Waking The Tiger

»Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 | 15 comments

Waking The Tiger I have always been a deep sleeper, especially when I was a teenager. Very early one morning while it was still dark, my father suddenly burst into my room waking my 16 year old self with a flood of noise and light. He flung the light switch on and yelled at me for leaving the bathroom wall heater on all night. I shot straight up in bed, deeply shocked  by the intrusion into my space and my sleep. I am sensitive to bright lights and loud noises at any time, but particularly when wrenched from the deepest stages of sleep. Then he discovered it was my mother who left the bathroom heater on all night, not me. With that, he turned the light off, shut the door, and left me to lie in bed shaking all over until the sun came up, at which point I got up...

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There’s Gold In Your Shadow

»Posted by on Mar 22, 2014 | 2 comments

There’s Gold In Your Shadow Our shadow side represents the person we don’t want to be, all the aspects of ourselves we don’t want to express because of feelings of shame associated with them. We lock away the parts of ourselves we believe are unacceptable and we disown them. They lie dormant, rejected, and their absence leaves us less than whole. A Golden Shadow Sometimes what’s in our shadow isn’t dark at all, it’s the positive aspects of ourselves we’ve rejected because they shine too brightly for those around us, or because a calling to a noble cause overwhelms us and we aren’t sure we’re up to the task. Jung referred to this as the Golden Shadow – our beauty, knowledge and power which we reject and even...

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The Journey Back To Myself

»Posted by on Mar 8, 2014 | 2 comments

The Journey Back To Myself You are not who they said you were, you are who you say you are. ~ Jason Alexander  My mother was 14 when she discovered she was pregnant with me. I was almost aborted, but instead I was adopted out at birth. My new mother was a woman who seemed to have decided early on that she didn’t want to be a mother after all. She and her husband had no further children so I was raised an only child, and I was later sent to boarding school. There was very little affection, praise or encouragement in this family, instead I was raised with criticism, scorn and punishment. I became permanently estranged from my adoptive parents in my 20s, and during this time my biological father’s wife made it very clear to me that I was not to consider...

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What are you doing for YOU this Valentine’s Day?

»Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 | 8 comments

What are you doing for YOU this Valentine’s Day?   “Valentine’s day, a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.” – a quote from Joel in the opening scenes of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.     I have spent so many of the Valentine’s Days when I was in relationships feeling let down or disappointed because my partner at the time didn’t believe in it, or was away with work, or took me somewhere he thought was romantic but I didn’t (watching model airplanes buzz around the sky, anyone?), or just forgot about it. I spent days sitting in my office watching bunch after bunch of couriered flowers and balloons arrive, but they were never for me, sigh. Yet it occurs to...

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Step Out Of The Scapegoat Role

»Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 | 23 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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