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.

 



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.

 



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.

 



How ‘therapy ready’ are you?


 

29. For MEI have an extraordinary range of people who seek me out each month; men, women, teenagers, children – anyone who wants real results quickly from a psychotherapist in Dundee, a counsellor in Aberdeen or a therapist in North of Scotland. When the email or phone call comes in and I see or hear the phrase ‘I want …’ I breath a sign of relief.

 

I know these people are ‘therapy ready’.

 

The contrast is when I read:  ‘my husband needs …’, or ‘my daughter has this …’, or ‘my mother wants to …’  – these are all first pointers to me that the person contacting me might be struggling in a relationship – friendship, family, partner or colleague – and their solution is to seek help to have that person change. It makes sense at first glance –  you make me uncomfortable so I want you to change. However a more conscious person might say – I’m allowing this discomfort to exist in my life, how can I equip myself to influence a change.

 

Therapy ready clients have got to a place in their life where they’ve personally lived with their challenge for long enough. These guys are on a mission.  They might be experiencing depression, anxiety, unsatisfying (or abusive) relationships, trauma, eating disorders or panic attacks. Sometimes they’ve tried to reason out a solution themselves and some have made practical changes with varying degrees of success. A client may come to me specifically to receive Human Givens therapy having tried other therapies, or having spoken to their GP and have been on medication for months or even years. Whatever the case, therapy ready clients are hungry for change.

 

I had a delightful man in his 50s come to me some years ago who wanted a result with an eating disorder he had been battling with for years. He’d tried to increase what he was able to eat but in fact his diet was relatively limited, to a point where it impacted business lunches, mealtimes with his family and his general physical health and self esteem. He was fed up, on a mission and definitely therapy ready. So ready in fact, that his process took just two sessions – a month apart.

 

Within weeks he had a massive mindset shift about food and changed his relationship with it entirely – almost nothing was outside his comfort zone to try. Two sessions! That’s not hugely unusual from a timings perspective  when a therapy ready person combines their drive with an modern, practical therapy like Human Givens (some people can take a little longer to get their result, 3 perhaps 4 sessions, some up to 6 sessions – more than that is rare).

 

Mindset and motivation is everything. When the thought of living one more month (or one more day) with a mental or emotional debility is more uncomfortable than taking action and googling ‘therapist in Aberdeen’ – or wherever – you know you’re in a category of client that a Human Givens therapists like me is going to love to see and would be honoured to work with.

 

 

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.

 



Successful divorce – is it doable?


14. respectful divorce

 

Best together? Best apart? Stay married? Get divorced? These are not assumptions I make when a husband, wife or partner comes to talk to me (either separately or together). Relationships are extraordinarily unique things and two (or more) people can be in one, be committed, yet still have entirely different perspectives about longevity, intimacy, sharing, friendship, ownership, control, roles and contribution within a household.

 

We learn models of what makes a ‘good’ relationship from what we observe when we’re growing up – parents, older family, couples we know from church, school or clubs. Possibly without conscious thought we hear stories and layer assumption after assumption onto ‘marriage’ or ‘living together’ and progress into adult life with those assumptions relatively unchallenged. Rarely do they match up when we get to the point of choosing a partner and moving to co-habiting with them.

 

The concept of ‘forever’ is hugely tied up with a successful relationships. But is that really the case? Or can we put this in a personal choice category along with: quantity of time spent with each other; common interests; matching faiths or philosophies; cultural or socio-economily similar backgrounds. These topics could be highly relevant or not at all – there’s really no right or wrong answer.

 

Some of the most common assumptions I hear are:

  • Yes, they’re happily married – they’ve been together for 30 years
  • They have 4 children and one on the way – they’re so committed
  • She’s his wife – of course she knows how he feels
  • Women are just better at nurturing and raising children
  • They must be happy … they never argue
  • They got divorced – that’s a failed relationships

This list is inexhaustible because no people who choose to live a chapter of their life together can ever fully know how that’s going to play out over the months, years and decades to come. One of the biggest challenges to a partnership that I see is when a person or couple reference their success against other couples, then register dissatisfaction because their relationship isn’t as supportive, happy, exciting or authentic as the couple they ‘think they know’.

