New Year Resolution – still succeeding?


The Edinburgh Healthy Chat Therapist

Reaching your goal can be helped by gaining an objective viewpoint and reframing it within a larger perspective .

 

Here at my Edinburgh talk therapy clinic, my New Year resolve is to share some of my therapy and counselling ideas and advice on our Healthy Chat blog. So, in timely fashion, here are my thoughts on our great tradition to pledge a new year’s resolution:

 

What went through your mind as the bells rang in 2017?

 

Was it by any chance a pledge to give something up? Cigarettes, chocolate, alcohol? Take-away meals?  Retail therapy? TV or computer games? Gambling? Chewing your nails? Perhaps, conversely, it was a pledge to begin something, like running or swimming, singing in a choir or being more sociable, or to gain something, like a fit healthy body, or a six-pack torso, or a healthier bank balance. It might have been to be more assertive at work, or to be nicer to your mother-in-law. Whatever it was, a few weeks down the line, how is it going for you? I shall hazard a guess that those who chose a ‘giving something up’ type of resolution will be struggling more than those who chose to begin something or gain something.

 

And how’s your New Year resolve bearing up?

 

Unfortunately, a shift in behaviour can often be short-lived unless a sound plan is in place as to what to do instead of the old and unwanted behaviour, or what is to be gained from the loss. This is because most of us have strong unconscious negative associations with words like ‘losing’ or ‘giving up’ or ‘quitting’: our brains don’t like loss, and don’t like a void where there used to be an activity. Loss is the opposite of gain, and acquisition is a core motivation in humans. Also, we have been (albeit perhaps unwittingly) conditioned to associate giving up with failure. A decision to ‘lose weight’ or ‘give up smoking’ is therefore immediately hindered, or hoist by its own petard, as my father would have said.

 

Another key thing to note here is that our brain is an expectation machine: it wants to be set tasks so that it can pursue and achieve them. The trick is to give our brains a positive goal, not a negative one, as it will pursue each with equal diligence. If you set your mind to not smoking, your brain will focus on smoking, and sooner or later the word ‘not’ will be forgotten. If, however, you set your mind to getting healthier, with cessation of the foul habit of filling your lungs with poison set out as a clear part of your health plan, you will have a much higher chance of success.

 

To take a similar vein with body weight, instead of resolving to lose weight, set out to gain that slim figure that you so desire, or find your waistline (that you know is in there somewhere because you saw it a decade ago!), or become fit and agile. The change in words is so simple it may seem insignificant, but the reframing of the resolution can make all the difference.

 

It’s worth bearing in mind that one session with an effective therapist or coach can help you to set out your goals for maximum effect and the ultimate positive result. Sometimes it’s invaluable to, in effect, “borrow another brain” for an objective perspective on what you are aiming to achieve.

 

One note of caution here is to make sure that the new activity or behaviour is not only positive, achievable and backed by sound reasoning, but is also a behaviour that you want in your life.  I don’t mind admitting that (before I had studied psychotherapy and learned how our brain works) I once pledged to give up red wine, and rather unimaginatively decided to replace it with cranberry juice. By week three I had pretty much developed an allergy to cranberry juice and I subconsciously moved the ‘goalposts’ of my resolution from ‘give up’ to ‘give up for a month’ (another trick our brains are good at). On the first of February I fell upon a bottle of wine as a drowning man would a life raft.

 

Denial can take many forms and, if you go about it the wrong way, ‘giving up’ alcohol or cigarettes or ‘cutting down’ on foods can unnecessarily affect more of your life than you might think. Many folk who may feel they have overindulged over the festive season just choose not to go out because they will not know what to say when somebody offers them a drink or a bag of crisps. If you are ‘on the wagon’ for January then it’s no good floundering around wondering what to say when your friend is at the bar waving a wine glass at you.

 

But it is equally bad to stop going out: your New Year resolution wasn’t to deny yourself a social life.  If ‘losing weight’ is your goal then it might feel easier to just not visit your Granny during January, because you know she will have a plate of leftover mince pies and Christmas cake on offer, and you haven’t the mental energy to turn it down. But not visiting her affects both of you in terms of your connection and attention needs – and you don’t want to abandon your Granny to a month of loneliness. Conversely, giving up computer games or TV is all fine and good unless it causes you to head out to the bar to fill the void with alcohol.

