Fall in love with yourself

So many people come to therapy full of judgements and criticisms about themselves, ranging from shame and a squirmy discomfort with parts of the self, to out and out self-loathing.

If this resonates, there will likely be very good reasons why you find parts, or all, of yourself unacceptable. Usually it is a family legacy; some families don’t do sadness, or are shamebound, and obviously some are abusive which has its own complicated legacy.

While it is often important in therapy to go into those vulnerable, painful places, the practice of healthy self-love (not the self-aggrandisement of narcissism) can be an valuable tool as well. Sitting with the good in us can be as important as sitting with the painful stuff.

What would happen if you could not only drop the judgements, but if you could see yourself as a loved one sees you? (Past or present.) Maybe it’s your lover, your mother, your friend, your therapist. Maybe it’s your God, if you have one.

Can you allow yourself to step into their skin and see yourself through their eyes. Not just the tally of your best assets, but the particular constellation of things that makes you uniquely you. Can you allow yourself to see the very best in you?

If this is too sweeping and vague, try to find just one thing from the last week that you have done that you like, or that someone else might pick out. See if you can appreciate yourself for whatever it was. Don’t discount it; try not to sweep away the positive with rationalisations or reasons why parts of you (or all of you) is not acceptable.

Let it in. Like the sun on a summer’s day, bathe in it, soak in it, let it sink into all the corners of your being. It may feel strange, uncomfortable, maybe even wrong, but that’s okay. Give it time. You’re worth it.

Brainspotting for trauma

“Where we look affects how we feel”

Developed in 2003 by David Grand, Ph.D, Brainspotting (BSP) makes use of eye positions to access and process unresolved trauma and difficult emotions held in the body and in the brain. While the process cannot ever erase the troubling events and situations, it can make them less distressing and change your response to them.

Sometimes used in conjunction with musical bilateral stimulation, this can be a powerful and effective way of processing distressing memories or feelings.

For more information, please see the links below:

https://brainspotting.com/

http://www.bspuk.co.uk/

A few links

I have written a few short articles for the Counselling Directory that you can find here:

 

When Abusive Relationships end: a complex grief

A brief discussion on common experiences when an abusive relationship ends

https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/when-abusive-relationships-end-a-complex-grief

Emotional Abuse: What is it, and how do we heal?

A summary of some aspects of emotional abuse.

http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/emotional-abuse-what-is-it-and-how-do-we-heal

The suitcase

This is a self-help version of technique that I use frequently in session when my client is struggling to contain trauma related memories or feelings.

I hope it is useful.

http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/the-suitcase-a-visualisation-to-help-contain-intrusive-thoughts-and-images