 

It’s important to note that:

  • generally couples don’t disclose or dissect  their full experiences with other couples (there perhaps isn’t the time, isn’t the right trust, or there can be a sense of not wanting to be seen to be ‘failing’)
  • most couples are happy to share the fun, special or unusual event or experiences of their relationship – and not the routine, painful or challenging bits
  • often the people we seek advice from (older family members or friends) are having or have had similar challenges within their relationship. They may still together because they’ve developed tolerance (not a bad thing) but perhaps not always a deep understanding. They’re perhaps not fully equipped (or expert) then to offer you a well-thought-through strategy that will turn your relationship around

 

Successful relationships have a life cycle – they might well have ups and downs be destined for ‘forever’. They may equally have ups and downs and reach a point were one or both parties no longer see their futures together. Either way it’s the respect, the hope and the ability to communicate that will ultimately define whether successful divorce follows or whether successful togetherness continues.

 

 

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.

 



Investing in yourself


Pics - stones

 

My favourite phonecalls are the ones from people who have heard about Healthy Chat or have searched for a coach, a counsellor or a psychotherapist in their area and are taking positive action to change their lives. If a company isn’t paying for their coaching, or an organisation isn’t funding their personal development, or a person’s medical insurance isn’t financing their psychotherpay … it can only mean one thing … the person calling me is committed to investing in themselves.

 

If that’s you I can tell from the outset you’re a motivated, forward thinking, realistic individual who knows that sometimes progress can only be made with some highly-focussed support. That knowledge puts you ahead of 90% of the planet. Much can be learned from parents, teachers, peers, colleagues and books, however sometimes there’s just no faster way of understanding where you want to go and making a clear plan to getting there than working with a coach for a session or two.

 

I hired my first coach when I was 32 years old. I had interviewed 6 in all (each in the US because in the early millenium there was no such thing as an executive coach in the UK!), and ultimately I picked a wise man in his 60s who was calm, intuitive and positive. He’d had 40 years of corporate life, he’d set up his own businesses and he was now semi-retired and living in a lake-view log cabin with his wife and near their children and grandchildren.

 

I selected him over the other coaches partly because of his life and career experience (which I could see myself emulating) and mainly because he hadn’t tried to supply me with suggestions or solutions. He just said – ‘if you think something’s possible, it likely is’.

 

I worked with him for over a year as I grew my first business from a single client to my first hundred clients and beyond. I spent those sessions detailing ‘I want the next part to be like this’ and my coach would ask great questions:

  • what does that feel like when you see yourself signing that contract / serving that team / making a difference to that group of professionals
  • what are you willing to let go in order to achieve that
  • what are you unwilling to sacrifice to get that result
  • how can you add more value and go the extra mile
  • how can you remain authentic as a single mum, a new business owner, a student and a teacher

I stretched way beyond what I was comfortable doing – marketing my coaching services, asking for recommendations, growing my business every month, meeting with CEOs and HR Directors, presenting from a stage, running diversity programs for 100s of people at a time.

 

It wasn’t at all easy. I cried often. I challenged my limiting thoughts and stepped into each fear as it presented itself. I live now with the benefits of all that stretching. And I’m still doing it. I’ve had 8 coaches between that year and now. Each one was valuable for the life chapter I was in. Some were extraordinarily powerful … others I moved on from pretty quickly. And so is life’s journey. A process of visions, trials, stretches, lessons and victories.

 

I’m ready now for a next chapter of change. I’ve selected the coach to partner me with staying clear, motivated and authentic. What about you?

 

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.

 



Are you really ready for change?


40. freedom 2

 

It might seem like an ‘of course I am’ question, but as a psychotherapist in Dundee, with clients from Edinburgh, Glasgow, London – throughout the UK – I have to be sure each person is genuinely committed to the changes they say they want.

 

I met a lovely guy last month. He had suffered from depression a few times in his life. I didn’t know this as I begun to talk about the speed and effectiveness of the Human Givens approach. He said ‘but what you’re talking about wouldn’t have worked for someone like me; my depression couldn’t have been resolved quickly. It took a long time to get to depression so it took a long time to turn round’. Thankfully, this guy is upbeat, positive and impressively confident today. It did get me wondering though about how much a psychotherapist can deliver if their client holds a set of  limiting beliefs like that.

 

Most clients are I’m glad to say committed to quick change; they don’t want another day of depression, panic attacks or trauma symptoms and they’ll re-think, re-prioritise and re-learn – whatever it takes to re-access a life of choices and freedom quickly.

