Therapy

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. [caption id="attachment_2859" align="alignright" width="300"]How do you know if therapy is really working? How do you know if therapy is really working?[/caption] The first thing I'd say is it sounds as if you've made a lot of progress over those 4 years: You got in touch with your inner rage when you exploded in anger; then you set a no-contact boundary when you stopped talking to your mother, father and family; then you communicated to them honestly how you felt as best you could; then you released some grief when you burst into tears a few times realizing that your friends do care and love you. You healed more grief about your family too, so you have been crying a lot in the past year. After all of that you have a much better relationship with your friends and family. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Assertiveness

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. [caption id="attachment_2793" align="alignnone" width="640"]Childhood bullying can affect you long into your adult life. Childhood bullying can leave mental scars that affect you long into your adult life.[/caption] Fortunately though we can recover. There's enough neural plasticity in our brains to undo the damage that bullying does, provided we're willing to face the emotions that we were forced to suppress when the bullying occurred. Here's how to recover from childhood bullying: (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

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. http://youtu.be/vLbR4sbow38 (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago