Tag Archives: emotional healing

How I Healed My Boys High School Choir Bullying Trauma

I went to an all-boys high school where the first grade rugby team enjoyed the highest social status. Anyone who wasn't into aggressive body-contact sports got their head kicked in other ways, and boys on each level of the social hierarchy boosted their flagging self-esteem by bullying the boys on the level below. Any innate sensitivity in a boy was crushed both in the classroom and in the play/battle-ground.

Although I was highly intelligent and generally got good grades, this wasn't valued as highly as sporting prowess at my high school and being a thin, nerdy kid who was the youngest in my year, I didn't do so well at school socially.

I spent my lunch times singing in the school choir or hanging out in the computer room learning to use the new machines that the teachers didn't know what to do with. This was a couple of years before the computer revolution went mainstream and decades before Big Bang Theory made nerds hot prime-time-viewing commodities.

Childhood bullying can leave our adult selves feeling self-conscious and hyper-vigilant to criticism from others.

Since I was a late developer my voice didn't break until well after high school. It was embarrassing still being in the alto section of the all-boy choir as I headed into Year 11 so I quit and joined the lighting crew in the hall instead where I could feel good about solving technical problems backstage and wouldn't have to perform in front of people and end up feeling so self-conscious.… Continue reading…

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What To Look For In A Therapist

Effective therapy heals emotional trauma in your brain and central nervous system by providing a safe environment for you to express your true feelings, with the support of an empathic non-judgmental connection between you and the therapist.

The three main things to look for in a therapist are:

  1. You feel emotionally safe to share your feelings with them
  2. They communicate empathically so you feel understood
  3. Ability to handle strong unpleasant feelings without criticism or judgement

It's normal to feel nervous when seeing a new therapist for the first time, but trust your instincts to tell you whether these three things are present. If not, look elsewhere.

Here's a video explaining this in more detail:… Continue reading…

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How Therapy Heals Emotional Trauma

Effective therapy can heal emotional trauma. It works by providing a safe space to express and release the residual emotional charge on unpleasant memories.

Here's a video describing the process in more detail:… Continue reading…

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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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