Tag Archives: emotional healing

Why I Got Upset In Guitar Class

I'm a full time music student at the moment, and I'm loving learning how to write songs, perform in front of people and express myself through music. Music is great because it deals with both the analytical and emotional side of our brain.

Becoming a rock star isn't all riffs and distortion. There's conflict with other musicians to navigate too.

However, the irrational nature of emotions means that they don't always arise just when we want them to. Most of us are still carrying unhealed emotional baggage from our past which can get triggered in what might otherwise seem fairly innocuous situations. This can make dealing with unexpected upsets challenging both in ourselves and in other people.

In yesterday's guitar class, I got triggered by my teacher's response to what I though was a fairly intelligent question about whether the best way to improvise over a chord sequence in a major key would be by using the associated relative minor scale. My engineering brain thought that this would lead to less potential dissonance; but for any other budding musicians out there the answer turns out to be No: you use the minor pentatonic scale of the same key.… Continue reading…

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Ten Signs That You Had A Narcissistic Mother

I had a narcissistic mother and it was a complete disaster for my boyhood sense of self-confidence and the way I saw myself as I grew into a man. A narcissistic mother can leave deep emotional and psychological wounds that get triggered in our daily adult lives, undermining our self-confidence and making life extremely stressful. The impact is most pronounced in our relationships with women, leaving us feeling disempowered and emasculated around women until we get our narcissistic mother wound healed.

Narcissistic Mothers Are Emotionally Unavailable

Narcissists carry a lot of internalized shame and project their own unhealed emotional wounds onto everyone around them, especially their children. As a boy we were powerless to deal with our narcissistic mother and may still carry this sense of powerlessness along with her paranoid world view unconsciously into adulthood.

It's easy to recognize a narcissistic mother because they typically:… Continue reading…

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Is My Therapy Going Right?

I got a question via email last week about how to tell when therapy is working. Here it is, along with my answer:

I have been in psychoanalysis to treat emotional abuse for 4 years now, and am still in a really bad place. I exploded in anger and stopped talking to my mother, father, family and friends only writing to them to wish them dead in horrible ways. Then I burst into tears a few times realizing my friends do care and love me. But I am still feeling bad despite having been crying a lot in the past year and having a much better relationship with friends and family. I feel confused and lost. I wonder whether I should change therapists as after 4 years I still feel "like shit" and cannot work properly. Many thanks.

Thanks for your question; I'll do my best to give you an answer based just on the little bit that you've told me. I get that at the moment you feel "like shit" as you've had 4 years of psychoanalysis and still cannot work properly, so you're wondering if your therapy is going right or whether you should change therapists.

How do you know if therapy is really working?

How do you know if therapy is really working?

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How To Recover From Childhood Bullying

I was bullied mercilessly at my all boys high school. Turning up to Year 8 English class was a routine nightmare: Often one boy in the class would stake out the door waiting for the teacher while another group would hoist me up on top of a high cupboard against my will. As the teacher arrived, the scout at the door would give the signal for everyone to return to their desks so that at the precise moment that the teacher walked into the room everything looked normal in the class; except that Graham was up on top of the cupboard. The teacher was too stupid to work out what was going on, and I'd end up getting sent to the principal for more even punishment.

Childhood bullying is insidious because it can leave long-lasting scars on your mental psyche. This is a critical time of development of our brains, and if your experience of childhood or adolescence is one of powerlessness and victimization, it can program deep unconscious patterns into our minds that set us up for debilitating anxiety and depression later in life.

Childhood bullying can affect you long into your adult life.

Childhood bullying can leave mental scars that affect you long into your adult life.

Fortunately though we can recover.… Continue reading…

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How To Heal Emotional Trauma

Sumelevate Life Coach Sume Chatz recently interviewed me for his video podcast about how I work with my coaching clients to help them heal emotional trauma from the past so they can move on to a happier future.

The interview packs a heap of information into a half hour, covering topics like:

  • How family of origin issues can set you up for emotional problems down the track
  • The impact of poor communication skills on our world view as children
  • How to heal overwhelming anxiety
  • The role of the subconscious and how to work with it
  • Mindfulness and the importance of living in the present
  • What I actually do in Skype sessions with my clients
  • How to coach someone in emotional trauma
  • How to get motivated towards your goals

That's a lot of valuable information for one half hour! I recommend you check it out.

emotional traumaThe one thing I didn't mention explicitly was what exactly emotional trauma is: the emotional residue left in our brains and nervous system attached to memories of any emotionally overwhelming past event that we weren't able to fully express and release at the time.

