the plans we, well we don't make. Instead we wish, dream and desire without substantial actions.
Take a look at this pic below.
What are your thoughts? Do you want to turn around and head back where you came from? Move over to the side and pitch a tent in hope that the calvary will come along...any minute now or start stepping so you get to see what's up ahead?
Well, imagine this road as your life (indulge me for a minute). All your desires, dreams and wishes could be over that hill in the distance.
As we can't stop time, you will either be dragged down the path by someone else, pushed by the wind in a go-with-the flow kind of way or you could take steps to reach your goals. So literally taking those steps are super important!
A good place to start is to write down your goals. Short term and long term. No one has to see them and you can use it as an indicator of where you're at and where you want to go with life.
Here are 7 top reasons as to why goal setting is important.
1) It allows you to see accomplishments
Its great when you can look back and check off that item on your list. It provides a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement. A reminder that 'YOU CAN DO IT'
2) Encourages you to check in with yourself
Revisiting your goals helps you to identify your position. You can ask yourself questions like: How am I doing? What could I do to improve? Has something on my list changed?
This can be a good time to check in with your values. There could have been significant growth and personal development that has created unexpected change. Having goals change isn't necessary a bad thing.
3) Acts as a useful sharing tool
Our goals are very personal but often tied in with our partners. This can be useful to do, say once a year with your partner. Have your goals changed? Are they different to that of your partner? Is that a problem? This could be a good time to sit down and check in with a counsellor for further assessment and support.
4) Ask, Believe, Achieve!
Some of you may have seen this term if your into spiritually or have read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Although there is more to manifesting our goals then simply asking once and waiting, having our goals somewhere we can see them is the best way to incorporate manifesting them on a daily basis. I firmly believe that gratitude is one of the universes best kept secrets. As you look at your goals, take a moment to close your eyes and feel as though you already have them.
Use them as you meditate. You are worthy and deserving, remember that!
5)Provides Real Accountability
Procrastination, feeling sorry for yourself or just plain laziness will show if you reach a milestone and you haven't checked off any boxes. So what happened? Did something go wrong or was you plain lazy. Now don't get me wrong we are all allowed the occasional day off but too many lazy days isn't very productive. There is a difference between self-care and being idle. Worse still blaming someone else for why you haven't moved. So who do you want to be? Reach out for help from a therapist or coach who may have some useful tips on how we can change things.
6) Increases Motivation
Ever had one of those days when you have lost all time and wonder why you got out of bed in the morning? At times we meander through life and its easy to lose sight of what it is we are striving for. A quick look at our goals in the morning helps to provide some focus and hopefully motivates us to cease the day ahead. Briefly review your list and remember why you came. (here on earth that is)
7) Reminds you to stay on track
Is something your doing out of line with your goals? Remember you are in control. If we focus more on what we can control instead of what we can't we can lead less stressful lives. We all have choices and decisions to make. The choice to say hello to a stranger, skip meditation or the gym can result in different experiences for us.
Ever seen the film sliding doors? Its a film about two possibilities, one when the actress Gwyneth Paltrow manages to get on the train and one where she misses it. Having our goals in mind may help us when it comes to making everyday decisions.
No matter what our goals are, big or small, it's important to be kind to ourselves on our journey through life. We all need a helping hand at times and there should be no shame in asking for support.
So....How do I do this? I hear you shout.
Aren't you in luck. The universe has synchronized our meeting of paths and I've created a short two-page document for jotting down your goals for you to access right here!
The first page can be used for a longer term plan and can be revisited every New Year perhaps. This is a great way to review the year past and make any necessary changes. Most importantly, celebrate your triumphs and achievements.
The second page can be completed and put somewhere where you can view it daily for all of the reasons above.
All the best with your goal setting and beyond. KD
We all deserve to be with someone who will help us to grow and not expect us to change*but how is this achieved?*
Many of us have been in or are currently in romantic relationships where we are not happy, not even close to content or feel stuck in the dreaded relationship rut. We are quick to blame the other person for being at fault and needing to change or fix things. This kind of thinking will rarely provide resolve and the likelihood of remaining in this place of doubt and frustration will remain. How many of you have battled with that loaded question, Should I stay or go? This is one of the most difficult questions to answer and if said out loud should ALWAYS be rhetorical. It is also something that we should answer for ourselves. Point being is that anyone else's opinion or answer could pave the way for later blame and we owe it to ourselves to treat finding the true answer to this question as important as if we were the President making a decision on pressing the button for the go ahead on nuclear action. Seriously - it's that important.
