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In Therapy: Working through anger (part 2)

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to this week’s instalment of In Therapy.

This is part two of the mini-series dedicated to anger, one of the most difficult emotions for some of us to understand, feel and work through.

Last week we looked at what anger is, and how sometimes it is the only response to a person or situation. We also talked about anger as a communication, and how it is OK to express it and work through it.

This week I want to talk about how anger can be a motor for positive outcomes in your life, and how to work through anger.


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Anger can be a motor for many positive things in life. We sometimes have to dig a bit deeper, or spend a bit of time in the angry phase in order to get to the positive outcomes of processing our anger.

Anger gives us energy – that adrenaline boost we get and all the bodily responses we have when we get angry, all are energy emerging from our minds and bodies that help us react to a particular person or situation. In cavemen times, these responses were vital for survival. Nowadays, it’s less important that we react like the caveman would to an imminent threat (a native from a different tribe or a wild animal), but we still carry those innate reactions within us.


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One of the things that anger can do for us is help us be more creative. Here are a few things that working through our anger can help us achieve:

  • Has your manager told you to work harder or not paid enough attention to your work? Use the anger you might feel at this lack of recognition to generate more ideas for your manager
  • Think of creative solutions – problem solve in your job or in your every day life by thinking outside the box (anger can lead us to see the bigger picture as we will be less likely to think in our usual calm manner)
  • Find the motivation to do something new, something different, or something you’ve left on the side for a while.
    • That art project
    • That book you’ve wanted to write
    • That holiday you’ve wanted to take but haven’t yet
    • Apply for a new course or job
    • Make a lifestyle change
  • Find new ways of relating with people or situations that you know will make you angry
    • Use humour
    • Set clear boundaries
    • Remove yourself from some of those things that anger you and are no good for you
    • Keep a distance or get closer

Have you got any more ways in which anger can be helpful? Leave a message below!


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Working through anger can be either easy or difficult, depending on the size of the problem or issue that made us angry in the first place. However, there are some things that might apply to most situations:

  • Acceptance is a first step in many situations, or one of the first steps anyway, to freeing yourself from the burden.
  • Talk to your anger, befriend it. I know, this sounds odd, right? Weren’t we trying to GET RID of it? Well, yes, but we can’t get rid of it unless we understand and give it the airtime it needs. You don’t decide if you want to be friends with someone by avoiding them and not even giving them a chance to present themselves as a potential friend, right?
  • Can you think about what is going on for you right now, at this point in your life when you are feeling angry? Might there be another emotion that is being masked by anger? (Anger is very clever and is good at hiding away other emotions that might be the real causes of your distress).
    • Have you been hurt by someone?
    • Are you feeling afraid about something or someone?
    • Are you feeling sad or depressed?
  • Placing the responsibility where it belongs is important, as it frees up space for you to forgive yourself for your involvement, to forgive others for their involvement and decide whether to continue the relationship or end it, as well as it allows you to work through the anger by pointing it at the right parties.
  • Be angry but also find the space to be compassionate and understanding towards those who have angered you, and even to yourself if you’ve angered yourself! (read my blog post on how I did this after making a mistake).
  • Explore present anger in the present but also in relation to the past – sometimes people or situations might remind us of something we were angry about in the past, and bring up the same or very similar reactions to these. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong for you to feel them, in fact it’s a great opportunity to re-visit them (maybe in the company of a counsellor) and work through any unresolved and unprocessed anger and other emotions from both the past and the present situation.
  • things you can do to work through it
    • writing in a journal
    • doing exercise
    • practice relaxation techniques (Breathing, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, quiet time)
    • talk to a counsellor, we are here to listen and help you work through those difficult feelings and thoughts.

I hope this mini-series has helped you get some more ideas on how to work through anger, how to understand this emotion and also how to channel its effects into positive outcomes for your life.

For more on anger, I recomment Nathan Gould’s blog, which has even more articles on the topic.


Do contact me if you want to schedule a session, or if you want to discuss what you’ve read in this post.


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In therapy: Working Through Anger

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to this week’s instalment of In Therapy.

I have written a mini-series on working through anger, as I find this is an emotion that we as humans find difficult to understand, express and work through.

1Anger needs attention, and not just as the bad or naughty step-sister of the emotional world. There is a lot of positive to be said about anger, and in these two posts I’d like to show you what these things are.

 


What is anger?

The medical dictionary online defines anger as a feeling of tension and hostility, usually caused by anxiety aroused by a perceived threat to one’s self, posessions, rights, or values.