 

Some say they are but are genuinely not ready for making adjustments. So why would they want to continue with their anxiety, their addiction or their self-harming? Well the answer to that is complex but at the foundation there has to be a perceived benefit (often subconscious) to remaining in their state of difficulty. Perhaps a person gets their attention needs met by not being able to leave their house so instead having family or carers come in and see them every day in the meantime. Perhaps a person likes the control they can exert by keeping to only 500 calories a day when their body wants 1500. Or perhaps a person remains in an abusive relationship because the story they’re playing out is about ‘having someone is better than having no-one’.

 

Whatever the reason, there will come a point when enough is enough and that’s often when a person will jump onto Google, search ‘therapy in Dundee … or Edinburgh or wherever’, find me (Jennifer Broadley) at Healthy Chat and pick up the phone for a first conversation. Can i just say right now that those people who make it as far as picking up the phone and speaking to me (or one of my Healthy Chat practitioners) are genuinely courageous and change-desiring individuals. For them I have confidence that the structure of how Human Givens psychotherapy is built will serve them quickly and effectively and they’re going to be implementing change and reaping the rewards from as quickly as the first session.

 

The challenge comes when a parent or a partner has done the persuading and a client is seeing me to pacify that person in their life. They’re showing up in body, by their mind and emotional engagement is totally elsewhere. They haven’t reached the stage yet where the discomfort they’re experiencing on a day-to-day basis is greater than the fear of doing something about it. And unfortunately this mindset is a stretch for any therapist to turn round.

 

Emotional and mental health have extraordinary subtleties relating to each individual who thinks and progresses through life. To get people back to operating independently, hopefully and creatively is a skill set. To support people to function healthily in relationship with themselves before they attempt to do so with others takes wisdom, know-how and patience. But overall, if a client has been down far enough that the only way now is up, then Healthy Chat, me, Human Givens psychotherapy and all the skills and experience of my therapists WILL make a difference. It’s about power in partnership – because we’re all a part of each other’s solution.

 

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.

 



A psychotherapist worth their salt


2. Salt

 

When you’re seeking out a psychotherapist in Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow or London, how will you know a good one from a mediocre one? It’s not like a hairdresser where every friend you have has been to one so you can ask for a recommendation from your mate with a hairstyle or colour you love.

 

As with any trained person whose expertise you want to access – a graphic designer, a doctor, a sports coach, a financial planner, a career advisor  – there are outstanding ones and there are ones who should genuinely be avoided. And the good ones are not necessarily the ones who are shouting the loudest or have the ‘trappings’ that go with success (infact often the opposite).

 

 

You’ll know the good ones because they love their work, they’re patient, they’re respectful and they’ll talk to you like they’re interested – because they authentically are – and you’ll probably hear about them from a satisfied client long before you’re hit by flash marketing stories. On the subject of psychotherapists – many can make some difference – although can they make THE difference, for YOU, right now?

 

When you’ve got to the point of not accepting another day with depression, anxiety, panic attacks or anorexia – use this checklist as a guide to finding the help you need.

 

An effective counsellor of psychotherapist:

  • understands depression and how to lift it
  • helps immediately with anxiety problems such as panic attacks, nightmares, post traumatic stress, phobias and trauma
  • is prepared to give information and advice as needed
  • will not use jargon or ‘psychobabble’ or tell you that counselling or psychotherapy has to be painful
  • will not dwell unduly on the past
  • will be supportive when difficult feelings emerge, but won’t encourage people to get emotional beyond the normal need to let go of bottled up feelings
  • will help you to both draw and build upon your own inner resources (which may prove greater than you thought)
  • may assist you to develop your social skills so that your needs for affection, friendship, pleasure, intimacy, connection to the wider community etc can be better fulfilled
  • will be considerate of the effects of counselling on the people close to you
  • may teach you to relax deeply
  • will help you to think about your problems in new and more empowering ways
  • uses a wide range of techniques as appropriate
  • may ask you to do things between sessions
  • will take as few sessions as possible
  • will increase your self-confidence and independence and make sure you feel better after every consultation.

 

As you’ll know from the material on the Healthy Chat website, we only use Human Givens psychotherapists: they’re fast, effective and practical (research has shown Human Givens is 3 time more effective than the next most effective therapy known!). The list above is one that we each adhere to as a minimum set of professional standards.

 

If you want a psychotherapist in Aberdeen, Liverpool or Penzance – feel free to call us first. If we have a Healthy Chat practitioner nearby, we’ll put you in touch straight away. In defining life moments, borrow only the best brain, for the fastest recovery. You deserve it.

 

 

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.