Even therapists need to look after their Mental Heath and Wellbeing – part 2 of 2

Last week I shared the start of my journey from feeling overwhelmed and powerless to creating greater balance and wellbeing.  Having explored the inner wisdom behind what I was feeling I started to work on the underlying emotions and beliefs using EFT.

I also picked out some power cards to see what insight and support they might offer.  For me, this was another way of ‘getting out of my head’, in that I wasn’t rationalising or over-analysing things, which I can tend to do.  Instead the cards, and any wisdom they might bring, would draw on my intuition, something that I wanted to reconnect with.  These are the cards that I drew:

The colour cards were:

  • Bronze – strengthening
  • Purple – for developing mental clarity
  • Pink – encouraging me to let love in
  • Ruby – rejuvenation for the body

The White Lion cards were:

  • creativity
  • trust
  • renew

I found the overlap between the 2 sets very interesting.  It seems that my intuition is telling me to relax, trust and allow love in to renew and strengthen me.  This will then support my mental clarity, allowing my creativity to guide me.

Through these exercises I also became more aware of my need to take the time to rest and reconnect so I used some Reiki, energy exercises and visualisation (using the images from the cards above).  Another important thing for me was to spend time outdoors in Nature, enjoying the energy of the sun and the trees and other plants around me.

these were actually taken on the same day, as part of a mindfulness walk during this process

As a result of working through this process, I felt as if a huge dark cloud was lifting and I had more clarity and determination going forward.  Yet again I was amazed that such ‘simple’ steps could help to start turning things around.  I recognise that the steps aren’t always easy though, and for some of my issues I will need to work with another therapist, rather than trying to deal with them on my own.

Also, I need to remember that, while I feel so much better, this is not an overnight fix!  It took time to get to that low point – a series of small, and not-so-small, things building up to a critical point – so it will also take time to work through them; but I’ve made a start, and I know that this journey will be a learning adventure.

I’m also a believer that things happen when we’re ready, and in the right frame of mind, for them.  Having made this small initial shift, I got a supportive phonecall out of the blue and connected with some wonderful new people.  A couple of days previously I was questioning my ability to carry on with some of the threads of my life and now I’m feeling recharged, excited and grateful again.  I know that I am so blessed to do what I do and I’m looking forward to how things will develop from here.  We really never know what’s just around the corner, or what help or support might suddenly appear, ‘as if by magic’.  As long as we can hold on to Hope then there are still endless possibilities.

If your life is not currently making you happy, you can create a path that works for you.  It’s about finding your balance and not pushing too hard.  Allow your feelings and intuition to guide you while also keeping a clear head to best discern the next step.  And if you feel like you could do with some help at any point, then reach out.  It’s a sign of strength, not weakness.

As so many wise teachers have said, it is up to us as individuals to consider What we want and Why we want it and to put our energy into these things in order to create the future that we desire, but the How is not for us to worry about.

If you too have been struggling recently, please remember that you are not alone.  There is a lot going on at the moment, and at a fast pace, which is affecting the energy around us.  Please remember to look after your self.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, look at what needs are not being met and then explore what you can do to support yourself.  This is not being self-centred and selfish in a negative way, it’s self-care which then allows you to be there for others too.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Connecting with others can in itself be very healing.  And if anything here resonates for you, or you have questions about anything that I’ve shared, then please feel free to get in touch:

            email:              robyn@equenergy.com

           mobile:           07980 669303

           website:           www.equenergy.com

 

(You can read the full text of this article here)

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Even therapists need to look after their Mental Heath and Wellbeing – part 1 of 2

This topic has been big in the news this year, with Prince Harry working to help change attitudes towards mental health issues:

Prince Harry helping to reduce stigma around mental illness

Prince Harry to help tackle mental health in the armed forces

 

I decided I would share a personal experience as, yet again, I’ve been reminded how fragile our mental health can be and how we need to make a point of looking after our own wellbeing.  On the down side, it can take seemingly ‘small’ things to set ourselves plummeting to the depths, but the reverse can also be true, as often it can be relatively simple things that result in great positive shifts.  Highly Sensitive individuals, those whose Stress Bucket is already heavily loaded, or those who are feeling fragile due to earlier trauma, can be particularly prone to experiencing a rollercoaster of emotion.