 

It’s useful here to borrow a technique well known to athletes, politicians and actors: mental rehearsal.

Work out in advance what you will say when someone offers you a cigarette, a beer or a portion of chips. If retail therapy is your poison, have a clear plan in place before those January sales catch your eye. Think it through and rehearse the words. Be absolutely clear in your mind.  Hear yourself saying those words, “no thanks, I don’t smoke” or “no thanks, I’ve switched to a healthy diet this year” or, “let’s go ice skating instead of shopping this weekend”.

 

Conscious rehearsal is great up to a point, but those same athletes, actors and politicians will also be using visualisation to embed the desired mindset into their subconscious. My son can close his eyes and visualise how he wants to swim his race in a certain time. I used to use the same technique to visualise the time it would take me to complete a cross country course, and therefore where I could potentially speed up. Effective speakers take a moment in a quiet corner to visualise the calm, clear, confident authority with which they will deliver their speech. Visualisation makes use of one of the most powerful of our innate resources – our imagination – to generate images of the desired reality.

 

Reframing, visualising and rehearsing your own success are often the keys to achieving what you want, and to making your New Year resolution a permanent behaviour pattern in your life. A good therapist, counsellor or coach can help to kick start the process for you.

 

©Julia Welstead 2017

The Edinburgh Healthy Chat Therapist

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



Divorce – done with dignity and respect


93. Good Divorce

 

I’d like to think that with nearly 5 million divorces in the UK since the 1980s (about 150,000 per year) we’d be starting to hear stories of what worked and what didn’t when a couple went through their separation. I’d like to see a culture of sharing wisdom with the next generation; knowledge filtering out to men, women, families and lawyers about how best to navigate the divorce journey. I’d like to read in magazines and blogs, accounts of couples who put their children and wellbeing-for-all at the centre of their decision to shift from nuclear to extended family and that actually they made the subsequent life changes with ease and with a feeling of control and empowerment.

 

As yet, I’m really not seeing that information making it’s way in the mainstream media, however, I am meeting more and more couples who want a respectful separation and a working co-parenting relationship going forward. They come to me at Healthy Chat for mediation for 3 very important reasons:

  • They don’t want conflict to be at the centre of the separation they’re ready to make
  • They’re in agreement that living together is not bringing out the best in themselves or their children
  • They don’t want to invest £5000 – £25,000 in joint solicitor and lawyer fees when a divorce can be simply mediated and cost-effectively processed (and with the saved fees they can each holiday for a week in the sun!)

Here are the Top 3 suggestions on how to go about a peaceful divorce process:

 

1. Reject the myth of ‘divorce as a battle’

Choosing to separate because a marriage is no longer the best working model for a partnership or for parenting can be very liberating. The tradition model is one of conflict and battle and even when a couple can see the sense in divorce, often by the time they’ve each hired a lawyer to ‘protect their best interests’, the subtle suggestions of  ‘you could get more; you’ve been mistreated; your children might be taken away’ will drive a them into panic, blame and more legal-fee spending.

 

A more peaceful and up-to-date way of divorcing is to plan for a series of conversations (challenging at first perhaps – but they get easier) based around a concept of ‘more for all and less to none’. A couple and their children (age appropriately) can all be involved in these. Over a number of weeks and months a respectful and clear plan and time frame begins to evolve. Once that’s defined for everyone and all are in agreement, only then does the formal paperwork and reasoning get passed to a family lawyer to ensure the legal bit’s filed correctly.

 

2. Manage your expectations: commit 6 months to the process

An open mind is the trick to divorcing peacefully and in a reasonable time scale. There can be many mediated group and 1-2-1 conversations to be had during this time; each helping to clarify the wisest arrangements for both parties in relation to children, living arrangements, finances, work, re-training (if one parent requires extra support to up-skill to work for more income in the future), separation of possessions, holidays, pensions and future flexibility to re-negotiate the terms.

Will the transition be painful? – it’s different for everyone, but probably. Keep in mind that it will ease in time (especially if couples priorities compassion) and that remaining in a dissatisfying marriage for another 1-5 years before you get to this point creates extended hurt anyway.