Anger, therefore is a response to a perceived threat. If someone insults us, hits us, breaks our things or something worse, we will probably not be the happiest and react accordingly. This would be understandable and acceptable, depending on how you decide to respond – with aggression or trying to talk to someone after a cooling off period, or taking the matter to the authorities.


2Anger is the emotion that people find the most difficult to manage, express and work through. In my practice, I like (for lack of a better word) to see people get angry when they have been wronged instead of blaming themselves or letting it eat at them from the inside.

It frees up that space and energy that has been taken over by the pent-up and unprocessed anger. It allows them to see things in a different light, and to see themselves and others with more compassion, understanding, and place responsibility where it belongs – whether some of it is theirs’ or totally someone else’s.


Sometimes anger is the only response!


We could be angry because we feel oppressed by an abusive family member or a work situation, or a change in circumstances (there are lots of examples of this – Rent goes up, Brexit, The Rohingha refugee crisis, the list goes on). We could be angry because we are trying to make a point or to ask for our needs to be met and our boundaries respected, and people are just not listening! Or we could be angry because someone cut in front of us in the queue, or there’s too much traffic and you are going to be late!

3Whatever the reason for our anger, it is reassuring to know that we can apply the same rule we apply with other emotions: it is valid and we should honour the presence of anger when it bubbles up.

Anger is telling us something. Yes, it is not a nice feeling but it is not there at random or for no real reason.

In my care job I have learned that behaviour is a communication – especially with non-verbal people and children, but it can be applied to everyone. Sometimes a child will lash out and hit, kick, scream, break things, because they are angry or upset about something and this is the only way they know how to communicate.

Anger works in a similar way to that: it is telling us something that we have no other way of processing. This is the way the discomfort with someone or something is coming out and paying attention to it is important if we want to move on with our day and lives.


4Anger can be scary, especially because of negative models – for example a father that got angry and hit furniture or family members shows a child that anger is a bad thing that is scary and shouldn’t be expressed because it hurts others.

Anger can also scare people because they might feel like they are going to lose control and do something they might regret. Even when there is no proof that this is the case – they’ve never been angry and lost control. In fact quite the opposite or it has just not been as bad as they imagine.

 

 


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It’s ok to express anger. And here are some reasons why:

  • It helps your physical health, in that it prevents a range of medical conditions that could be triggered by anger (heart attacks, high blood pressure, etc.)

  • Expressing anger in a positive way (no aggression or vengeance), talking things through with those who we feel wronged by, will keep our relationships safe and increase the honesty and openness with the person or persons involved.

  • Expressing and figuring out what anger is telling us will help us process those things that aren’t quite right in our lives and relationships.

  • We will not accumulate anger and therefore won’t blow up down the line. Working things out in the here and now allows us to keep revenge and rage at bay.

  • Expressing our anger might allow us to figure out what other emotions anger is actually masking – for example children might seem irritable and angry but they might actually be feeling sad or upset.


In next week’s installment of this mini-series on anger, I want to talk about what channelling our anger can do for us, as well as how to work through our anger when it does show up.


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In Therapy: Working through our feelings when we make a mistake

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to this week’s In Therapy post!

I usually have a clear idea of what I’m going to write about well before I sit down and write (usually a week before I post). This week I wasn’t sure. Until Wednesday morning when I was triggered in a big way by something I did. In summary, I made a mistake, and this led to an array of feelings that I had to work through.


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This is what happened…


Back in December I booked a test and used an ID document that I thought was a valid one for it. I got to the test centre and was told that I would have to re-book as that document wasn’t valid for this test.


I made a mistake, and this led to an array of feelings that I had to work through.


My first feeling when the lady was telling me this was of disappointment in myself as well as embarrassment at such an oversight. As I left, without completing my test and hoping my phone would still have some charge to talk to my husband or facebook peeps for moral support, other feelings started arising inside of me.

So my phone decided to shut down, I was all on my own for at least an hour or so. Alone with my thoughts and feelings….

On the train journey back, I felt depressed and ashamed. It cost me a bit of money and time, so that brought up anger too. I was mentally punishing myself and critiquing myself so strongly, that I caught myself after 20min of sulking and self-deprecating self-talk.


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When I say I caught myself, I mean I realise what I was telling myself with my thoughts and my bodily reactions of anger and general eek-iness. So I told myself what I would tell anyone else, especially my counselling clients, and what I’ve been writing about here: work through it! let those feelings come up and do what they need to do, however awkward and awful they feel.