Over the last few months I’ve noticed that people around me, both locally and online, have been experiencing considerable challenges, resulting in increased stresses and strains.

I too have had a few testing times, both personally and professionally, and I succumbed to the negative spiral of too much work and not enough ‘play’, leading me to feeling in a very low, dark place.  I lost sight of the fact that life is about enjoying the journey rather than worrying too much about the destination.

Sometimes though, this can be a necessary part of the healing process.  For me ‘hitting the bottom’ acted as a springboard from which I could push off again.  It forced me to take a look at what was really going on, identify the limiting beliefs I was buying into, to realise that these were not Truth, and that they weren’t serving me, or those around me.

This brought me to a new level of self-awareness.  It wasn’t pretty, and I had to remind myself to exercise self-compassion, but it did give me a framework for addressing the issues.  I no longer felt powerless and instead gave me a good grounding from which to create a plan of positive, supportive action.

Thankfully, as a therapist, I have a range of skills that I can use to work on my wellbeing.  I started by looking at what was going on in my body and realised that there was a range of niggling issues that I’ve been largely ignoring, or avoiding, for some time.  Starting to listen and to explore these was a first step, as they connected me to my inner wisdom.  They were my body’s way of communicating that something wasn’t working – that a need was not being met – and they also brought clues about how to address, and hopefully resolve, the issues.

Journaling, particularly somatic journaling (tuning in to, and writing from, the perspective of the body / body part) is a great tool for this, as are grounding and mindfulness exercises, which help to get you out of your head and into your body, and so to move away from that awful feeling of ‘analysis paralysis’ and overwhelm.

Using the information that this gave me, I started working with EFT (emotional freedom techniques, or ‘tapping’) to further explore my underlying emotions and beliefs.

In next week’s instalment, I’ll share some other steps that I took as part of this process.

 

(You can read the full text of this article here)

Bereavement and Loss – Part 7 of 7

In this, the last part of the series, I will continue to explore some recommended complementary therapies.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I would be very interested to hear from you about anything which you have found helpful.

 Bach Flower Remedies are a very gentle way of supporting both people and animals.

Below is a list of some of the essences that can be used:

Rescue Remedy – this is a combination of 6 essences that restore clarity and calm, and reduce panic and shock. Rescue is a good choice for survivors whenever death has occurred suddenly and unexpectedly, as well as when the individual has passed after a long, physically and/or emotionally arduous period.

Water Violet –specifically indicated for the processing of grief. This is called for when the person / animal withdraws from company, seeking solace in isolation. It will typically will bring on a short-term release of tears as grief is released and processed.

Honeysuckle –for those who pine away for lost loved ones, living overmuch in the memory of what was. Honeysuckle helps regain normal, healthy remembrance while allowing one to move on and face the present hopefully.

Gorse –when the person seems to have lost hope.

Gentian – the flower essence for setbacks.  Some individuals are prone to taking difficult life events to heart, and losing faith that life is overall good.

Olive –for exhaustion. Olive restores emotional energy, and in doing so, improves the ability to regain physical energy and stamina.

Hornbeam – an excellent choice when grief drains one’s enthusiasm about life.

Star of Bethlehem – the remedy specifically for shock, pain, and numbness brought on by trauma.

Elm –for overwhelm. Indicated when this loss has added yet another strain, and the individual appears hard pressed to handle one more thing. Elm restores stamina.

Mimulus – the remedy for fears, a not uncommon response to loss.  Mimulus increases courage in the face of uncertainty.

Aspen – the essence for anxiety.  Aspen reduces apprehension.

Clematis – the remedy for the drifting, daydream-y, in your own world response that can be an avoidance of painful reality. Clematis restores mental clarity and presence of mind.

Other therapies that can be very beneficial include acupuncture and massage which can help to unblock ‘stuck’ energies helping people and animals to move on through their grief journey.

 

If you are currently experiencing any of these issues and would like to talk, please feel free to get in touch.  There will be no obligation to make a booking, it’s just an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have and to see if what I offer might be a good fit for you.  My contact details are:

robyn@equenergy.com

07980 669303

If you would like to take a look at my website, you can find it at:

www.equenergy.com/

 

You can read the whole of this article here

Bereavement and Loss – Part 6 of 7

In this section I will mention some other complementary therapies that can be a very effective support for anyone who is grieving.