 

3. Trust that conscious co-parenting is in your children’s best interest

Children sense tension in a household even if they can’t put it into words. They can end up being emotionally better off in the long term once their parents agree to step up, communicate and make some changes. It might be that, through some mediated conversations, some new skills and knowledge are learned and a marriage takes on a new lease of life and everyone is happier (it happens!); and it could also be that separating whilst keeping the children’s best interests at the centre of the changes brings similar happiness over time too.

 

For sure this is not a simple subject and relationships are different for everyone. Life is long and it’s a good principle to re-confirm that you have many choices of how the future can be. If you can’t quite work out how to get to where you want to go for now, then borrowing a brain at Healthy Chat to help you get clarity may be a very wise first step.

 

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



Trauma and PTSD – a pending danger (with a simple remedy)


 

83. Trauma

 

I’ve been disturbed recently at what passes in the movies to be OK to view for a PG, 12, 15 or 18 audience.

 

Last month I gave feedback to Cineworld having been in a 12 movie with my friend and one of the shorts shown was clearly a horror. He and I both got a fright watching it – like he actually screamed out loud (don’t tell him i told you!). I’m really careful about what I choose to see at the movies -nothing over a 15 because I just don’t want violent images in my head. When Cineworld replied they confirmed that that short was actually rated a 12. What?! Unbelievable.

 

Same thing again last week, I and my teenage daughter watched the second movie in the Maze Runner series. In the first movie the enemies were technological (mechanical spiders) which is possibly easier to separate yourself from it. In Scorch Trials (cert 12) the enemies are ill, zombied humans who have reacted to a virus and now, with petrified bodies and blood-dripping mouths, hunt down healthy humans. It’s proper frightening!

 

My daughter shut her eyes and ears for most of the zombie bits, but didn’t miss all of it, then couldn’t sleep that night. Several times the next day – even having played sport, read her book and talked with friends – she said the images where bothering her and asked ‘could you get rid of them for me’. After some discussion, I took her through a quick 20-minute process which de-sensitised the memories and allowed her to move forward without any underlying trepidation or fear.

 

The fast and powerful Human Givens ‘rewind’ method won’t remove the memories, they’re just detached from the exhausting need to be on high alert.

 

In contrast to movie fiction, scores of clients have come to see me with vivid memories of real-life violence. Some have been in active service (Afghanistan, Iraq, Ireland (historically), Serbia) some have suffered domestically abuse (physical or emotional), some have a trauma from a divorce or an infant death – whatever the source, a trauma can be devastating and frightening for the person suffering.

 

Symptoms of trauma can include:

  • panic attacks, sudden overwhelm, exhaustive crying
  • anger outbursts – often over small things
  • addictive behaviour – gambling, alcohol, drugs, sport, danger
  • a huge need to control
  • self harming – thoughts or actual
  • sore heads, migraines, skin complaints, breathing difficulties
  • disturbed and poor sleep

 

Millions of people appear to manage to keep together the appearance of ‘normal life’, even with an underlying trauma. They might be raising a family, holding down a job or doing outstanding voluntary service. You and I might never know.

 

But here’s the thing. It’s hard to build a skyscraper on cracked foundations. One floor’s possible, two maybe, but as time goes on it’s more and more likely that somethings going to collapse.

 

If you or anyone you know is suffering from a recent or historical trauma, please know that it’s not a long or drawn out process to return the foundations of your life to being strong again. With Human Given’s therapy, it can happen as quickly as 1-3 hour-long session. I’ve had ex-service people seek help with Healthy Chat having struggled for decades. Most are clear thinking, confident and re-building their lives well in less than a month. No medication. No long, drawn out discussion about the event itself.

 

Our children are learning to ask for help as soon as there’s an issue. As teenagers, adults and pensioners, for our emotional and mental wellbeing, we must learn to do the same.

 

 

Ex UK army, navy & airforce men and women suffering from PTSD can contact a charity called PTSD-Resolution . They use only Human Given’s therapy because they know it’s 3 time more effective than the next most effective therapy. They’ll tell you where your nearest therapist is located and in many cases can fund your treatment for you too. Good luck. 

