COPING IN LOCKDOWN – AND COMING OUT OF LOCKDOWN

These past few months have been challenging at every level, in so many ways.
The usual routine has been turned on its head, individuals and families have had to adapt to completely new ways of co-existing. While for some this has been a time to press the “pause” button and think about a different way of living and working in the future, for others it has been highly stressful.

Couples who normally had distractions of work, gym, hobbies, nights out with the boys / girls, suddenly find themselves spending far more time together, with no distractions. If there were little cracks in the relationship, Lockdown could well have ripped them wide open. If there were issues that had been swept under the carpet – the carpet was whipped away, leave bare floorboards and piles of “stuff” to be dealt with. With nowhere to hide, couples had a choice – retreat to their respective corners and draw a line to divide them, or try and resolve the various issues that came to the surface. Sadly, for some, it resulted in abuse too: calls to the various emergency help lines have soared during this period.

For some people, then, Lockdown has been a time of being locked in with someone they would not choose to spend so much time with.
For others, it has been a time of being locked in with no access to the one person they would want to be with, including those having affairs.

And for yet others, it has meant being lonely as well as alone. Many people who live on their own rely on their jobs or their keep-fit classes or similar regular activities to provide the social interaction we all need. When confined to their homes – often small flats with little or no green space around – their four walls can seem like a prison.    Anxiety, fed by news reports on the TV and in  newspapers, can rise to panic proportions. The individual can be knocked off balance and, in that state, fear can take over. Deprived of human interaction, such people can easily slide into the big black hole of depression, hiding away as the world seems an ever-darker, more dangerous place.

For all of these people – the couples and the singles – the return to whatever may pass for normality is going to be a rocky road. It is not possible to “just go back the way it was” because too much water has passed under the proverbial bridge. It can need time and support to identify the issues and deal with them in a calm, logical, constructive way.

If you feel that I can help you with any of that, give me a call – my home number is 01444 459 433 and my mobile is 07597 020 512.
My email is:    judy@effective-hypnotherapy.co.uk .
An initial call is totally free, with absolutely no commitment.

 

 

 

 

3 KEY QUESTIONS FOR ANY RELATIONSHIP

In any relationship, be in personal or business, there are good times and there are bumpy times. If the relationships are strong, then the issues can be aired in an open, respectful way. Misunderstandings can be sorted out, challenges can be met, problems resolved. But if the relationship is not built on strong foundations, then the slightest thing can cause small cracks to become gaping chasms.
Relationships can change over time without us really noticing. It takes something drastic to make us stop and look – and certainly this lockdown has been such a trigger.
Many people find themselves spending more time than usual with their partners. There are no distractions, no hiding places, so the focus is very much on getting along – or not.
Many others find themselves working from home instead of in an office – or perhaps not working at all. They have time to sit back and consider how they feel about their job – the stress, the time, the toll it has taken …

Whether we are talking about a personal relationship or a business one, there are just three key questions to ask yourself.
Allow yourself a bit of space and time to be still, to be calm and quiet, to check in with yourself honestly. You are connecting with that still, small voice inside, whatever you may call it – your Inner Self, your Higher Self, your Intuition. Listen to it and take notice of what it is telling you – don’t drown it out with a pile of “ifs” or “buts” – these are more distractions from the reality, the truth of your current situation.

1.     Am I happy in this relationship?
We could say that, if you are doing this exercise, we know the answer to this question, and that may well be right. Be honest, whatever pops into your head is the answer to go with.

2.    Is this a healthy relationship?
We now know that emotional health is very frequently – almost always – reflected in physical symptoms and issues. If you are in a relationship that is not healthy, then you may well be suffering from, say, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels or other stress-related issues; your immune system may not be as strong as it could be. Any of these could indicate frustration, resentment, anger, a sense of being “battered and bruised” or treated unfairly.
You may have issues around your throat or mouth or eyes or ears (not being able to speak your truth; not liking what you are seeing or hearing).
Are you actively looking for diversions and distractions – alcohol, food, drugs? Another relationship? A hobby? Anything that takes you away from the person and / or the place?

3.      Is it likely that things will improve?
You may well need to sit and think about this and the sister question –
“do you really want things to improve?”
If we are talking about a business / work situation, then there may be two or three clear issues that are causing distress. Have you raised them with your line manager or HR or whoever is the most appropriate? If not, dare one ask, why not? Is there anything that you could do to improve things – be honest here, don’t just blame others when a bit of give and take could shift the situation.
If we are talking about a personal relationship, the process is basically the same. Can you clearly identify the key issues that are causing problems?
Have you raised these issues with your partner – not after a couple of bottles of red, but in a calm, rational way, each respecting the space and views of the other? Have you considered counselling or therapy, either as an individual or as a couple?

Once you have answered these three questions honestly, you will be in a much better position to know what your next steps need to be.
Sometimes, it can help to talk these things through with someone who is not in the family / friend circle. Someone who can actively listen without making any judgments but perhaps asking a few pertinent questions to allow you to come to your own conclusions.
Not all of my work needs to involve hypnosis – although it can be very useful in getting to what is going on at an unconscious level – and this is a perfect example of what I would call “talking therapy.