So, I did. I continued to sulk. Continued to be angry, depressed, ashamed, embarrassed and self-criticising. Another 20 minutes passed and suddenly reason started to kick in. My more rational mind started talking to my emotional – valid – reactions.


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I started telling myself that yes, you made a mistake, but think about it. What’s the worst thing that has come out of it? (apart from feeling all those things I’ve described, of course). So, I thought, ok the worst thing that has actually happened is that I lost the money for the train fare and the test, and will have to pay them again when I re-book and go back to take the test. It delays my application for which I need this test done and dusted, but I’m in no real rush so not a massive problem. Also, it is a pain to have to rebook it and make the journey again, but then I will have done it right and learned from my mistake, and can move on with my life!

What else has happened that’s worth you punishing yourself like this?

Erm, I thought…nothing much actually! Nobody else knows what happened, nobody else needs to know, and if they know surely they will be supportive and understanding – possibly more supportive and understanding than you have been to yourself the last 40 minutes! The lady that told me I’d made the mistake sees so many people every hour that I am a vague memory – if that! – and I don’t think she will remember me next time I come back, and if she does, well I can joke about it with her at the very least!


Then I started thinking what good things I got out of my outing. I was quite happy travelling to the city where my test was booked. It was a little bit of time to myself, self-care of sorts – me with my thoughts and just wandering around a place I hardly go to. Enjoying my surroundings and my own company. Oh! I also found a nice little place – it had a lovely name, and it was a mix of restaurant/pub/cocktail bar which I loved! Had a cuppa there before my test, and I am pretty sure I am going to go back once I pass this test in a couple of weeks for a well-deserved cocktail!


To sum up, my whole day was a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, some which were enjoyable, some that weren’t but that led me to make the best out of a bad situation.


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I have a reason to be telling you this story, and now I want to tell you what I learned today that I can pass on to you:

  • Honour your feelings – all feelings are valid. Many of them might not be very nice to contend with or endure for long, but working through them will help clear the emotional air and allow you to move forward and see the positives in what might seem like a mostly negative situation at the start of the ordeal.
  • Work through your feelings and get to the other side – getting stuck with feelings that are left unprocessed might make us either mentally or physically ill (our mental energy will want to come out one way or another, and the brain is very clever in negotiating alternatives, like back pain, headaches and other mental or physical ailments)
  • There is at least one positive to every negative situation. Take the time to find it. – I didn’t get to thinking about the positives of my day until after I’d worked through my anger and shame and self-critique.
  • Some situations might take longer than a train journey to work through. It might take a few weeks, or even months, but with the right support – from family, friends or a mental health professional like myself – you will get to the other side and get back to feeling good about yourself and even about the situation itself!
  • Growth comes from unexpected places. – I wasn’t expecting to go through this emotional journey during my train journey home, but here we are, and it will possibly benefit you, my readers.

I hope my story and what I learned will help you when struggling with self-criticism and punishing yourself when you make a mistake, no matter how big or little. If there is anything you want to say about this, you can leave a comment below or you can message me via the contact form.


CollaborationsMy colleague, Josephine Hughes, has written a post on how to identify and soothe our inner critic, which complements what I’ve written above very well. I recommend you head over to her site and read it as well as watching her video on the same topic.

 


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In Therapy: Working through your first counselling session (part 2)

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to this second instalment of working through your first counselling session. In this post, I will talk about what the counsellor will say to you and some questions they might ask you in the first session.

This is by no means a one-sided conversation, you should be able to ask any questions you have about counselling, the contract and anything else that might come up for you either before booking or during the first session itself.


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There are two very important things to take into account when finding the right counsellor for yourself.

Firstly, you have to be comfortable with the person you will be working with. Some counsellors will call the first session an assessment session. I opt to take the first session as just that – the first session – but I am also conscious that I might not be the right counsellor for a client or they might not be the right client for me (I have to be honest with myself and you about the limits of my practice, otherwise I might do more harm than good, and that would be counterproductive for both of us). Take the initial session as an assessment of whether you can work together or whether you keep searching elsewhere. Maybe even ask the counsellor for other names you can consider. Don’t worry, we are used to these things and won’t feel bad or look at you in any negative light if you choose someone else or ask for referrals!

Second, you will most likely be nervous. You are meeting a new person after all, and you know that the things you will be talking about with them are not going to be easy. Just remember, the therapist is probably as nervous as you are – they are also meeting you for the first time!


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Your therapist will not have any expectations for you to perform in any way. Especially if you haven’t been to counselling before, it will take a few sessions to get used to the dynamics and the way your counsellor works with you. Take your time and feel free to ask questions about the process. The counsellor will explain how they work – their main modality, their role in this relationship (in brief, to help you understand what is going on for you, and how to move forward using your already existent inner strengths and resources).

The counsellor will need to know a lot about you in order to help you, so speaking freely without censorship is the best way to help them and to help yourself. Having said that, nobody will rush you or push you into talking about anything you are not yet ready to discuss. The space is a safe space to talk and process your issues – at your pace! It is your session and your process, you can decide what is ok and what is too much. Your counsellor might point out how difficult things are and that you might want to get back to that at a later point. We can’t collude with not talking about what we might already see as the key to moving forward for you.


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There are other bits that the counsellor might discuss in a first session, like endings, open-ended counselling versus time-limited counselling, and questions related to you directly.


Questions you might be asked


Have you had counselling before?

This question is important because it will give your counsellor a feel of the experience you might have had in the past. Was it a positive one? Was it helpful?

What are your expectations of counselling now?

Following from that previous question, this would be another question that would help the therapist know how to help you better and maybe clear some of the misunderstandings or negative feelings – if any – from your past therapy process(es), as well as explain how similar or different your relationship with them might be.

What brings you to counselling now?

Everything else discussed up to now will have been helpful to ease you into the therapeutic process and allow you and your therapist to get to know each other a bit better, before delving into what brings you to counselling at this point in your life. This is where you can begin to tell your story and start the healing process.

The end of the first session

The end of the first session might be tricky, as you might want to keep on talking or actually want to end the session a bit earlier as it might be too overwhelming. Using all of the time allocated is the best as it will help you build resilience from the start, and will allow you to experience your therapist’s abilities to contain your feelings of uncertainty and overwhelm. It might also give them insight into how you deal with endings, which will be important for each session and down the line when you decide to end the process altogether.


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After the session, take time to breathe, and don’t rush into making any decisions from what you discussed. It will take time to work through anything you bring to therapy and the best thing to do is hold on to it, think about it, keep processing in your mind and heart, and discuss it with your therapist on your second session.


I hope this posts have been helpful to you and I wish you the best in your search for the right counsellor for you.


As mentioned before, what I write in these blogs comes from first hand experience of being a counsellor, as well as being a client myself.

If you think that I might be the right counsellor for you, don’t hesitate to drop me a line, or have a look at my website for further information on how I work.


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In Therapy: Working through your first counselling session (part 1)

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to this week’s blog post. I have decided to start the year with this topic, as I can imagine a lot of us might be thinking about changing some things right from the start of 2018.

I will spend the next couple of weeks on this, as there is much to say about a first counselling session!

If you have any questions about what you read, or anything else I haven’t written about yet, do comment or message me and I’ll add it to my next post.


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There are many steps that take place before you even get to the counsellor’s office. All of them have their moments, some easier, others a bit trickier to work through.

From realising, and accepting, that things have got too much and that you need to reach out for  help, to going onto counselling directories to look for the right counsellor for you, to then finally making initial contact with a counsellor.

These are all potentially nerve-wracking tasks, but important ones to get your life back on track.


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Let’s move forward to the day of your first session. You have arrived and are about to ring the doorbell and meet your counsellor for the very first time.

What should you expect?


bacp ethical framework picture for pageNow, this is a bit of a loaded question, as every counsellor will have their own ways of practicing, but we do have ethical frameworks that we adhere to, and these are in general terms, the same for all of us.

You should expect at least a couple of chairs, facing each other – mine are set up perpendicular to each other (like the title image above) so we can have eye contact but also allows you the space if you are not feeling like making too much eye contact whilst discussing a particular topic, or while you get comfortable with me and the therapy process.

Some counsellors will have a waiting room, whilst others – like myself – might work from home or smaller offices, so you might be asked to get there at the agreed starting time to avoid you waiting out in the cold, for example.

20170810_114447.jpgLighting and décor is up to each therapist, but generally there might be a bookshelf or at least some counselling related books and magazines, a desk, a clock. I have the main light on for some clients, but others prefer only the smaller lamps. Whatever is more comfortable and safe for them to speak and work through what brings them to see me.

Some counsellors have their diplomas hanging on the wall, this is a personal choice so some might have them available for you to check if you wish to do so and they are not in plain sight. I have candles in my room, which some people might or might not like, so I give a choice of putting it out or keeping it on and remember each client’s preference on this.


