How I’m finding working online and, on the phone.

How I’m finding working online and, on the phone.

Linda Bishopp MA, DMS, Dip Couns, TFT Alg, Reg MBACP, MTHF

I have always resisted working online. Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned, but in my then small experience of it, it felt more difficult to connect to my client. I felt that I couldn’t feel them well, that I was missing out on body language and therefore missing vital information about my client.

I was not so anxious about working on the phone because I have in the past volunteered for the Samaritans, a rape crisis centre and an eating disorders charity, working almost entirely on the phone and I learnt that phone working requires a different type of concentration, but this can be achieved. More on this in a minute.

Well, I have now, of course, gone over to working entirely online or on the phone. It feels very different, but I am getting lots of information from my clients online. Maybe it’s a different kind of information – I am observing closely my client’s face and reading facial expression; I am hearing the tone of voice and timbre, speed of speech etc – however its seems that I am able to understand a lot about my client via less information, but able to take that in more readily – a version of less is more. I have surprised myself.

On the phone, the work is different again.

One needs to almost isolate oneself and reduce visual input so that one’s senses are focused on what one is listening to. It is a different kind of concentration, but very effective in picking up what is happening for my client. I remember well, working on phone lines, almost being surprised when I surfaced from a long call that, on looking out the window life was still going on, the weather may have changed etc. It is as though one suspends other senses for a while in order to really hear all aspects of what the client is saying and meaning and feeling.

So, don’t rush this, allow yourself to get used to these different ways of working – different both for therapists and clients. Regularly review how you are doing, both with yourself, and talk it through with your clients – after all, they are getting used to this too, especially if they have changed from face-to-face sessions with you to online or the phone. I plan to get better at this as time goes on and may continue to offer therapy this way once we return to normal – who knows I may be joining the 21st Century!!

10 counter-intuitive ways in which we deal with our unexpressed emotions

10 counter-intuitive ways in which we deal with our unexpressed emotions

Ah, emotional repression. The tactic we’re all taught growing up, but loathe to admit we’re engaging in.

 

In a world that teaches us to be strong and unwavering at all costs, it can be embarrassing to admit that we’re actually feeling something. So, we do the next best thing – and push that feeling down into the depths of our psyche!

But of course, all repressed feelings resurface eventually. Here are 10 counter-intuitive ways in which we deal with our unexpressed emotions.

1. Taking care of everyone else.

Let’s be serious – it’s a lot easier to deal with someone else’s emotions than it is to deal with your own. So you spend a lot of time sorting out your loved ones’ emotional crises. It makes you feel like you’ve got this whole ‘feelings’ thing down pat – when in reality you’re just avoiding confronting your own.

2. Disappearing from their lives for long periods of time.

Every once in a while, someone rudely evokes emotions in you that you don’t feel capable of handling. So, you just, disappear, for a couple of months until you can be reasonably certain that the emotion in question has been buried deeply enough to not resurface for a while.

3. Constantly. Staying. Busy.

If you’re constantly sprinting from one commitment to another, your emotions can’t possibly catch up! Becoming a low-key workaholic is an excellent alternative to actually feeling your feelings. And a profitable one at that!

4. Continuously claiming that you’re fine.

You like… are fine? You think. You feel fine. If the way ‘fine’ feels is kind of bleak and dead inside, with an undercurrent of inexplicable anxiety.

5. Developing irrational anxieties.

When you don’t acknowledge your feelings, they still come out – they just come out in irrational ways. You know that person who thinks they have a brand-new type of cancer every second week? Probably not the most emotionally in-touch of your friends.

6. Putting a positive spin on everything.

Your worst fear is seeing a friend tilt their head to the side sympathetically and ask you how you’re dealing with a recent negative event. So, you beat them to the punch, by immediately telling them all the awesome realizations you’ve had as a result of said negative experience. If you can put a positive spin on a negative situation, you never have to confront how you’re really feeling!

7. Wanting to plan everything ahead of time.

You like to be in control of absolutely everything that happens to you, because you’re only comfortable in situations where you can predict how you’re going to feel. Doing something genuinely spontaneous and leaving the door open for surprise feelings to jump through? NO THANK YOU.

8. Dating people who are wrong for you.

If you never date someone who’s right for you, you never have to risk becoming emotionally intimate with them. And if you can avoid emotional intimacy with others, you can avoid it within yourself. Double win!

9. Turning EVERYTHING into a joke.

You’re not falling apart at the seams! You can prove it, by turning your pain into everyone else’s amusement.

10. Presenting a tough-as-nails exterior.

There is no such thing as an unemotional person. Even psychopaths experience emotion (just not in the form of interpersonal empathy). Which means that tough-as-hell exteriors are often key indicators that the person behind them is RIFE with repressed emotions.