Ambivalence can be an awful place to be in but learning to accept and deal with those times when we are uncomfortable or feel at our ‘lowest’ can also be the start of a new you - the start of the road to finding your true self, your happy place, peace and contentment. It’s not easy to comprehend at a time when you feel so broken your unable to see a way out the ditch your lying slap bang in the bottom of-but there ARE brighter days ahead.
Maybe you should talk to your partner... again? Perhaps not. For any relationship, facing that mirror of truth that we often hide behind is the first thing that needs to be addressed. Rehashing the same arguments can be exhausting and often we want the other person to quit so we don't have to. This is called 'lack of ownership' and actually a tad cowardly but I get it. Sometimes the easier way out seems better than facing your worst critic. You.
Don’t Compare - one size doesn't fit all.
We have all grown up in environments with different levels of love, attention and support. Some of us recall having great childhoods, others recall having poor ones, others are on the fence and don’t have a view possibly feeling adverse to review. Regardless of how we rate our upbringing we were ALL absorbing experiences from our environments that created our beliefs today. These sub-conscious beliefs drive our actions and decisions. Some of these actions are the cause for our discontent. What ideas about adult life, love and relationships were you exposed to? The conventional one partner for life, heterosexual, monogamous marriage not so typical anymore - but how has this affected the way we view and judge others?
We all enter relationships for one reason. To be loved and give love. As simple as this sounds it can often be one of the most complex things to achieve as our needs are different from one person to the next.
How do we define and fix something so complex. The answer is not to even try. Decoding and defining something so infinitely complex is futile so instead here is my first tip to the path of contentment and ease of self within a relationship. Below is one of the first things that we can do before we decide to stay or go.
#1 Stop deciding between staying and going
Yes, I know. Sounds counterproductive, but in fact sometimes overcoming a situation means taking a step back from it.
Understand Yourself - would you choose you? Perfection is Perception.
During your time with your partner, have you changed or grown and what facilitated that? Has any change been forced or growth self-directed?- what kind of partner would you like to be and are you falling short of that? Are you striving for the perfection and what does it mean to you? Ambivalence can be a place of growth instead of pain.
Only you can answer these important questions. Until your happy with who you are, expecting someone else to be happy with you and give you everything you need simply isn't fair. Relationships are important for growth of both parties and we can only control our part. One way to honour yourself and the relationship regardless of the current state is to work on YOU.
There are many facets to one of the most challenging and often frustrating things to navigate in life but Relationships when worked on can be one of the most AMAZING experiences on this earth.
If you are feeling in a rut, desire growth or have a niggling need to change some of your behaviours but can’t seem to get started, why not give counselling a try!
A good counsellor can help you decode your thoughts and support your journey of change and growth.
How does this relate to relationship ambivalence?
Hopefully you are supported in your decision to enter into counselling and your partner can provide some emotional support outside of the session regardless of whether they understand your motivations. But if not, thats ok too. In time and with the support of a good counsellor who you connect with and trust you can find the strength within. With patience and authenticity the counselling process can be a great way of understanding your needs, developing boundaries and finding sought after clarity. Self-enhancing leads to a happier you in or out of your relationships romantic or otherwise. Therapy can help you to communicate your needs clearer and increase the self-love you need to make better informed decisions from a place of stability and ownership.
Only then will you be able to choose whether to accept that you have reached the end of your experience with your partner or if you will continue to grow and experience more within your relationship.
*Inspired by Kate Rose, Nov 1 2016 via Elephant Journal
Counsellor, Facilitator and Writer - My aim here is to provide articles which provoke thought into our inner spaces. Our many 'Selves' should be celebrated, nurtured and most of all understood. Who we are when we are by ourselves and with others is paramount to our very existence and evolution. Connect.Support and Heal with KD Self-Ease.