Category Archives: Therapy

Different types of therapy for building your confidence

Meditation

I do a combination of Yoga, breathwork and meditation every day that I learned from the Art Of Living foundation. It helps calm my nerves and quieten my busy mind. I often find I get creative ideas popping into my head during meditation that I would otherwise never have thought of. It's a great way of getting in touch with your intuition and deepening your sense of inner wisdom.

The benefits of meditation have been known for thousands of years, and are particularly helpful in our modern society where we are increasingly trained to think a lot and rarely get a break from the mental chatter in our heads.

Advantages:

  • Helps deal with stress
  • Teaches you to relax and focus
  • A form of meditation or prayer is a core part of most spiritual philosophies
  • It's free!

Disadvantages:

  • Doesn't help you develop social skills; too much may even impair them
  • Can make you more introverted and shy
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Yoga

Yoga is an Eastern combination of mindfulness, breathing and body movement which has been used for centuries for handling stress and anxiety. The physical body movement involved helps to get you out of your head and calm your constant upsetting thoughts.

Long before the invention of modern psychiatric pharmaceuticals Yoga was dealing with mind problems for free. It also helps maintain your body flexibility and improve your breathing practices. Besides, Yoga classes are also an excellent way to meet interesting women. Need I say more?

Advantages:

  • Increasingly common and easy to learn

  • Great for your flexibility

  • Excellent way to meet women

  • Cheaper than most kinds of therapy

Disadvantages:

  • There's no end to it. You never stop practicing

  • Your buddies may laugh at you, especially during downward facing dog
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Timeline Therapy

In Timeline Therapy, you work with a facilitator who constructs a creative visualisation where you go back in time to before whatever traumatic event has has undermined your confidence. Then you allow yourself to feel the feelings of confidence that you felt before the event, and transport those feelings forward into the future. You see your full potential open up before you, and start living your life towards the new possibilities that you imagine unfolding with this new and more positive view of yourself and your future.

This is a common Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) technique. Generally you get your body involved, and walk forward and back along the timeline representing the past, present and future. Can't say I found it particularly effective, but you might love it.

Advantages:

  • Conceptually simple
  • Works well with goal setting
  • You don't have to relive the traumatic event emotionally

Disadvantages:

  • Requires a creative imagination
  • You need to be able to identify a specific event or time in your life before which you felt more confident
  • Doesn't really deal with the emotional impact of the traumatic event
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Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

Richard Bandler and John Grinder were interested in why some people achieved excellence in their lives, while others languished in frustration and mediocrity. They figured that if you wanted to be good at something, all you had to do was look at someone else who was good at the same thing, and copy or model them. So they modeled Milton Erickson, the most effective therapist they knew, and they created Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) based on how he related to his clients.

NLP isn't so much a therapy as a toolbox full of way to get more out of your mind, your interactions and relationships with other people. For example, rather than delving deep into your psyche to get to the bottom of why you can't relate to other people powerfully, you just find someone who has excellent relationships, and copy exactly what they do.

Don't think about it, or worry how you feel about it, just do what they do and you'll get the same results they get. Watch what they do, rather than asking them about it, because most experts can't accurately describe how they do what they do. They do it using their intuition. Often their explanation of why this works is misleading, and they may be unaware of the subtle nuances behind it.… Continue reading…

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Psychoanalysis

Freud's baby. The therapist sits back and listens as you lie on the leather couch and waffle on for billable hours about your shitty childhood, and how much you hate your parents. He steers you off superficial stories and into the really deeply painful ones as you probe the very depths of your troubled psyche together.

Advantages:

  • Probably the most thorough therapy out there

  • You'll feel like a movie star

  • Makes you rich if you're a psychiatrist

Disadvantages:

  • It never ends

  • Costs a fortune

  • You need to be a movie star to pay your therapy bills

  • Perhaps Freud was wrong about your mother

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Breathwork

Breathwork is based on the idea that emotional energy from traumatic events can get stuck in our bodies, central nervous system, and/or brain; and that conscious breathing techniques can be used to liberate it. Even the trauma we experience during birth may be stuck in our subconscious affecting us on a routine daily basis despite us not consciously remembering it. Using breathwork to resolve unhealed birth trauma is sometimes referred to as rebirthing.