In regards to the initial conversations with your counsellor, they will also vary but in general you can expect the following (note: this list is non-exhaustive and I am going by how I work and general guidelines for all counsellors in the UK):

  • Contracting

  • Filling in Contact Details and other relevant information

  • The counsellor will explain how they work and other practical and process related details

  • The counsellor might ask you a few questions regarding your request for counselling

  • Next steps are discussed


Contracting and filling in contact details


The therapist will usually have a pre-written contract for you to read and agree to the terms so you can start working together. These will usually include the length of each session, the fee for each session and agreement on how you will pay (at the end of the session, bank transfer before the session, paypal, etc.), cancellation policy and the responsibilities held by the counsellor but also by yourself as a client.

You can have a look at my contract by clicking here.

The therapist will also ask you to fill in a form with your details and sign when you agree the contract terms and are ready to start therapy with this counsellor. With the internet available to us, I now prefer to send the contract and details form via email so you can read it at your leisure and in depth, so when we meet for the first time we can discuss anything that you might want to clarify or add to, and it then allows us more time to talk about what brings you to counselling now.


There are many steps that take place before you even get to the counsellor_s officeAdd heading

So far we have looked at the initial contact and possibly the first 5-10 minutes of the session.

Next week I want to delve a bit deeper into what the conversation might look like for the next 40-50 minutes during the first session.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, drop me a line below or in a message via the contact form.


Until next week..


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In Therapy: Working Through loss and grief (part 3)

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to the third edition of the mini-series on loss and grief.


In this edition, I would like to go through the possible reactions – feelings and behaviours – that we might go through when working through grief and loss. I will spend some time talking about how therapy can help work through grief and loss.


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As with any symptom, grief symptoms are telling us something. Something is not right within ourselves after a loss, and our body and mind are working through the instability and trying to reach a balance again.

So allow yourself to feel the feelings, to grieve. It is a natural process. It is a normal process. It is your process so work through what comes up as it comes up.


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Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are the five stage of grief, as described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. These might appear in that order or in a different order and take turns creeping back up.

These might be accompanied by difficulties in sleeping, nightmares, dissociating, feeling numb or like you want to escape; you might also experience distressing thoughts, frustration and anxiety; you might want to be on your own all the time or wanting to escape; it might seem that people don’t understand you – or they might genuinely not understand what you are going through.

It is important to know that these are all part of the process, and that they will be less overwhelming as time goes on.

In the next few paragraphs, I will talk about how therapy can help work through the feelings described in the past few posts.


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An integrative way of working might be the best approach to helping someone work through their loss. Grief is a process, and this process will be different for everyone. The aim is to experience the loss and all the feelings it might bring – pain, depression, isolation, anxiety, guilt – and get to the point where new meaning in the survivor’s life is reached.

They can then move on to living their lives with the memory of the person they lost, without being stuck in the grief and pain as it was when they first started the mourning process.

I would work within the psychodynamic, person-centred and cognitive modalities to support my client in their grief process.



Some of the areas I would work with would be:


  • Challenging irrational thinking

    • as a way to being able to manage the strong emotions that come up.
    • Developing more rational ways of thinking- develop healthy negatives.
      • For example – “I can’t live without the person”, can be challenged with the fact that they are still managing to be here without their loved one.
    • Challenge belief systems around the loss
      • Someone going through grief might be less positive about their lives and their self-worth, they might have more irrational thoughts than before the loss
    • Attachment theories would support the person in their natural reactions to the death of their loved one. The bonds created during the relationship need to be re-thought and processed.
      • How will the client carry on with their lives without their loved one present?
      • Will they ever have a relationship like this again?
    • Review the person’s life in regards to how they feel their life will be after the loss.
      • How does this change their character and identity?
    • Allowing for transitional periods where an item of clothing, a photograph or something else that belonged to the person, might be carried around as a temporary substitute for their loved one. They might give the item up once they are able to internalise the memory of their loved one and what it means that they are dead.

All in all, the therapist must trust that their client can find their own way through the grief process,  with their support, and come out the other side with a renewed sense of self as they adjust to life without their loved one.


If there is anything I can help you with, do contact me via this link.


Note: this is the last blog post I’m writing for the year. Don’t worry, I will still be sending you weekly emails for the last few weeks of December, they might be more festive ones. I hope you enjoy them, and enjoy the celebrations!


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In Therapy: Working through loss and grief (part 2)

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to this edition of my In Therapy mini-series on Loss and Grief, where I would like to touch on other types of loss and how we might work through them.