If you feel I might be able to help, give me a call on 01444 459 433 or 07597 020 512: no cost, no commitment, just a chat that might well change the way you look at things.

 

 

 

 

 

Coping with Coronavirus Confinement

When all is well in our lives – when there is financial security: everyone is healthy: and we can come and go as we please – then it is very easy to “paper over the cracks”, to ignore those pressure points in a relationship.

When all is not well, the pressure builds and the cracks become very obvious.
In this current situation when we all have to stay at home, when couples – and families – are being forced to spend more time together than they usually do – we have all the ingredients for a storm.

“Out there” there is an atmosphere of anxiety and fear, not helped by the media and their screaming panic-peddling headlines. The energy is heavy, oppressive and negative – it’s a good job the sun is shining (as I write this at least!) – that helps to lift the spirits.

Nowadays our lives are very full – stress and deadlines at work; children have their own social agendas that need to be organised; running the household is a job in itself. Shopping, socialising, sport – it all fills up our waking hours. And much of it serves as a distraction from looking at what’s going on inside ourselves, from listening to that little voice that begs to be heard.

Those who now have time on their hands might find it increasingly uncomfortable. They will call it boring, they will say they are stifled, frustrated and so on – but perhaps they don’t like the idea of having to sit with themselves. To those people, I would say, “what is it that you are finding uncomfortable? What is it that wants to be heard?” And perhaps more important, “what are you going to do about it?”

This whole situation marks a massive energy shift, a huge change, and things will not go back to the way they were. It is an opportunity to work with ourselves, to look at who we are and, more importantly, who we would like to be. It can be an uncomfortable process, peeling that emotional onion, taking off the layers of pretence and show to discover the real you underneath. But as uncomfortable as it is, it is also enormously empowering, and stepping into the power of the true you gives you a new-found confidence and self-awareness that does not come from designer business outfits or a new drop-top car; from alcohol or drugs.

For those who are forced into spending more time than usual with a partner, the situation is equally challenging. Little cracks in a relationship can so easily become gaping chasms. Minor irritations grow into major issues. If you are sensitive, empathic or intuitive, this will be more likely, as you will be picking up on “stuff” that is flying around you.
This could be a very good opportunity to take time and discuss those issues that keep coming up but that keep being shelved because there is never time or space to do them justice. Keep it polite. Don’t bring up issues from years ago unless they are really relevant. Keep emotion out of it – stick to the facts. Don’t just hurl random accusations – back up your statements with examples. Listen. Really listen. Don’t talk over the other person. We are all allowed one walk a day – use it wisely! Go for a walk in the park, get some fresh air, blow away the cobwebs, talk about what is troubling you.

Confinement can bring people together or it can drive them apart: recognise the opportunity for what it is and use it wisely.


ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS

Over all the years I have been working as a therapist, I have come across just about every variation on the theme of “Abusive Relationship”, from children sexually abused by parents and / or other family members to emotional blackmail, verbal abuse and “gaslighting” – where one partner manipulates the other into thinking he / she is going mad.

The two main strands involved in supporting clients who are looking for help in such situations are, first, to get to the real underlying root cause of the issue and, secondly, to encourage the client to re-discover their true self.

Those who have been sexually abused from an early age (and I have known this go on even into adulthood) carry a heavy burden that could typically include shame and embarrassment; anger, rage and hatred; a sense of betrayal, loss of trust and confusion about right and wrong. All of these create a potent cocktail that frequently shows up in the adult as feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem; inability to cultivate healthy relationships and / or appropriate sexual boundaries; a “self-destruct” button and / or self harming.
Different therapists will approach this scenario in their own ways – just one reason why it is important to find a therapist that you are comfortable with before embarking on this healing process.
My approach is typically guide a client through what I call “soul retrieval” – the client’s unconscious will tell me in which years of this life there have been trauma or events that need to be healed. With the client in a deep state of relaxation, and using powerful visualisation techniques, we go back to each year indicated in turn, not to re-live the trauma but to release the negative emotions. My question is never “what happened?” (which triggers the conscious mind) but rather “how is he / she feeling?” which keeps it in the unconscious emotional level. This can be a hugely emotional process as the client finally lets go of all the emotional baggage that has been stuffed down, hidden away for so long, and healing can take place: amazingly cathartic.
Then we can re-build the client, allowing him or her to re-discover their true self, their true power. This in itself is a process of transformation, and I love to see a lighter, brighter, more confident person emerging from the shadows.

Emotional or mental abuse is equally destructive, and gaslighting can destroy someone without them realising what is happening.
Here I work with the client to unravel the tangled roots of the issue back to source. Sometimes this is not as easy as it may seem and may well be somewhat uncomfortable for the client as outdated, inappropriate beliefs and conditioning are dismantled. Relationships may then be seen in a different light; power games recognised for what they are; and different choices may be made, all in a safe, secure environment that builds confidence, self-power and understanding.

If you know someone who may benefit from resolving such issues, do give them my contact numbers – 01444 459 433 or 07597 020 512. Or they can get in touch using the form on this website: the messages do reach me, and I do respond!

I am based in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, and I work from Vinings Natural Health Centre, also in Haywards Heath. I look forward to hearing from you!