One is Homeopathy.  There are several possible grief remedies.  The most appropriate will depend on the person / animal, their symptoms and the situation.

Some options are listed below:

Ignatia – This is the first remedy a Homeopathic Practitioner thinks of when someone has suffered the loss of a loved one.  This remedy often applies when there are symptoms of a lump in the throat, spasms in the body, feelings of disappointment in your life’s dreams, and an overall feeling that you must keep your grief suppressed and under control.

Natrum Muriaticum – This remedy is often indicated in a romantic loss in very introverted people who hold everything in.  They feel the loss as a breaking in half of their own identity.  They will cry horribly while alone, looking at pictures and listening to music, yet dread to show their feelings in public.  This Homeopathic remedy is especially indicated in cases where long term illness progressed from the loss.

Arnica – is a remedy indicated where the loss was perceived as a blow.  Often this is a financial loss such as a job or investment crash.  In this case you would feel hurt, bruised, and tender and not want to engage with the hard world.  The opposite could be the case when you toughen up and engage life in a blunt forceful manner in order to regain what you lost.

Magneseum Muriaticum – This remedy can be indicated after the loss of a care giver where you feel abandoned and forsaken, left on your own and unable to fend for yourself.  This can be accompanied with digestive ailments.

Phosphoric Acid: for those exhausted from grief. They cannot perceive information as well as before. Debility comes from grief, mental shock, unhappy love, homesickness or even bad news. They will give short answers and they dislike talking. They may say that ‘life is useless’ and everything feels ‘dark’. The biggest characteristic of someone needed Phos Acid is indifference to the things that they used to love.

Causticum:  for those suffering a weakened nervous system and connective tissues. There is often a history of slowly progressive debility, stiffness, and even paralysis. The ‘Causticum’ personality is serious, intense and sensitive and often overly sympathetic. This is especially true when hearing of unfortunate people, animals or events.

*I recommend seeking advice from a qualified therapist before taking any remedies.

 

In the last section I will continue my list of recommended complementary therapies.

If you are currently experiencing any of these issues and would like to talk, please feel free to get in touch.  There will be no obligation to make a booking, it’s just an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have and to see if what I offer might be a good fit for you.  My contact details are:

robyn@equenergy.com

07980 669303

If you would like to take a look at my website, you can find it at:

www.equenergy.com/

 

You can read the whole of this article here

 

Bereavement and Loss – Part 5 of 7

In this section I will explore some of the ways that people can be supported through their grief.

GPs have traditionally often prescribed medication such as antidepressants though they are now more aware of the benefits of providing the person with the opportunity to talk to someone who understands.  They might therefore prescribe a course of Grief Counselling.  People might also be encouraged to make sure they get enough exercise, spend some time out of doors in the fresh air and natural light, and also to eat properly and try to get sufficient sleep.

Our animal companions can also suffer from grief following the loss of a guardian or animal friend which can lead to behavioural changes such as being withdrawn, depressed or refusing to eat.  They too need exercise, a healthy diet and time outdoors.

There are various complementary therapies that can support both people and animals in times of loss.  I personally offer Reiki and EFT:

Reiki / Healing can be very beneficial, not only after the person or animal has died but also, in the case of illness, as a support before and even at the death itself.  The healer needs to be clear that healing does not necessarily mean that a person or animal will be ‘cured’.  In fact death can be the ultimate healing, because the person or animal has been ‘released’ to move on.  The person left behind might not be ready to see things in these terms, but they can be supported to seek healing for their animal / friend / family member and themselves to give them a sense of peace, acceptance and love.

After the death the healer can give the person whatever time and space they need to explore their feelings in a safe and non-judgemental environment.  This can also be an opportunity for them to explore their beliefs around death and what happens beyond this.  Death can be seen as a natural part of the Cycle of Life.  It is not something to be feared or avoided and does not even have to be seen as the End – it is more of a transition.  Of course the person or animal is no longer here in the same form and we might be sad that we cannot interact with them in the same way but we be happy for them that they are no longer suffering and in time can reach a point where we can celebrate and remember fondly all the wonderful times we shared and be grateful for their presence in our lives.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT, sometimes known as ‘tapping’) is a great support when dealing with painful emotions.  Using Chinese Meridian lines – the same ones that are used in acupuncture, but without any needles – EFT works to diffuse emotional intensity meaning that it is no longer overwhelming.  This allows the person to be able to think clearly again and to regain a sense of perspective and balance.