Healing trauma is important because emotionally charged memories from the past restrict our ability to be freely self-expressed and get on with life in the present.… Continue reading…

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How To Work With An Empathy Buddy

What Is An Empathy Buddy?

Get A Male Empathy Buddy

Get A Male Empathy Buddy

An empathy buddy is a great way to receive some non-judgmental emotional support from another person, without having to spend big dollars on therapy. They can be particularly valuable if you:

  • Have difficulty identifying or expressing your feelings or needs
  • Feel isolated and in need of connection
  • Don't trust other men to treat your feelings with respect
  • Need ongoing emotional support

An empathy buddy isn't a replacement for a therapist; if you have emotional wounds from the past that are causing you fear or anxiety in your day-to-day life, get a therapist. But if you're looking for another way to expand your emotional vocabulary, reduce your emotional isolation or manage feelings of shame you may have about your emotions, an empathy buddy can be a great way to do it.

The idea is to have a buddy who listens to where you're at without judging you and occasionally reflects back how you're feeling and what your needs are. I suggest talking to your empathy buddy on a regular basis, such as every week or fortnight. Like any relationship, it may take a little while to feel fully comfortable with your empathy buddy, but following the guidelines below will help you build trust and rapport together more quickly.… Continue reading…

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How To Stand Up To An Adult Bully

Today I want to talk about how to stand up to an adult bully. This is particularly important if you are like me and you got bullied a lot when you were a kid at school. Adult bullies now are your opportunity to stand up for yourself and to heal the emotional damage that was done to you when you were a kid. Because although you might have felt unsafe standing up to the bullies when you were a kid and you might have been carrying that fear with you, now that you’re an adult it’s actually quite safe to stand up to bullies and so the adult bullies that invariably come into our lives are an opportunity to heal the bullying from the past.

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The Biggest Factor That Undermines Self-Confidence

Hey there, it’s Graham here. Now, if you’re interested in making some serious inroads into boosting your self-confidence, then you’ve come to the right place because what I want to do is talk about the number 1 factor that undermines our self-confidence the most. And it’s an interesting one because very, very few people are even prepared to talk about it. So you’re probably wondering, “Well, what is it?” Well, it’s very simple. In one word, the problem is shame.

Now, you probably recognize shame as a feeling of embarrassment or as a feeling of inhibition that holds you back from doing things sometimes, and it’s often accompanied by the thought in your head of “What are people going to think? If I do what I want to do, if I act on my impulses, then what are people going to think?”

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How To Get Emotional Healing

Hey, it’s Graham here again with another confidence building idea for you. And today I want to talk about a serious subject which is the weighty topic of getting some emotional healing, if you need it. Now what tends to happen to us in life is invariably we go through a series of events, some of which are great and some of which are not so good, and some of the ones which are not so good can be so heavy that they’re really traumatic and they leave us with some kind of emotional scarring deep down in our psyche that hangs around and affects us for the rest of our life until we get to the point where we’re ready to deal with this stuff.

Now, the way that your subconscious works and that your emotions work are that any time you have a event that happens with a strong emotional response, in particular an emotional response that’s too strong for you to deal with at the time, we end up with a traumatic memory stored deep in our subconscious. And what happens is that any time in the future that we’re in a similar kind of situation, we’ll have the same emotion arise because we’ve been programmed for that by the traumatic event that’s happened back in our past.… Continue reading…

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How To Heal Deep Emotional Wounds

Peter Saxon

Holistic Counsellor Peter Saxon

Emotional wounds from early life can have a profoundly detrimental effect on our self confidence and our ability to be successful in life.

Even wounds that we're unaware of or reluctant to acknowledge can still strongly effect us because they operate on the unconscious or subconscious level. These wounds can lead to self-sabotaging behaviour that may be obvious to other people, while we remain oblivious to what's going on. Yet we keep encountering similar painful experiences in life over and over, unable to pinpoint what's causing this pattern or how to break out of it.

Often deep emotional wounds that we may be unaware of are at the heart of our ongoing suffering. Fortunately my good friend Peter Saxon is an expert on dealing with exactly this problem in men's lives, and I recently seized the opportunity to interview him on the topic.

My favourite quote from this interview is:

“When we really get to experience our feelings directly without avoiding or grasping or going to the emotional drama of the feeling, and are actually be able to sit with it, and then look to identify what the need is underneath that feeling, and getting help to meet that need: life changes dramatically.”… Continue reading…

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