Maybe you've always been the "good listener." The one people turn to. Or, maybe your care-taking role is newly acquired: You became a parent to a child or a pet, took on aging parents, or got married. Perhaps you've obtained a job where you are present with others while they are going through life's up and downs. You're a health practitioner. First responder. Lawyer. Social Worker. Teacher. Supervisor. Server. Accountant. The list is endless.
"I'd done several sessions and had stopped having panic attacks. And then I just had another one today. Why do I keep doing this to myself?" "I had worked on my rage and hadn't had another episode in so long. And then I just totally went overboard again this weekend. Why can't I get past this?" "My mood had been up for the last 6 months and then recently it's down again. Why am I not able to manage this?" Are these thoughts familiar?
Do you notice that you worry about things a lot? Do you tend to catastrophize things in your head? In doing "Parts Work" I explore the Part of you that has been getting a little extreme, that has been consuming too much of your time and energy. For some of us it is our Worrier. The Worrier is working really hard these days. It's working in overdrive. And it's getting you into trouble and causing you stress. What can we do about it in therapy?
Is sex vital to a couple's ability to be sustaining and happy? It depends. Sex researcher Barry McCarthy (2002) notes that when sex is going well couples attribute only 15-20% of their relationship satisfaction to it. It's like icing on a cake: If the cake is good we give a slight nod to icing but attribute much more of the goodness in our mouths to other aspects of the cake.
Every client has their own unique experiences. That is a given. But if I could pinpoint a common thread I hear in many of my clients' stories it would be the story of how anxiety hijacked their life. Some anxiety is normal and healthy- we need that little bit of fear/activation to get us out of bed and into our roles in life. But when our anxious behaviours start hijacking our life- and are interfering with our daily functioning and are becoming distressing- that is when it's not normal anymore and seeking help is a good idea.
Are you angry a lot with your partner? Or is your partner telling you that you are constantly angry? Do you feel overwhelmed after a fight? Do most discussions end up in an argument? As humans, it's normal to have a tendency towards fight in a stressful encounter. That's a learned reaction from childhood to protect you. That's the function of anger. It's there to keep you safe.
A whopping 70% of Canadians experience feelings of depression at some point in their lives. It may be a one time event or it may recur when certain stressors arise. We may very well be depressed as a result of an incident that we had no or little control over, such as losing a job, experiencing a break-up, or being abused. These kinds of traumatic events can change our beliefs in the world and in ourselves. We end up with lower self-esteem and a feeling of being stuck. It's harder to see the path we were on.
Dreams to Goals Jaminie Hilton, RCC Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for? Robert Browning You need dreams. If you don’t have dreams, how will you realize them? Is it a challenge to remain open to realizing your dreams? Does it help to view them as goals?
Anger is a signal to us that we need to pay attention. It's like pain. Without it, we may not notice we have an injury. The presence of anger is telling us we should stop and assess otherwise we may continue to get hurt or we may hurt someone else. The anger may be due to a variety of reasons: It may be that our boundaries are being pushed. Or that our arousal/activation level is too high from too much stress to our system. Your anger is valid and there is a real reason for it. However, it is up to us to use it in a constructive way.
When you’ve been struggling with anxiety or depression for awhile it can be hard to feel that there is any hope for things to change. Added to how stuck you might be feeling is the constant reinforcement in our culture of the idea of a quick fix. It's the "Here, just do this one thing and you will feel better indefinitely" kind of attitude. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about people getting relief as quickly as possible. It’s just that this kind of attitude can be a setup when what is needed is patience, time, and realistic, achievable goals.
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