In Part 6 I will look at another complementary therapy that can be a very effective support in times of loss.

If you are currently experiencing any of these issues and would like to talk, please feel free to get in touch.  There will be no obligation to make a booking, it’s just an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have and to see if what I offer might be a good fit for you.  My contact details are:

robyn@equenergy.com

07980 669303

If you would like to take a look at my website, you can find it at:

www.equenergy.com/

 

You can read the whole of this article here

 

Bereavement and Loss – Part 4 of 7

In this section I will explore each stage of Dr Kübler-Ross’s ‘Grief Cycle’ in a little more depth.

Denial – Denial is a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, reality, etc., relating to the situation concerned. It’s a defence mechanism and perfectly natural. Some people can become locked in this stage when dealing with a traumatic change that can be ignored. Death of course is not particularly easy to avoid or evade indefinitely.

Anger – Anger can manifest in different ways. People dealing with emotional upset can be angry with themselves, and/or with others, especially those close to them. Knowing this helps keep detached and non-judgemental when experiencing the anger of someone who is very upset.

Bargaining – Traditionally the bargaining stage for people facing death can involve attempting to bargain with whatever God the person believes in. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. For example “Can we still be friends?..” when facing a break-up. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution, especially if it’s a matter of life or death.

Depression – Also referred to as preparatory grieving. In a way it’s the dress rehearsal or the practice run for the ‘aftermath’ although this stage means different things depending on whom it involves. It’s a sort of acceptance with emotional attachment. It’s natural to feel sadness and regret, fear, uncertainty, etc. It shows that the person has at least begun to accept the reality.

Acceptance – Again this stage definitely varies according to the person’s situation, although broadly it is an indication that there is some emotional detachment and objectivity. People dying can enter this stage a long time before the people they leave behind, who must necessarily pass through their own individual stages of dealing with the grief.

In Part 5 I will explore some of the ways that people can be supported through their grief.

If you are currently experiencing any of these issues and would like to talk, please feel free to get in touch.  There will be no obligation to make a booking, it’s just an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have and to see if what I offer might be a good fit for you.  My contact details are:

robyn@equenergy.com

07980 669303

If you would like to take a look at my website, you can find it at:

www.equenergy.com/

 

You can read the whole of this article here

 

Bereavement and Loss – Part 3 of 7

In this section I will look at how the work of Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross changed how we look at the grieving process.

Dr Kübler-Ross, who pioneered methods in the support and counselling of personal trauma, grief and grieving, proposed a model of the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance).  This is actually a model for change generally and as such can help people to understand and deal with personal reaction to trauma.  It is not limited to death and dying.

Her book, On Death and Dying (1969) was quite revolutionary at the time and was a catalyst towards changing previously held beliefs that bereavement should not be discussed and that death is a taboo subject.  This was very gratefully received by carers and by people who were dying or who had been bereaved, perhaps indicating the level of denial and suppression that had existed previously.  Dr Kübler-Ross gave people ‘permission’ to feel their feelings and to talk about them openly, perhaps for the first time.

The ‘Grief Cycle’ was never intended to be a rigid series of sequential or uniformly timed steps. It’s a model or a framework rather than a process.  A model is less specific – more of a shape or guide. People do not always experience all of the five ‘grief cycle’ stages.  Some stages might be revisited. Some stages might not be experienced at all.  Transition between stages can be more of an ebb and flow, rather than a progression.  The five stages are not linear; neither are they equal in their experience.  People’s grief, and other reactions to emotional trauma, are as individual as a fingerprint.

This model is useful because it recognises that people have to pass through their own individual journey of coming to terms with death and bereavement (and other kinds of loss), after which they usually reach an acceptance of reality, which then enables them to cope.  When we know more about what is happening and why we are experiencing these sometimes strange and frightening sensations, it often makes life easier.

Next week we will look at each stage of this cycle in a little more depth.

If you are currently experiencing any of these issues and would like to talk, please feel free to get in touch.  There will be no obligation to make a booking, it’s just an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have and to see if what I offer might be a good fit for you.  My contact details are:

robyn@equenergy.com

07980 669303

If you would like to take a look at my website, you can find it at:

www.equenergy.com/

 

You can read the whole of this article here