Navigating Anxiety, Dread & Uncontrollable Worry: The key element behind anxiety and worry is an intolerance of uncertainty. Over time, our excessive worry becomes persistent, repetitive and uncontrollable. We rush around trying to find solutions, yet we never end up finding any sort of relief.
Codependency, Assertiveness & Boundaries: When you’re doing all the work and suffering all the consequences, that’s codependency in action. The goal is to strike a golden balance between not being firm enough and being overly harsh and uncaring. The main effect of not being assertive or having poor boundaries is that it can lead to low self-esteem. If we never express ourselves or conceal our thoughts and feelings, we can feel anxious, resentful and have uncomfortable relationships. We feel like the people closest to us don’t really know us and fear that being assertive means that we’ll be too aggressive or that others will reject us or react poorly.
Struggling with Depression: Depression is the “common cold” of emotional disorders. It’s hard for us to admit, but we all go through periods of adjustment that can cause us to feel sad, blue, down, and unhappy. Yet we tend to forget that depressed feelings can also be important signs that something is changing in our lives. We can deny and run from them, but that is a serious mistake. It’s not uncommon for those struggling with depression to be well-functioning, capable people who “look like they’re doing well” on the outside. However, we can grow from these feelings if we take the time to look and examine what this means for our life’s journey.
Gottman Method Couples Therapy: Drs. John & Judy Gottman decided to take all the counseling approaches for couples and actually test what worked, and what didn’t. In the end, they discovered that most of the advice was useless. From this, they refined and established actual, measurable methods of working with couples that actually makes a difference.
Building Self-Compassion: “I’m my own worst critic,” we might say in a sudden moment of insight. It is very true that most of us are hard on ourselves, particularly if we get even the slightest hint that we don’t measure up in some way – in our achievements, career or study, social standing, relationships, appearance, body image, financial status, and so on. If we make even the smallest mistake, then we have a tendency to berate ourselves, and if we make a genuine medium or large mistake, then look out!
Repairing Self-Esteem: People talk about positive self-talk all the time. Logically it makes sense. Yet somehow, phrases like “I’m a good person” or “I’m worthwhile and valuable” seem disingenuous. These aspects of self-esteem lack two crucial elements: First, they’re not believable. And second, they don’t address the real question, buried down deep: We really do feel that we are unlovable, worthless, or permanently stuck because of who we are.
Perfectionism & Procrastination: Stress, burn-out, and coping requires that we come to understand our own perfectionistic traits. Perfectionism forces us to take on too much, to be impatient, angry, hostile, and competitive. We feel that we must have things done a certain way. It drives us to work all the time, making it difficult to relax and have fun and relationships. After a while, this trend can sometimes lead to Procrastination.
Dysfunctional Family History: If you grew up in an unhealthy or dysfunctional family, it has drastically and permanently altered the course of your life. It is absolutely vital to understand how, specifically, this affects you so that you can stand a chance to change patterns of unhealthy choices and behaviors that plague you and your adult life.
Verbal & Emotional Abuse: This is a lengthy section as it is one of the more alarming trends in our society. Dealing with a verbally abusive relationship can be very stressful and negatively impact one’s mental and emotional health. It is hard to understand why our loved ones want to control and dominate us. We cannot understand it because we tend to see it in our own reality rather than through their own “private logic” which is totally different from how most people view the world. It is important to understand the “cycle of violence” and the signs of abusive relationships. This can include learning how to be assertive and effectively set boundaries: Being able to clearly and calmly express what you need without being overly passive (hurting your own self esteem) or aggressive (damaging other’s self esteem). Communicating assertively doesn’t guarantee you will have your needs met. However, it does make it more likely that you will be heard and listened to. It can also dramatically improve your relationships with other people in unexpected and beneficial ways. Often, we are stuck due to issues of codependency: Being in a relationship where you do all the work and suffer all the consequences. Meanwhile, the other person does not grow or change, others don’t even notice all that you do, or appreciate it, and you end up worn out, exhausted, blamed, and torn apart. We learn how to be codependent from our childhood, our family of origin, and our life experiences. Learning a new way to become “unstuck” is critical to our survival as an intact and whole person, capable of relating to others in a responsible and mature manner. Low self-esteem is common in verbally abusive relationships. Phrases like “I’m a good person” or “I’m worthwhile and valuable” seem disingenuous. These aspects of self-esteem lack two crucial elements: First, they’re not believable. And second, they don’t address the real question, buried down deep: We really do feel that we are unlovable, worthless, or permanently stuck because of who we are.