Category Archives: Therapy

Different types of therapy for building your confidence

Group Therapy

Talking about how you feel in a supportive group with a trained facilitator is powerful. In doing so you release the emotional charge behind what's bothering you, heal your sense of shame around the issues you expose, and learn assertive communication skills for dealing with groups of people all at the same time. This is particularly powerful at dealing with one of the biggest factors that undermines our self-confidence: shame. It is a logical next-step from individual therapy, and many therapists run groups as an adjunct to individual therapy.

The most powerful short-term group process I've come across is Path of Love. Longer term groups that involve open, honest sharing in a non-judgmental environment are likely to be the most beneficial in the long term.

Advantages:

  • You discover that you are not alone

  • Powerfully de-shaming

  • Helps you transition skills learned in therapy to using them in the real world

  • You learn to deal with conflict

  • You learn to handle other people projecting onto you

  • Can offer more support than individual therapy

Disadvantages:

  • Requires a skilled facilitator and/or strong ground rules, or the group can degenerate

  • Potential for conflict with other group members to distract you from dealing with your own issues.

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Journey Therapy

Based on The Journey by Brandon Bays, this form of therapy is guided by a facilitator trained to offer unconditional loving positive support in exploring emotional areas you may otherwise avoid. The process engages your creative imagination as the facilitator leads you through a custom-built story in which you replace troubling emotions from past experiences with peace, love and acceptance.

Advantages:

  • It's fun and creative

  • Anyone can learn to facilitate it

  • Encourages development of creativity

  • You get to tell a new, positive story

Disadvantages:

  • Therapeutic value depends on the skill of the facilitator

  • Won't help develop your communication skills as much as talking therapies
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Guided Visualization

A guided visualization is an active form of meditation where a facilitator guides you through an imaginary sequence that includes emotional healing elements. It may involve looking at your childhood or other events in your past from a different perspective, or constructing completely new experiences that have powerful positive emotions behind them.

The facilitator may be present or may be on a CD or MP3 player. Background music helps get into the mood. You can also construct guided visualizations yourself. Visualizing yourself succeeding at some task has a powerful positive effect on your self-confidence and allows you to rehearse or practice an important task before an event. It is often referred to as mental rehearsal and is used by many sport and public speaking professionals.

Advantages:

  • You can construct a new past for yourself, if the old one was really awful

  • You can purchase guided visualizations on CD or MP3 format for home use

  • Easy to do in groups

  • Can be tailored to your personal needs

  • Limited only by your imagination

Disadvantages:

  • Usually not very interactive

  • Wide range of effectiveness of facilitators

  • May have to try a few to find one that really works for you

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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.

Aummmmmm

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; may even impair them
  • Can make you more introverted and shy
  • Takes a very long time to release and heal trauma compared to somatic therapies
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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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