 

 

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



The mental & emotional health of our children and young adults


 

54. KidsMentalHealthOver the course of this year, as a counsellor in Aberdeen, and a therapist in Dundee, I’ve treated nearly as many children and young people using Human Given’s psychotherapy as I have adults. Most arrive with anxiety-related symptoms – poor sleep, aggressive, cluster headaches, school refusal, over or under eating. Some are self harming or are suffering from depression. Most have had one if not many conversations with their school medics and their family GP. Some have already had therapy with varying degrees of success.

 

All of the children I see with mental and emotional health issues receive Human Given’s therapy from the first minute of the first session with me. It’s rare to still have a client with me after 4 sessions – although occasionally I’ve see a few for up to 6 sessions.

 

So what is it that Human Given’s therapy supplies to these young people that they’re missing out on elsewhere. Here’s what I think they’re benefitting from in the most part:

 

1. Deep listening: the sort of listening that rarely happens with parents because that’s just not most family designs. And it doesn’t happen with friends and peers because at 13-25 years old they’re simply not equipped with those life skills yet. So for many, the first time they get to sit down, uninterrupted for 60-90 minutes and just voice their thoughts, their ideas, their challenges, is in a therapeutic Healthy Chat. My job as much as is possible is to concentrate hard on the words, the tone, what’s being said, what’s being skated over; reflect back what I think I’ve heard; ask for more.

 

2. Releasing questions: the sort of enquiry that helps that teenager or young adult to recognise where they’re skilled; to link their multiple resources together; to see for themselves that where they’re at right now is not a dead end or a no-hope situation, but a chance to test their intelligence, self-discipline, communication techniques, powers of persuasion and reslience to a whole new level.

 

3. Practical knowledge: most clients, children to adults, who come to see me don’t have a working understanding of their own brains. They understand to some extent what learning and intellect is, but they’re fascinated to hear about the parts of their brain they can control consciously and the parts that control them without their knowledge. Knowing how it works helps to form a strategy on how to use it for the outcome they want.

 

4. Mindset expansion: when we change our approach to something, that thing changes. And if young people have one common trait it’s being creative about what else they could try. Working it out in a safe place, with an unattached-to-the-rest-of-their-life grown-up is mental medicine for most of them. (And reporting back their successes at the next session is mental medicine for me!)

 

5.  Mental & emotional rehearsal: this is the main fast-tracking piece of Human Given’s therapy and most often works because it delivers a speedy confidence lift to a person who, right in that moment, realises ‘I can’. When I take a young person through a process where they can literally see, feel and sense themselves achieving what they’ve talked about, it changes how they perceive themselves – and that’s powerful.

 

African-American social reformer, Fredrick Douglass knew his stuff when he said: “Its easier to build strong children than repair broken men”.

 

Aware parents will keep on researching until they arrive at an answer for their children’s emotional and mental health & wellbeing. If that’s you and you know there’s something more that would benefit your child, niece, nephew or teenager of friends – genuinely consider calling me now at Healthy Chat. It’s what I’m here for.

 

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



Human Givens – not all therapies are the same


343. ok-ok

 

If you were to Google ‘Counsellors in Dundee’ or in fact therapists in any city in the UK, you’d be faced with pages of choices. So how do you choose who you’re going to call first? And, more to the point, who can help you get the fastest, most lasting results?

 

At Healthy Chat we use a therapy call Human Givens. It’s called that because it integrates a great range of techniques proven to be effective in getting a person’s innate emotional needs met and thus bringing them back on track to living a fulfilled, happy life.

 

Here’s how the Human Given’s College explains why it gets such strong results fast:

“We are all born with innate knowledge programmed into us from our genes. Throughout life we experience this knowledge as feelings of physical and emotional need.

 

These feelings evolved over millions of years and, whatever our cultural background, are our common biological inheritance. They are the driving force that motivates us to become fully human and succeed in whatever environment we find ourselves in. It is because they are incorporated into our biology at conception that we call them ‘human givens’.

 

Given physical needs: As animals we are born into a material world where we need air to breathe, water, nutritious food and sufficient sleep. These are the paramount physical needs. Without them, we quickly die. In addition we also need the freedom to stimulate our senses and exercise our muscles. We instinctively seek sufficient and secure shelter where we can grow and reproduce ourselves and bring up our young. These physical needs are intimately bound up with our emotional needs — the main focus of human givens psychology.

