March 4, 2019

Our Stories

What defines you? Your past? Your present? Your future ambition? For those of us who have had a rough start in life with our families, we can sometimes fall into a trap of being defined by what happened to us. We grow up into adults with a story – and yes, while that’s the case for everyone – some of us stay a little stuck in one story. We don’t necessarily grow out of a story, we don’t move on to a new one. What I find is that those of us who haven’t yet “processed”, “resolved”, “come to terms with” our story, have a tendency to find ourselves trapped. We recycle the same narrative, same thoughts, same feelings that […]
January 21, 2019

The Struggle with Family

Most of us show up in therapy because of complicated and painful family relationships. Sometimes it’s about our family of origin – the one where I was a child, and sometimes it’s about the families we have created where I’m the partner and/or parent. Family relationships are tough. Those of us that have grown up with dysfunction – addiction, violence, divorce, mental illness – have had to figure out how to tease apart what is healthy and what isn’t when it comes to relationships. A common problem I often see is “wanting to help” – our alcoholic parent, our mentally ill child. We want to end their suffering. We want to stop feeling “held hostage” by their misery. We want […]
January 16, 2018

Projection and us…

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. (//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection) I have a sneaking suspicion that if many of us understood more about projection – and its use as a defence by the person in front of us, we would be a lot happier, and communication would be a lot easier. And the thing that we need to hang on to about projection, is it’s the root of why different people see you in a different way .. because most of what they are seeing is a reflection or aspect of THEMSELVES. As therapists, we are taught about […]
August 14, 2017

The Click’s the Thing

The Click.. So often, couples report, when talking about how they met, that “we just clicked“. Its worth taking a moment to understand that click. What we call clicking with someone, is actually the experience of being seen and understood. If you come from a European background, chances are high that you will “click” with someone who also has a European background. You “get” each other, you “recognize” the shared cultural values, the language, the nuances of unwritten rules first generation kids had to learn, for example. If you click because you both come from solid family backgrounds, imbued with respect, an understanding of empathic attunement, whether you call it that or not .. You again will feel seen and understood and […]