Monday, 20 October 2014
I seen many different phobia's over the years, everything from spiders and flying, to phobias of children, pregnant women and even the colour white. You can have a phobia of anything, you can get one at anytime. People that have a true phobia can find that they interfere with day to day life, I once treated a lady who was trapped in her car for 4 hours because there was a cat sat on her garden wall. She was sat there completely unable to move, at least until the cat did. All a phobia is, is that you have made a faulty connection that a certain thing or situation is totally threatening - even though your rational mind knows that it isn't. It's a process that happens at an unconscious level, at lightening speed causing a whole range of distressing symptoms. So treating a phobia is actually a simple procedure - it's really just a case of making the stimulus non- threatening again. Simple when you know how eh?
Thursday, 10 July 2014
One of the biggest causes of anxiety is a mismatch of what we know to true and what we believe to be true, to make matters even more confusing sometimes the belief is a subconscious one and out of conscious awareness. This mismatch of knowing and believing can cause phobias, Ibs, various anxiety disorders, and a host of other things. Someone who has a phobia knows that their trigger cannot harm them, they know that a particular thing or situation isn't actually threatening, they can be completely logical and rational - until the moment they are faced with the thing or situation they are phobic about. At that moment logic and reason are pushed aside by the fight-flight response and fear and anxiety take over, why? Because they believe at some level they are in a truly bad situation and are in danger. The subconscious mind has a lot to answer for in this situation, we can hold onto faulty beliefs all our lives, just because of a throw-away comment made by someone when we were young, something we saw on TV or even just by watching someone else react with fear to something that had never bothered us in the past. I find it astounding that the most prominent power of our mind (the subconscious) can in fact be so illogical and so easily filled with faulty information. People also often know that they are good, kind people, but at some level believe themselves to be inadequate in some way, causing issues such as anxiety, social issues and low self esteem. So the next time you find yourself feeling anxious - ask yourself what do I know and what do I believe ? If there is a mismatch you then know where your anxiety has come from, which is a good place to start moving forwards.
There are many misconceptions about being dyslexic - I can actually read, my vocabulary is good, I am not stupid and people with dyslexia do have a good grasp of language. My spelling is hilarious, and as a mother of 2 dyslexic kids playing scrabble or hangman in our house is an interesting experience - especially for our non-dyslexic guests! But I think being dyslexic is an advantage in my job, having my neutrons firing off in a different way to many of the general population, I think allows me to see the bigger picture more easily, to identify the patterns of behaviour or to see how a sequence of events could lead to a persons symptoms. In fact I wouldn't change being dyslexic for anything. The only time it's ever been a problem was at school, which now as watch my kids go through the school system, has made me realise, dyslexia is not the problem, how the educational system views it is. I work with words, language and communication, there are many words I wouldn't have a cat in hells chance of spelling but I know what they mean and where to use them. More importantly I understand the pattern of language and how to use it to help others, help themselves, yet if I were in the school system now, my poor spelling would cause me to fail the most basic English exam. Dyslexia isn't a disability, it's a gift, I hope my kids grow up knowing that, rather than worrying that they may not score well on tests or can recall times tables at speed. We live in a world where even our phones have spell checkers -spelling is not an issue, communication is, understanding is, creativity is.
Every week I see clients that are experiencing some kind of trauma - be it a bereavement, divorce, redundancy or something else.
It never ceases to amaze me how hard folk are on themselves, beating themselves up because they feel like rubbish or they are not coping with the situation. They always seem surprised when I tell them, they feel crap about a situation, because it's a crap situation - so why would you expect to feel anything other than crap about it? They seem even more amazed when I tell them it's okay not to be okay sometimes, not being okay often means that you care, you have feelings, and it bothers you that a thing or situation is crap. Some times we need to be not okay, to feel emotional pain- because it's part of the process we are going through. In fact it's often a fundamental part of the healing process, granted it's not nice, but burying it away, avoiding it, in the long run just makes a bad situation worse. So people sometimes, it's is essential to not be okay, so be kind to yourself and stop beating yourself up!