Try being more honest with yourself and feel your feelings, and if you can’t get in touch with that, consider going to a talking therapist.

Linda Bishopp June 2019

Inner Silence for Reducing Pain – Free Meditation

Inner Silence for Reducing Pain – Free Meditation

It is possible to help yourself reduce physical pain. Do this meditation daily, the effect is cumulative!

Sit or lay down comfortably and let your body soften.  Become aware of your breathing.  Feel your belly gently rising and falling and allow the outbreath to carry any tension away from you.  Remain aware of this breath for a few moments, each outbreath going deeper and longer until your body is quiet and calm and relaxed…

 

 

Guided Visualisation, Walk on the Beach

Guided Visualisation, Walk on the Beach

 

 

Evocative of a seaside walk, with an opportunity in the quiet part in the middle to commune with our own inner wisdom or someone we wish to speak with.

This visualisation helps with relaxation and quiet reflection.

This is a good way to set the atmosphere for a peaceful the start to the day, or to relax after a stressful day.

Guided Visualisation, Learning the Meditative Breath.

Guided Visualisation, Learning the Meditative Breath.

 

 

If you’ve never meditated before this is an excellent starting point.

It talks you through how to breathe to aid meditation and relaxation.

You can use this technique when listening to any other visualisation.

This visualisation helps with relaxation and quiet reflection.

This is a good way to set the atmosphere for a peaceful the start to the day, or to relax after a stressful day.

Guided Visualisation, The Bluebell Wood

Guided Visualisation, The Bluebell Wood

 

 

A springtime walk in a bluebell wood with a silent few minutes in the middle for quiet contemplation.

This visualisation helps with relaxation and quiet reflection.

This is a good way to set the atmosphere for a peaceful the start to the day, or to relax after a stressful day.

If you suffer with anxiety, try the four-paws exercise to help relieve it.

If you suffer with anxiety, try the four-paws exercise to help relieve it.

This exercise is really good if you are out and about as you can do this unobtrusively by just sitting at a table or leaning against a wall or tree.

 

Ground your Energy Using the Four Paws Exercise –

o Have both feet flat on the floor and deepen your breathing
o Feel your breathing slow down and become aware of how your breathing moves your body
o Feel your body calming…………….let your breathing calm your body further
o Have both hands, palm down, on a solid surface (perhaps a table, desk, or wall) and press your palms down onto the surface
o As you breathe out imagine that your breath is travelling down your legs and your arms, through your feet and hands and into the surface they are in contact with
o Imagine roots like those of an oak tree growing from the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands and see them growing down and down into the earth until you are deeply rooted and connected to the earth
o Keep up the slow breathing down into the earth until your body systems have slowed right down

Talk to Your Body
If you have become triggered, i.e. something has reminded you of a past traumatic event, or even if you have become anxious without a known reason, and your heart rate and breathing is rapid it is likely that your body is flooding with adrenalin and you are in ‘fight or flight’ mode. This is a physiological response, not within conscious control, and happens very quickly. This means that you have become afraid, not necessarily knowing what of, though somehow you fear a threat of some kind.

Take a moment to deepen your breathing and talk to your body in a loving way. Thank it for warning you that there is danger around and explain to it that as much as you are grateful for the warning there is actually nothing in the present time that is dangerous. It (your body) can calm down and resume normal operating and you don’t need to run or fight or freeze. Keep up the deep breathing and gradually your body should become calmer.

You can download an extended version of this to print off and keep for FREE here:

Four Paws Exercise

Helping you deal with Trauma Symptoms

Helping you deal with Trauma Symptoms

Here are some downloadable resources to help you deal with trauma symptoms:

A brief description of Post Traumatic Stress

Dealing with Flashbacks pdf

Grounding for PTSD & Trauma Symptoms PDF

Physical sensations related to emotions PDF

 

For more information on how I help with trauma click here

Or get in touch with me for help.

This is an article by Bessel van der Kolk about how to start working with someone with trauma. It helps you begin to understand that you can take charge of yourself and come out of victim mode when events have traumatised you. (It is referenced, and comes from the www.nicabm.com website.)

Four Concrete Steps for Working with Trauma

Some of My Journey

Some of My Journey

It doesn’t matter how much I think I know, how long I’ve been a healer, how much training I do as a therapist; I am always in my state of growth. I’m always open and receptive to continue to grow, to continue to learn about myself, to continue to learn about others. If I am not prepared to do this, how could I ever be there for any client or anybody else I ever deal with in my life that I profess to be supporting? How could I walk beside sometime in their hour of need, if I have not experienced the agony and the joy of personal and spiritual growth myself?

