The idea of therapy prompts very different reactions from people – some don’t see the point of it when they have friends to talk to; some are suspicious of talking about their feelings and personal life; but for some therapy can the beginning of a positive journey towards being who they really are.
“I am so tired of being who I am not – I’d rather be who I really am.”
We have all learned how to put up invisible barriers to protect ourselves and bolster our self-confidence. But these defences keep us separate from others and dull our true potential. We know something is lacking as a result.
We live our daily lives by doing many things unconsciously (of necessity), we are however also guided by unconscious attitudes and beliefs that keep us driving along automatically without really considering what we’re doing.
There are times however when the familiar, and all that has been built up and taken for granted, is put into question. There is a need to reappraise one’s life and decide what has been worthwhile, what has been left out and what we are still seeking.
Therapy begins by trying to enlarge the space where someone can have a dialogue and raise issues or assumptions that are not being raised elsewhere.
Replenishing our inner life
Imagine exploring a house that you have lived in for years: you know the layout and the contents of these rooms by heart. Then imagine finding a hidden room in this house, one that was only ever used to throw in unwanted bits and pieces, that has been left dark and uncared for. In the same way, our unconscious minds act as a repository for the parts of our lives that have affected us badly or caused us profound hurt or disappointment.
Therapy is the process of clearing that hidden space, clearing one’s inner world. Some people might be tempted to quickly lock the door and walk away but others, with determination and courage, enter the room, open the blinds, and see the room as it is. The work of therapy is to bring clarity and energy into healing the past, healing the present and discovering the best ways forward, with care and meaning.
Therapy in summary
- unblocking assumptions and negative beliefs
- self-expression, energy and motivation
- finding what really matters to us and gives purpose to life
- relationships and communication
- listening to and trusting ourselves
- clarity of vision and intent
- making right choices and taking right actions
- being who we really want to be
Therapy sessions typically last 50 minutes and involve dialogue, possibly with other ways of processing experiences such as working with dreams, imagination, story telling, drawing and allowing space for our inner wisdom.
Click here to read about our psychotherapist, Gilli Hanna.
- What Andy Murray teaches us about self-doubt and its role in our success or failure September 14, 2012
A fascinating article by Dr Raj Persaud illustrating the difference between a lack of self-confidence and an abundance of self-doubt.
“Andy Murray’s historic victory appears founded on a mental rather than a physical transformation. Commentators, plus the tennis star himself, have been discussing how his previously hindering self-doubt appears to have been finally conquered.
Many attribute this new self-confidence to his recent Olympic gold medal victory over Roger Federer. It was positive feedback: confirmation of the ability we all knew he had, but did he?
Yet this just deepens the psychological enigma at the heart of this result. The cure for self-doubt appears a confidence-enhancing triumph – but you can’t win until you overcome your self-doubt.”
Read more here: Dr Raj Persaud in the Huffington Post
- Complementary Medicine Improves Type 2 Diabetes Care April 30, 2012
Diet, exercise, and stress management counseling may be the key to managing diabetes and helping patients feel optimistic about their disease, confirms a new study at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Kenmore, Wash.
Researchers compared two groups: One group of 369 adults with type 2 diabetes received conventional treatment of stress management, dietary supplements, and prescription medication. The second group of 40 adults received complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) on top of the standard care provided by their doctors.
The CAM included exercise and diet counseling, and regular glucose monitoring from naturopathic physicians. Most of the patients in the study received stress-management counseling, dietary supplements, and other measures as part of the conventional care prescribed to them by their regular doctors.
After six months, researchers compared the two groups and their treatments. Those who bundled CAM with conventional care had lower blood-sugar levels, better eating and exercise habits, improved mood, and a stronger sense of control over their condition.
- Psoriasis: Complementary and Alternative Treatments May Be Beneficial August 22, 2011
Many people use medications to handle their symptoms. An increasing number of people are turning to complementary and alternative medicine in their search for relief.
There are a number of CAM options for psoriasis. Among them are mind-body practices, dietary supplements and topical treatments (applied to the skin), according to About.com.
Yoga, tai chi, qi gong and meditation are mind-body practices that may be beneficial for many chronic conditions. While clinical studies have not assessed these activities, there is an abundance of anectodal support for them.
- Don’t Dismiss These Treatments as Placebos June 20, 2011
Evidence is growing, based on carefully controlled studies, that certain non-pharmacological complementary interventions may be useful adjuncts to conventional care. For example, the pain of osteoarthritis can be lessened by acupuncture; tai chi may be helpful in reducing the pain of fibromyalgia; and massage and manipulative therapies may contribute to the relief of chronic back pain and related functional impairments. Furthermore, evidence from basic research points to ways in which such interventions use the body’s own pathways known to be involved in response to pain.
Should we dismiss any benefits as mere placebo effects? Or should we explore the possibility, increasingly suggested by the science, that some complementary interventions provide powerful tools for studying the contributions of attention, touch, time, and reassurance, which are now in short supply in our health care system?
- Research Backs How People Can Make Happiness a Habit April 18, 2011
Research shows that being grateful leads people into a higher state of happiness. Sonja Lyubomirsky author of The How of Happiness, [The Penguin Press, 2007] suggests that making a list of things people are grateful for in life, practicing random acts of kindness, forgiving enemies and appreciating life’s small pleasures leads to happiness.