The gift of death.

The gift of death.

Although we all know death is simply a part of life, for many of us this is an inconvenient truth, which can be pushed aside until death somehow touches us. Nowhere is this felt and realised more than when someone close to us dies. On top of the grief that inevitably springs from such a loss, for many, the process of coming to terms with such a loss is not dealt with. When such a loss is interrupted or frozen mid stream, life can no longer proceed as it has proceeded before for the survivor. In

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Mindfulness. A tool for resolving challenging situations.

Mindfulness. A tool for resolving challenging situations.

psychotherapy mindfulnessWe’ve all heard the advice. “When you’re angry, just count to 10!” or “Just take a deep breath before you say anything”. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we were able to use that strategy? The truth is, when we are really angry, the last thing we are capable of thinking about is the logical, reasonable strategy of counting to 10.

Why doesn’t it work? Triggers.

Here’s how anger happens:

  • The primal part of the mind, the limbic system, recognises a threat to our physical safety or sense of self
  • It quickly sends signals
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What attracts us to our loved ones is what ends up repelling us.

psychotherapy coupleRelationships are funny things. No two are alike and yet, at the same time, all share many similarities as well. One such similarity we all share in are times of frustration with our loved ones.

I often speak with couples having hard times in their relationships or marriages and they often sound quite clear on what their partner is doing that is flaring up their frustrations. At some point I always ask what it was that first attracted them to their partners and what they initially fell in love with and, like clock work, their answers reveal that the things … Read more ...

Can we really think our way out of unhappiness?

anxietyimageWe live in world filled with research from Neuroscientists proving that our brains are the cause of everything that arises within us. We are told to think differently if we want to feel differently. More and more we are given snippets of studies demonstrating that our thoughts are the cause of everything we do, say and feel. But have we really got the whole picture?

Neuroscientists neglect the scientific fact that the heart actually sends 3 times more mood altering signals to the brain than the brain does to the heart. And that the Vagas nerve, which is located at … Read more ...

Why “Not Being Like Our Parents” is hard to achieve

psychotherapy father sonIn my sessions the thing I hear from many clients is “I don’t want to turn out like my father”, or “I am not going to treat my son like my mother treated me”.

It’s common for people who had difficult relationships with their parents to hold such views. The challenge for many people is that “not being like one’s parents” can be a difficult task to achieve.

 

What makes us similar to our parents?

There are many influences to the development and forming of an adult personality and genetics aside, much of this influence comes from those who … Read more ...

Teenager boys – Anger, powerlessness and rage.

psychotherapy teenage boyTeenage boys face many challenges as they navigate adolescence and one of the biggest is how they navigate their emerging anger and aggressions.

Often, as a teenagers testosterone levels increase and biologically they are faced with an increase in their aggression and anger; how well they have been set up through their life to navigate these often primal and powerful feelings will determine whether they assimilate this energy as an adult ; either in a positive and assertive way, or whether they become stuck and powerless or rage-full and uncontrolled.

 

The Primal disconnection.

There are many ways in which … Read more ...

The eternal parenting challenge

parenting2When our children face adolescence and the inevitable struggle with this transition, the best way we can help them is often to help ourselves!

A famous poet wrote :
“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words… When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint”

Surprisingly, this was written in the 8th century by Hesiod, a greek poet.

It seems that just as our … Read more ...

Depression

DepressionContemporary research suggest there are several factors linked to depression. If depression runs in the family, then this increases the risk of experiencing depression at some stage of life. Our biological make up can also influence depression; for instance , the can be genetic and neuro chemical influences that increase the likelihood of depression such as a pre disposition for lower levels of serotonin. The way a person thinks, makes meaning of themselves and the world and their self talk can also influence depression. Absolute thinking like “ things will never get better” or “ I always end up in … Read more ...

Anxiety

Health In The Bay Anxiety HandsRoughly 14% of Australian adults suffer from some form of anxiety that has become an anxiety disorder.

Does everyone have anxiety?

Anxiety is a necessary biological response to perceived or real threats from the environment. Having anxiety, to a degree, is both a necessary and healthy aspect of living. Everyone has anxiety to a degree.

When does anxiety become a problem?

Anxiety becomes a problem for people when the experience of anxiety continues well past the perceived threat or problem that caused it; when the anxiety you feel about a problem is disproportionately larger than the problem actually is; when … Read more ...