Month: May 2016

A Counsellor’s Struggle with Vulnerability

As a newcomer to the field of public writing, and well-aware of how uncomfortable this can feel, I thought it would be appropriate to talk openly about my own struggle with vulnerability, and maybe inspire a few people to be open too.

A few years ago, when I was first starting into private practice, I had convinced myself that I didn’t need a website for people to find me (and in my defence, was told by a colleague that this was the case).  I probably just really wanted to believe this.  It is so much more comfortable hiding in the shadows than being vulnerable. 

It didn’t take long to realize that having a website was absolutely necessary to a successful business.  Of course, I now know how ridiculous that sounds.  But I remember having a really hard time defining myself.  What my values are, how I work, what I believe in.  Even though I knew I could help people, and I know myself well, putting it in black and white seemed so final, so self-involved, and so arrogant.  I think it was also hard for me to take the risk and “be seen” because it meant also opening myself up to criticism and judgment.  Especially hard when you are first starting out.

Anyways, I finally got over that and realized that I could endure the discomfort of publishing some basic information for people to read, and even have a picture or two of myself.  Read more

Reduce Your Anxiety by Taking Chances

Avoidance: Fueling the Fire of Anxiety

It is human nature to want to avoid things that feel unpleasant or uncomfortable.  For example, if you were electrocuted every time you touched your toaster, would you keep your finger on it?  I’m guessing that you’d pull away.  We are wired to respond to our environment and learn ways of avoiding anxiety, pain or discomfort, as it has helped us to survive.  

 

I can think of many people who seem to actually love the adrenaline that comes with risk and/or pain, and have no difficulties with the inherent uncertainty that comes from taking chances.  But this is probably not the crowd who would be prone to the type of anxiety I am talking about here.

 

How Avoidance Contributes to AnxietyCycle of Avoidance & Anxiety

In the case of people who do struggle with certain types of anxiety, an association is established where a place or situation is seen as a threat, and avoided at all costs.  For someone with social anxiety, for example, there is usually a core fear of being judged by others, and so that person will avoid situations where there is a possibility for this to happen (parties, dating, job interviews).

 

But this approach can cause problems in the long-term.  As people avoid, the associated fear grows stronger.  Avoidance perpetuates the fear because it leads to reduced confidence in their ability to deal with the situation next time.  It keeps them stuck in the cycle and prevents progress from being made, as they are not allowing the chance to prove themselves wrong.

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7 Truths about Commitment

As the leaves begin to fall and the chill sets into the air, I am reminded that another summer wedding season has drawn …

7 Signs that you may be Ready for Counselling

One of the most important questions I ask when someone comes in to see me is, “what has brought you into counselling now?”  …

Succeeding in Your OCD Treatment

For sufferers of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the intrusive thoughts and accompanying compulsions can be an inconvenience …