Communication

Step Out Of The Scapegoat Role

»Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 | 22 comments

Step Out Of The Scapegoat Role Did you know the word ‘scapegoat’ came originally from a ceremonial practice where a goat was sacrificed for the sins of the people, and another goat was then loaded up symbolically with these sins and sent out into the wilderness alone to perish. The goats themselves were considered pure, and the shame and sin of the people were transferred on to these innocent creatures to carry. There are many innocents who carry the blame for others. It allows groups of people, families or whole nations to project their own prejudices and aggression away from themselves. It’s a very painful role to play, however family therapists believe the scapegoat is often the healthiest family member because they aren’t complicit in...

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Are You ‘Just Trying To Get Attention’?

»Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 | 18 comments

Are You ‘Just Trying To Get Attention’? As a therapist, I’ve often heard this phrase: ‘Oh he/she is just trying to get attention’. I’ve heard this said about children and teenagers who are struggling with major transitions, adults who are battling depression, people who have threatened or attempted suicide, and so on. They are just trying to get attention. Most of these people were genuinely struggling with life situations that were proving too much for them to handle, and doing it in an under-resourced way with very little support. Illnessses such as eating disorders and depression are not something anybody would consciously choose to have. They are incredibly painful ways to live. But when our loved ones struggle to make...

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Should you change for others?

»Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 | 10 comments

Should you change for others? They say you shouldn’t have to change when you get into a relationship, your partner should accept you exactly as you are now, and you them. I don’t agree. Being in a relationship will change you, so will a great friendship. It will force you out of your comfort zone, and grow you into a bigger and more vibrant version of yourself. Otherwise what’s the point? Of course you won’t become something that you aren’t, you’ll become more of who you already are. Aspects of yourself that aren’t as visible when you’re alone will come to light more when you’re in a close relationship, for example your generosity, your sense of humour, your great listening skills. This works in both directions...

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Five Steps To Letting Go Of What’s Not Working In Your Relationships

»Posted by on May 20, 2013 | 7 comments

Five Steps To… Letting Go Of What’s Not Working In Your Relationships Step 1: Focus on what you want We all have different ideas about what a great relationship or friendship involves, but chances are if you ask someone what they want in a relationship, they’ll end up telling you what they DON’T want.  We don’t want to be taken for granted, we don’t want to be yelled at, we don’t want to be take advantage of, etc. In order to let go of what’s not working, we need to focus on what we DO want instead. It’s hard to let go of something, even if it’s not working, when we don’t know what to put in its place. Write down a short list of non-negotiables that you want and need in your relationships, and look...

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Are You Too Sensitive?

»Posted by on Apr 21, 2013 | 10 comments

Are You Too Sensitive? Have you ever been told you’re ‘too sensitive’? People often say this as an excuse for bad behaviour. They do something disrespectful and when you point this out, they respond with ‘you’re too sensitive’ – suddenly it’s you in the wrong. Don’t believe it. You probably are sensitive, but who decides what’s ‘too’ sensitive? If you’ve told someone their behaviour bothers you, the useful thing for them to do would be consider whether they want to continue this behaviour. If they do continue, that’s fine – it just means you probably won’t be spending much time with them in the future. It doesn’t mean you’re ‘too sensitive’, it...

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How To Get People To Listen

»Posted by on Mar 2, 2013 | 2 comments

How To Get People To Listen We’ve all found ourselves mid-sentence when suddenly someone else starts talking over the top of us, or we finish saying something only to realise that the person we were talking to is focused on something else and hasn’t responded. Getting people to listen to you isn’t easy. Even when people appear to be listening, they’re often more focused on what they want to say when you’re finished and it’s their turn to talk. If you want people to really listen to what you’re saying, there’s one crucial thing you’ll need to do first.   What Usually Happens… We like to be heard and understood. We want to get our point across and have the other person acknowledge they got it. Once...

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