 

Given emotional needs: Emotions create distinctive psychobiological states in us and drive us to take action. The emotional needs nature has programmed us with are there to connect us to the external world, particularly to other people, and survive in it. They seek their fulfillment through the way we interact with the environment. Consequently, when these needs are not met in the world, nature ensures we suffer considerable distress — anxiety, anger, depression etc. — and our expression of distress, in whatever form it takes, impacts on those around us.

 

People whose emotional needs are met in a balanced way do not suffer mental health problems. When psychotherapists and teachers pay attention to this they are at their most effective.

 

In short, it is by meeting our physical and emotional needs that we survive and develop as individuals and a species.

 

There is widespread agreement as to the nature of our emotional needs. The main ones are listed below.

Emotional needs include:

  • Security — safe territory and an environment which allows us to develop fully
  • Attention (to give and receive it) — a form of nutrition
  • Sense of autonomy and control — having volition to make responsible choices
  • Emotional intimacy — to know that at least one other person accepts us totally for who we are, “warts ‘n’ all”
  • Feeling part of a wider community
  • Privacy — opportunity to reflect and consolidate experience
  • Sense of status within social groupings
  • Sense of competence and achievement
  • Meaning and purpose — which come from being stretched in what we do and think”

 

At Healthy Chat our primary focus in on helping each client get their emotional needs met healthily. Not all therapy is the same. Not all searches for ‘Counsellors in Dundee’ will lead you to Healthy Chat. I hope having read this though, that’s exactly what it does.

 

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



Trauma recovery – keep it simple


387. FlowerGun3

 

Trauma is one of those emotional health areas that can impact our lives unexpectedly. Many of my clients have been in the armed forces and experienced active service; they may have witnessed or been subject to an act of violence; some clients may live (or have lived) with ongoing emotional abuse within a significant relationship. Whatever the issue, the knock-on effects of trauma can present in many ways. Here are some examples:

  • anxiety and panic attacks
  • hyper vigilance (where you pay attention to your surroundings at an exhausting level of awareness)
  • eczema and other skin complaints
  • breathing difficulties
  • challenges with meaningful relationships
  • outbursts of anger (recognised as too big for the incident that’s just occurred)
  • difficulty sleeping (tired and irritable each day)

This above list would been traditionally treated in 2 ways: firstly you may be offered medication (sleeping pills, emotion suppressants, anti depressants) to manage some of the physical symptoms ; and secondly you may be offered a series of counselling to talk through your trauma experience and to try to make more sense of it (which is good assuming it doesn’t require you to re-live those past experiences).

 

In Human Givens psychotherapy (which is the only therapy we’ll offer our clients at Healthy Chat) our approach is simple and it’s also 2-fold:

  1.  de-sensitise the trauma so that a client is no longer hijacked by their past experiences impacting their present reality. We do a powerful (and quick) piece of work on the very first session.
  2. re-equip the client to move on positively with their life. Here we work for 2 or 3 further sessions reviewing the parts of their life they’d now like to rebuild and move forward with – relationships, career, fitness, etc – and get on with designing and practicing some practical strategies to support that

 

Traumatic events are experienced by millions of people every year. Some a person may be fully aware of, and some may be blocked out of their mind for reasons of emotional (and sometimes physical) survival. In most cases a dramatic experience can’t be kept in check forever, so if you, or someone you know, is experiencing increasing difficulty in thinking clearly, managing overwhelm, or has unexpected outbursts of anger, it’s worth having a first conversation with a Human Givens therapist to explore whether a recent or old traumatic event might be the reason.

 

I’ve often found that the more simple a process is, the more we can trust it. Like:

  • Food: fruit, vegetables, meat (or not) & carbs in their natural form (if you’re reading dozen’s of ingredients its probably not a great choice) – keep it simple
  • Fitness: run, swim, walk, dance, move, enjoy. Step out of your house and get your heart rate up for 20 minutes. That’s it – keep it simple
  • Friendships: this feels good – do more of it; this feels like a chore – do less of it – keep it simple

Simplicity is the hallmark that a product or service can be accessed by many – a ‘more for all, less to none’ approach.