Last week, we spoke about sudden and predictable loss and grief. There are more types of grief, and this post will help you identify them (click here to read it).


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Working through the breakup in a romantic relationship can take many shapes and forms, depending on the length and intensity of the relationship.

Questions such as: Will I be able to cope on my own? Why did this happen? How could I let him/her treat me like that for so long? Why didn’t I do this sooner?

Thoughts such as: I had the rest of my life with him/her planned, now I need to start again; I will never trust another man/woman ever again!; I will be sad and alone forever.

In practical terms, there are issues such as bumping into them at the shops and how to act or react; if you work together, how is that going to work now; what happens if you see them with someone else? What are they going through during this breakup, do they feel as bad as you? Have they found it easy to move on?

It gets more complicated if there are children or a mortgage involved. But if this doesn’t apply, then it’s just a matter of working through the pain of the breakup, whatever shape it takes, however long it takes.

I guess it depends on whether the breakup was as amicable as possible (you grew apart, you had different ideas of what your life was meant to look like, for example) or you left it in really bad terms (violence in the relationship, cheating, etc).

Re-thinking your life will start when you are ready, and you can then pick yourself up, take the things that remind you of that relationship and put them in a box and return them or give them to charity, or whatever you want to do with them.

You can start making new plans for your life without that relationship. Every relationship teaches us something. In time you can see what you can take from that relationship and use it to your advantage.

Talking through the breakup and everything it brings up in you with a counsellor might help you process the pain and move forward with your life.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross has some great books on Life Lessons that might be helpful, both when working through relationship issues as well as when working through grief and loss.


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Loss of health can be a frustrating time, whether it’s permanent or temporary.

I have worked as a support worker at a rehabilitation centre, where people go when discharged from hospital after a fall (usually older people), to recover, have physiotherapy, and heal before going back home.

They were usually over-confident in their abilities and angry at having to be looked after.

I had to hoist someone back into bed after telling him that if he wanted to get up he needed to call me. He looked at me like I was exaggerating. He didn’t after he tried to get up on his own and fell on the floor! That fall scared him and made him realise that I wasn’t patronising him, that we were both there for a reason – him to get support in doing what he used to do independently before his accident, and me to support him to do just that!

It can be such a shock to need someone to help do things that we used to do so easily, like getting up from bed, using the toilet, and other activities. It is understandable that they be cranky and upset when brought to this rehab centre! (nothing a bit of patience, compassion and humour can’t fix).

Being unable to speak can be highly frustrating to someone that used to talk normally before a stroke or an accident. Manoeuvring through the feelings of having to communicate in a different way, not being understood or wanting to express your anger and fears and being unable to.

These types of loss of health and more will be significant and will need to be worked through with patience and compassion on the side of the carers and family members. Imagine yourself losing your ability to walk, talk, be independent. Working through all the emotions that might arise after an accident or medical complication will take time and lots of adjusting.


3


Losing your job, your source of income and possibly career satisfaction, will bring its own complications.

How do you face yourself, your family and friends, and tell them that you lost your job due to redundancy, being fired, or quitting? What will you do for income now? Are benefits an option for you? How quickly will you get another job? Will you be homeless soon?

As with other life circumstances, we can learn from losing a job.

We can regroup and reorganise our lives so that we focus on what’s really important. We can prioritise what we spend our money on – budgeting might be necessary if you are relying on benefits or on your savings for a period of time.

Go through the feelings, see a therapist, work through what it all means and then pick yourself up and go get that job you want. Maybe it’s time for you to start your own business and this job loss is a blessing in disguise?


4


Losing a pet can be as hard as losing a family member or close friend.

Pets become part of the family and therefore losing them will bring up feelings similar to the ones described in the previous post.

So cry for your pet, miss them, talk about them, remember them. You are allowed and indeed important that you do process this loss.


5


Every change in life requires adjusting, working through the positive and negatives it might bring. Graduating highschool means you are ready for the big wide world, you can study what you want at University or you can go travelling for a year. Starting a new job means learning new skills, meeting new people and many new opportunities; it might also mean a raise in salary from your previous post. Moving to a new city is a challenge – it might be scary to be somewhere nobody knows us, we might feel lonely for a while, or we might enjoy the freedom of being anonymous!

Embrace change, but also honour your feelings of fear, anxiety, excitement at every life transition.


I hope you have enjoyed this edition and have found helpful tips and ideas to help you work through loss and grief.

If you need to talk, contact me here.


Until next week…


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