COUNSELLING BLOG

Posts tagged love

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Exploring Emotionally Abusive Relationships

Characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationship include:

· Using money as a means of control

· Threatening to walk out or abandon you

· Creating fear and anxiety through looks, words, threats and actions

· Destroying things (and often things you value) – either in a cold and heartless way, or in an angry fit of rage

· Using blaming, shaming, minimizing and denial to control you

· Verbally attacking and demeaning you (includes name calling, shouting at you, criticising and putting you down – especially in public)

· Attacking and putting you down in private, and acting loving and charming in public

· Minimising the abuse; acting as if you’re over-reacting and it’s “no big deal”

· Deliberately withholding approval, affirmation and affection as a means of punishment or control

The effects of living with emotional abuse include:

· A fear of being natural and spontaneous

· A loss of enthusiasm

· Insecurity related to how they coming across to others

· An inner belief that they are deeply flawed

· A loss of self-confidence and self esteem

· Growing self-doubt (so they’re afraid to make even the smallest decision, or to take on even the simplest of tasks)

· Never trusting their own judgment (as they believe that they’re likely to get it wrong, or to misunderstand or misread everything)

· Having a constant critic in their head

· Feeling they should be happier and more upbeat than they are (in order to meet the approval of others)

· Feeling they’re too sensitive, and ought to “toughen up”

· Fearing they’re going crazy, or losing their mind

· Having a tendency to live in the future (“Everything will be OK when/after ….”)

· A desire to break free, escape or run away

· A distrust and fear of entering into any close relationships again.

Filed under abuse relationships emotions love mental health mental illness counselling psychology therapy self improvement online counselling college

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I don’t pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me. Love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person. Love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of. Love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you.
The O.C.

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How to Recover from Codependency

1. Recognize that you have a tendency to be drawn into codependent relationships – and make the decision to change this pattern. This will require acknowledging that these types of relationships are actually unhealthy (which may not be obvious to a codependent person).
2. Understand that breaking these ingrained patterns is very difficult to do alone. Consider working with a counsellor to identify the roots of the problems, to separate out what are healthy patterns of relating from what are unhealthy patterns of relating. Learn how to establish healthy appropriate boundaries. Work on saying “no”, and putting yourself first.
3. Step back and allow others to accept full responsibility for their words, responses, reactions and behaviours. Recognise the facts that it’s not your job to be responsible for anyone other than yourself. Don’t assume the blame when other peoples’ lives go wrong.
4. Keep your focus on yourself and your own needs and problems. Remember that you also have your own life to live
5. Understand that the right thing to do is to take care of your own life and needs first – before looking out for the needs of other people. That’s not being selfish: that is being a healthy, responsible adult.
6. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying yourself – even if others are dealing with huge problems. You have a right to be happy, and to make something of life.

Filed under codependency counselling psychology therapy self help self improvement mental health mental illness love relationships online counselling college

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Steps to Letting Go of Painful Memories

Experiences can leave us with some painful memories. They tie us to the past and prevent us moving on. And the only way to freedom is to work on letting go – so these memories don’t haunt us or keep us trapped in pain. Below are some guidelines to help you work on this.

1. Before you can let go, you must face whatever happened and accept that it is part of your past experiences. Suppression doesn’t work as a long-term solution. It can only be a band aid that brings temporary relief. Talk to someone you trust, or write about it in your journal. You need to share what happened, in order to move on.

2. Identify the lessons you have learned from what has happened. There’s always a lesson – so look for what you’ve learned. It doesn’t make it better – but it does lessen its power.

3. Write the lesson down on a piece of paper and repeat it to yourself when you’re hit by old, painful memories. For example, if you’ve been scarred by abuse, then you might write something like: “My experience of abuse does not determine who I am. I’m a stronger person now, and that is not my destiny. I’m choosing my own future, and the person I will be.”

4. Repeat this mantra often so it takes root in your mind. Allow it to be stronger than the bad experience. Say it often, till you mean it, then you’ll start to feel you’re freer. Persevere and keep on fighting when those old memories return.

5. Seek to be a person who’s a peace with themselves. When peace is your focus, old thoughts and memories have much less power over how you think and feel. However, seeking after peace must be a conscious, constant choice.

6. When the past tries to intrude, focus firmly on the present. Ground yourself in what’s happening around you in the room, and try to breathe deeply - and deliberately relax. You are here in this moment; you’re not living in the past.

7. Forgive – for your own sake. Try to heal from what happened – then let resentments go. You don’t want them in your life for they’ll just tie you to the past. It’s not an ease process; it takes work and discipline. But it is worth the daily struggle - as one day you’ll be free.

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