 

With trauma recovery, there is now enough scientific evidence to show that Human Givens therapy is the simplest, fastest solution for those who want relief from their trauma experiences. At Healthy Chat our success comes from having you living happy, fulfilling, motivated lives in as short a time frame as possible.

 

Trauma recovery – book at Healthy Chat now. And keep it simple!

 

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



Medication – do your research


 

56. medication2One of things I like to get clear on from the outset of working with a client is whether they’re taking medication – and if so, what is it and what effect does it have. Whether they’re emotion suppressants (for depression, grief, overwhelm, complex life change), sleeping tablets (stress & anxiety), pain management (migraines, cancer, post-ops), or nausea drugs (eating disorders or addictions)  – every single one of them has a wider impact on a person’s body than simply the remit it’s being taken for.

 

Some years ago I moved my practice from London to Aberdeenshire. Shortly after that I was introduced socially to a delightful and smart woman who, over a period of about 18 months, went from no medication to an increasingly-complex cocktail of at least 8 different types of pills daily – initially to manage depression, then weight gain, addiction, liver challenges, thrombosis, and on and on – until she died in hospital asking to be taken out of there because ‘ … all of this is too much’ (the drugs … not her life).

 

Go back to the beginning of that chapter, her depression began by not having access to her son because she was in conflict with her ex-husband. They had shared custody, however the husband didn’t always allow her the access she was due at weekends; he wouldn’t show up at court when she tried to hold him accountable through the present family law system; and he would speaking critically of the mum to the son further distancing them. In accumulation, this was the driving force for this woman’s stress, which in turn lead to an appeal for medical help and a first introduction to the anti-depressants and sleeping medication.

 

On many occasions I’ve had first conversations with clients that go a bit like this: ‘I realised it was serious when I went to my doctor and was perscribed with anti-depressants. I’m sitting here staring at them and I don’t want to start down this route … can you help?’. Ordinarily these clients will see me twice, perhaps 3 times, additionally-equipping themselves in each subsequent session, and then they leave and move on confidently with their next life chapter.

 

Most of us have an instinct about whether we really need:

  • a weight loss drug – or some nutritional advice and a tribe to exercise with
  • a sleeping tablet – or a meaningful, professional conversation to reduce our stress and work our best first choices
  • a pain suppressant – or some great physiotherapy and some genuine rest from our work or exercise regime

 

I’m not sitting here as a therapist in Aberdeen or as a counsellor in Dundee saying all medication is evil – far from it. I’m saying that in many cases heading to a doctor for advice is a great first step, and in many other cases it’s worth the time and effort to research whether there are alternatives to a pharmaceutical prescription that may help you more convincingly and faster without impacting your physical body in ways none of us fully understand.

 

Most of us at some point have taken time to understand the general nutritional or calorific content of our meals; how much more important is it that we do at least the same with the chemical content of our medication. Or even better, spend a few hours investigating the benefits a great nutritionist, physiotherapist, counsellor, massage therapist, bio-energy healer, acupuncture professional or chiropractor can offer you.

 

In this Human Givens therapist’s humble opinion, the more responsibility each one of us take for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, the more likely we are to live longer, happier, choice-filled lives.

 

 

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



Dying from too much comfort …


49. Too much2

 

Sometime I notice differences between being a therapist in Aberdeen vs a therapist in Dundee. Clients from the latter (not all) often action change more quickly than clients (not all) from the former. I wonder whether there might be something underlying that?

 

I recently went to hear Pauline Sanderson speak. She’s an adventurer who, with 6 others back in 2006, completed a cycle of 8150 miles, starting at the Dead Sea in Jordan and continuing on through Syria, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal to Tibet. As if that wasn’t character building enough, the team then traded in their cycling gear for climbing equipment and over the next 4 weeks summited Mount Everest. They were the first team in history to complete the world’s longest climb (8,430 meters from the Dead Sea to the peak of Everest).

 

One of the first questions Sanderson asked us all was – ‘what’s the no. 1 thing that stops most people fulfilling their purpose?’. Answers like, money, fear and family commitments were offered up and we were told that each was somewhere on the list, but not at the top. Surprisingly (to me) Sanderson revealed: ‘the no.1 reason we don’t reach our dreams is: too much comfort’.

 

That triggered a whole number of connecting thoughts for me.