Therefore, this article is going to be about my journey of self discovery, from where I am right now. I have done a lot of work on myself in the past 30 or so years but that doesn’t mean that I have finished that work, or that I ever will, because our development is a journey that is always ongoing. I don’t believe that we ever actually “get there”, wherever “there” is. We are always work in progress! Indeed, would our minds not shut down if we ever felt we had reached our journey’s end? I believe that there is no place and time, in our physical manifestation, when everything will be completed – we have committed to continuing the struggle just simply by being here. The point is, the journey life takes us on, and your and my commitment to meeting its challenges and joys on the way.

So, here I am, about to relate my current journey of self discovery. I have some wisdom, just a little! Perhaps just enough to know that I don’t know that much!  Perhaps just enough to know that there is so much more for me to learn and that I am open to continue that journey; to continue to learn to be more and more honest with myself; to continue to access more of my unconscious; to continue to access more of my spiritual awareness and continue growth in all layers of consciousness.

I had difficult family surroundings growing up. They weren’t the worse in the world by any stretch of the imagination; I didn’t suffer for lack of a roof over my head; I didn’t suffer for lack of food or cleanliness or clothes: all my basic needs were met. But psychologically I suffered tremendously. There was cruelty and beating, general lack of love; rejection was constant. I grew up feeling that I didn’t deserve to occupy the space I occupy. I have fought with that in one form or another for most of my life; sometimes with conscious awareness, sometimes not; dipping in and out of the level of pain that conscious awareness brings. But it is only through our conscious awareness of the level of pain that we can come to terms with it and perhaps deal with it in a different way.

For me it is important to understand. To develop an appreciation of how my mind works, how my emotions surface and how both affect my behaviour.

That is why I trained in graphology (handwriting analysis), healing and Reiki, counselling and psychotherapy. Through having a deeper appreciation of who I am I am better able to “be there” for myself and for my clients.

 

It’s All About Love

It’s All About Love

For me, working with someone in therapy is working in a loving relationship. It’s true that it is not what you might normally expect in a loving relationship; in that each share who they truly are, because as a therapist I don’t share very much of my personal self. The relationship focuses on who the client is, what they bring in with them: their loves, their struggles and pains.

However, I hope to create a safe space for my client to bring all of this, and to discover more of the lost parts of themselves. I use myself to really ‘be’ with my client, soul to soul, to support their healing. And that works both ways. My clients also heal and teach me – they affect me.

Quantum physicist, Erwin Schrodinger, postulated that if you measure the sum total of the number of minds in the universe, there would be just one. We affect each other. In the quantum field of non-locality there is no distance. Thus, once a particle of a substance has been in contact with another particle, both particles continue to react in tandem, even though subsequently separated. As Borysenko (2017) explains, ‘In the quantum world of non-locality, there’s no distance. This is demonstrated in Bell’s Theorem. Let’s say that there’s a molecule of salt—sodium chloride. When it’s sprinkled on your food, eaten, and then excreted, the two atoms of the molecule are broken apart. The sodium may be in one place and the chlorine somewhere else. But even in separate places, if the sodium rotates, so does the chlorine. Everything is connected in what Albert Einstein called a “spooky” way that’s beyond the Newtonian physics of gravity and larger forces’.

We are connected to each other – even when not in the room together. The therapist-client bond is a soul to soul relationship and affects the universal mind. How we behave, what we believe, affects everything that is.

So for me, psychotherapy is about love. We all need it, but many have not been in it, do not love themselves, nor have they been loved by anyone else. Without connecting to love we can live in a world of anxiety, depression, pain and more.

If my client doesn’t receive loving acceptance from me, perhaps for the first time in their life, how will they ever lovingly accept themselves?

We are not separate, not separated by conditions, or our history, our parents, our inheritance – to go the separate path is to lose valuable parts of ourselves. For me psychotherapy is a route for compassion, empathy, connectedness, holding and safety and only this relieves suffering – personal, familial, and collective – all of us are affected by the other’s suffering.

Our suffering is a gift to the spirit, personally and collectively. Our trauma teaches us about ourselves, and others. Let your pain up gently, a little at a time, so not to re-traumatise, and gradually come to understand your story, reclaim your lost parts, shed your tears and be compassionate with yourself.

As a psychotherapist I get to share the beauty I find in myself so that others can find the beauty in themselves. Healing happens in that intimate connection, in relationship with your therapist, and through that relationship, to everyone else.

 

References

Borysenko, J., (2017), Psychotherapy of the Heart, available at: https://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/blog/details/1235/psychotherapy-of-the-heart, accessed 04.11.17.