A facilitator takes you through a series of intense breathing exercises that bring repressed emotions to the surface, liberating them from your mind and body. Often done to background music or primal drumbeats, similar to those used in Primal Therapy.

Advantages:

  • You don't have to go over the story

  • You don't need to know what caused the emotional pain to heal it

  • Claimed to be very powerful

Disadvantages:

  • Hard to know when you've had enough of it

  • Not highly regarded by mainstream therapists

  • Practitioners may have minimal qualifications

  • Association with rebirthing makes it sound dubious

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR) is based on the idea that the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) that happens during the dreaming phase of sleep causes our brains to process unresolved emotions. The therapy attempts to resolve emotional trauma by inducing the same healing mechanism while conscious in the therapist's office.

The therapist asks you to rate how anxious you feel about a situation that troubles you, then waves something in front of your eyes for several minutes while you focus on it, allowing your eyes to dart from side to side rapidly. At the end, they ask you to rate it again. Normally the rating goes down.

Some therapists use other parts of the body than the eyes, and claim it's just as effective or even more so. It sounds a little hocus-pocus, but even mainstream therapists like Dr Paul Dobransky describe it as “extremely powerful”. Often used as an adjunct to other therapies.

Advantages:

  • Fast and simple

  • No need to tell the story or relive the traumatic situation

  • Easy to administer

Disadvantages:

  • Considered unscientific by some

  • May be a placebo treatment

  • You may be unconsciously tempted to rate the situation as less troubling simply because you want to please the therapist

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Primal Therapy

You spent over a decade being socialized by the school system: told to sit down, shut up, keep your feelings to yourself and be a good boy. Sure, you're a social being and a member of the tribe... but really deep down you're an animal. Primal therapy gets you back in touch with your animal instincts and your primal roots through a combination of anger expression exercises, chanting, dancing, and other primitive tribal rituals.

Advantages:

  • Hugely cathartic

  • Learn to express and release anger

  • The next best thing to an exorcism

  • You get in touch with your power as a man

Disadvantages:

  • How well would a raging beast of a man really function in today's society?

  • Some research suggests that expressing anger just makes you more angry

  • Disturbing the neighbors

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Exposure Therapy

The key to dealing with any form of debilitating anxiety is to expose yourself to a mild dose of the situation that makes you just a little anxious, but not overwhelming so. The anxiety subsides naturally as you master the situation, building your confidence. You then increase the intensity of the situation, always remaining below the level at which you feel overwhelmed.

Psychologists call this Systematic Desensitization or Exposure Therapy. Psychologist Dr Russ Harris described it in our interview as “The most powerful technique in all of psychology”. It works extremely when done correctly, and my online confidence building course is based on applying this technique in the real world.

This is usually an adjunct to other types of therapy.

Advantages:

  • Extremely powerful

  • Cures phobias

Disadvantages:

  • You have to expose yourself to the very thing you fear

  • Can re-traumatize you, if not done gradually

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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

This therapy integrates the most useful parts of Western psychology, and Eastern philosophies. It includes the Buddhist idea that most human suffering is caused by an attachment or desire for things that are often temporary or unattainable. So you start by accepting everything exactly the way it is, without trying to change it. Fighting against reality is the cause of a great deal of our angst and suffering.

Having accepted that things are the way they are and you are exactly the way you are, you can then learn some new skills to help deal more powerfully with life. This is the paradox of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT); but get the balance right, and it works. Integration of other Buddhist and Taoist concepts like mindfulness, expansion, and going-with-the-flow distinguish ACT from other therapies.

An underlying principle is that happiness comes from doing what works in practice, rather than from what we think should work. Ask “Does that work?” instead of “Is that right?” Let go of the need to be right, and of your hard luck story. Letting go of beliefs based on the way we think things should be helps relieve stress and anxiety. Being truly confident means being able to go with the flow, and not needing to be in control all the time.… Continue reading…

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