 

When I trained as a Human Given’s Therapist back in 2011 I remember Joe Griffin, the co-founder of the institute, being asked ‘is there a theme that runs through your toughest cases over the decades you’ve been a therapist?.’ The room fully expected to hear that ‘addiction, relationships, or depression’ might be most difficult to treat. But no, again a surprise response (for me) from Griffin was ‘my hardest cases almost always involve: entitlement’.

 

And this theme has been borne out over and over again in my own practice; clients from privileged backgrounds, raised from childhood to expect the world to conform to their expectations, over time, when that doesn’t materialise, can turn to drink, drugs or depression in response. When they seek out help, strategies for change agreed inside a session prompt little or no change because these clients have an extraordinarily complex web of ‘reasons why not’ and ‘here’s why that wouldn’t work for me’.

 

To some extent the same applies to women or men who have experienced comfort for an extended amount of time in later life – they’re financially sound, in defined relationships, reasonably physically healthy – yet super-unmotivated. They’re often clear about what they’d like to see be different in the future (extended travelling, new career, relationship changes, charitable work, more learning) but are fearful of taking the first step. Over months and years of compromising they experience increasing frustration. This can then show through excessive drinking, smoking, exercise, affairs, gambling, comparison with others (at work, school, with wealth or fitness), over-focussing on children or partner, big reactions to seemingly small things (re-decorating again!), apparently constantly super-busy – the list is endless.

 

In Human Givens therapy, there are 14 emotional health factors that a therapist will measure with every client they work with. One of the questions on this initial audit is: ‘Are you being mentally and/or physically stretched in ways which give you a sense that life is meaningful’.  It’s this one response that I’m now becoming super-aware of – not just for my clients but in my own life too (we’re all work’s in progress).

 

The questions I’m now asking myself are: ‘Am I using my present comfort to excuse me taking risks’; ‘Is it really true that other people are benefitting from me staying as I am?’; ‘Could doing nothing actually be more damaging that doing something’: ‘What am I most scared of … and what if I go ahead and start that thing anyway’?

 

What would your answers be? And if you’re interest in the full 14-question emotional audit -just get in touch.

 

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



To conform or to transform


 

10. DiamondRunning businesses that supply therapy in Aberdeen and counselling in Dundee when I’ve spent the last 12 years of my life in London and the previous 10 overseas in Jakarta, Hong Kong and Australia, there’s not much about my life so far where it could be said that ‘she’s a conformist’. It wasn’t always that way though.

 

Brought up in Africa, as a child my first 6 years were mainly spent in the company of my brothers and sister. We had similar values and there were few unknowns. I felt safe. We spent 2 hours every morning being home schooled by my strict mother. And almost every afternoon riding bikes, hunting lizards and swimming in pools and rivers.

 

When my parents returned to the UK to allow us to be schooled formally everything changed. I’d never seen so many children, all dressed in uniform, in one room together doing the same activity. As a shy girl with a stutter, I stressed about how I would ever learn ‘the code’ to fit in. I could already read, write, do numbers, reason, run, swim, catch a ball – it wasn’t the lessons that threw me. It was the playground. How did groups form? Who decided what games to play and who could join in? Who was kind and protective who was to be avoided (I shed some tears learning that one).

 

Fitting in meant learning who followed what rules. Who was clever, sporty, popular and who were the rule-breakers the influencers or the coasters. And it was important to conform in those days because people who were too different were teased, bullied and ostracised.

 

I’m glad to say that now as a parent and having had the experience of 5 different UK schools I can confidently say they are farer, more diverse and more accepting places for our children to become a bigger reflection of who they were born to be. That’s a good thing. Our world is bursting at the seams with 7.3 billion people, none identical. They are held together by differences, similarities, choices, travel, change and progress.

 

It’s a proper stretch for our present leaders of countries, schools, businesses, faith groups and families to let the next generation express themselves in the diverse ways they do. It must be tempting to encourage (or bribe or force) our young (and old) men and women to conform – how much easier to manage, to create policies around, to know outcomes. Too much conformity  though and we’ll lose the ability to find the creative solutions required for our human race to thrive.

 

At the core of both conformity and transformation are the traits of gentleness, tolerance and love. Applying these regardless of gender, faith, ethnicity, riches, poverty, education, self expression, family make up and physical or mental ability is where the breakthroughs lie.

 

It’s uncomfortable to live in this era of unknown quantities. Trust me that you’re not the only one struggling with the little questions (will I have a job next year; will my family stay together; why are my adult children back in my house) or the bigger ones (will there be a burnt up planet for my children’s children; when do I tolerate and when do I speak out; are free will, free speech and free expression always a good idea?).

 

It’s important to find a Healthy Chat, a therapist & a philosophy to up-skill yourself in these fast-changing times. It’s the boldness to ask questions that builds a confidence to both conform and transform; to be anchored as you ascend.

 

 

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



Psychotherapist, counsellor, psychologist, coach – who’s going to help you


21. HealthyChat12

 

You’re not going to need to know whether to do a search for ‘psychotherapist Aberdeen’, ‘counsellor Aberdeen’ or ‘life coach Aberdeen’ unless you’re in the difficult position of having an emotional or mental health challenge or (less difficult) living in or around the Aberdeenshire area. But how do you know who to search for? What’s the difference to you in engaging a psychotherapist, a psychologist or a psychiatrist – it’s important that you know!

 

There’s no doubt about the fact that the choices involved in successfully navigating 60-100 years of a lifetime have increase. With the increase in choices comes an exponential increase in the complexity of finding a mix that works exactly right for you. Most people – from teenage years to retirement – will at some point find that range of decisions overwhelming, to a point where they require professional help to guide and to simplify.

 

So which professionals know what about what? And who’s going to make the difference to your specific situation right now? Here’s a simple guide:

 

Psychotherapist

This title can usually be inter-changed with therapist or with counsellor. It’s often used to intimate a longer term, or wider range of therapeutic study – however you can’t immediately assume that that makes a psychotherapist a better choice for your support and recovery process. There are different styles of therapeutic conversation offered by psychotherapists, therapists and counsellors and the best way to find out who’s best for you to work with is: read their website, look at their testimonials and, most importantly, talk to the therapist before you decide whether to work with him/her. You’ll get a sense very quickly about whether you have a shared chemistry, and they have the skills, that are going to help you to your chosen outcome. Trust your instinct.

 

As a general rule you could search for a psychotherapist to help with: depression, anxiety, panic attacks, overwhelm, post traumatic stress, an eating disorder, addiction or a phobia

 

Counsellor

See above. Also, it’s important not to assume a counsellor is less skilled than a psychotherapist. Some highly skilled therapists choose to call themselves counsellors because it has a more approachable sound. Some counsellors are extraordinarily skilled, intuitive and experienced. Again, contact the professional who’s site or profile reads well to you and have a first conversation about the outcomes you’d like to see from working with them.

 

Search for a counsellor to equip you with: strong relationships, successful marriage, quality parenting, healthy divorce, career change, wholesome bereavement and balanced retirement

 

Life Coach

There are again huge crossovers in the skills a life coach is equipped with when compared to therapists. The angle from a coach is often said to me more future and solutions focussed than with therapy which has a present and issues slant. However, a modern, up-to-date therapy, like Human Givens Psychotherapy, is as fast, effective and uplifting a conversation as you’ll get with most good life coaches.

 

Search for a life coach to: show up in a bigger way at work and in relationships, address limiting beliefs around your skills and abilities, add meaning to ambition.

 

Psychologist

A psychologist has a psychology degree at bachelors, masters or doctorate level. They are social scientists trained to study human behaviour and mental processes. They are not usually medically qualified and only a small proportion of psychologist will go on to work with patients/clients. Some will continue in research and some into education, mental health and occupational psychology.

 

Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have specialised in the study of mental disorders and their diagnosis, management and prevention. They may be additionally trained in psychotherapy (although that’s not yet commonplace) and they can prescribe medication to treat symptoms, which a therapist, counsellor or psychologist can’t.

 

So whoever you choose should you be in the north of Scotland – psychotherapist, counsellor or life coach – the encouraging point to take from this is that although there are more life choices (a good thing) creating more diverse individuals (another good thing), should you find that all a bit overwhelming at any point, there are also more professional navigators to help you get clear and move forward with simplicity.

 

 

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.