5 benefits of forgiveness

We all get hurt in life, but not all of us can forgive and move on.  Forgiveness is difficult in circumstances where the abuse has left deep scars into our hearts and souls but holding onto them keeps reenacting the suffering.  Too very often I see clients stuck in their painful past experiences, unable to accept what happened and unwilling to discuss about it. To find inner peace we need to break through the suffering and avoidance and take action to understand what happened, to accept those experiences and learn from them, also to embrace forgiveness which is absolutely essential for our mental wellbeing. Here are the 5 benefits of forgiveness: Forgiveness lessens our anger and resentment and allows us to feel joy and happiness in life. Forgiveness removes our rumination and the flashbacks of the event and creates mental space for work, hobbies, self-care and social connection. Forgiveness reduces …

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Ho to stop resisting change

Change is a frightening process. It seems to be one of the most challenging aspects of our life. But what makes us resist change so strongly? In my client work I’ve seen various levels of resistance to change and I found some common causes in the process and as many ways of fighting them: Safety. We tend to feel safe in a familiar environment. Change means giving up the comfortable NOW for the unknown of the future and we all find it difficult to handle insecurity. This keeps us in unhappy relationships, in jobs we hate and in destructive patterns of behaviours. I encourage my clients to first identify the pros and cons for changing, then visualise that change happening and expand their perspective beyond the present moment. Exploring the benefits and loses from change helps us develop a more accepting stance towards that prospect and breaks down some of …

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Can you rewire my brain in 10 min?

This is the question I got recently from a client. I must confess it left me a bit surprised which probably explains the silence that followed.“I have surely seen the human mind growing and refining in clients, but I cannot see how you can actually rewire such a complex system in 10 minutes”, I replied. The client went on to explain that he read about different techniques promoted by other therapists and got me thinking. These situations are common in the therapy space. Clients come sometimes with some (unrealistic) expectations which become real obstacles in their healing and development. Some clients listen to our explanations whilst others are too stuck in their mind programming and spend no time looking within if they don’t get the results they expect immediately. In this instance, the client accepted my comments and used his judgement to assess how reasonable and achievable was a complete …

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The 3D impact on our lives

Denial, Deceit and Delusion are the 3 mental dimensions we often get stuck in. They stop us from being in touch with ourselves and they prevent us from growing and developing in our wholeness and depth. Denial is natural defence mechanism which acts unconsciously to protect us from pain and suffering. When we look at denial from this perspective, it seems to be quite beneficial to us. Imagine having to see everything that is happening in the world and feel everything at its own magnitude. We would probably not be able to cope with the hurt from the horrors and atrocities that are taking place. On a smaller scale, imagine having to hear all the thoughts our partners, parents, friends and other dear people about us, verbalised or manifested at a body language level. Many times those vibes towards us are positive, but there will be times when strain and …

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What happens when we expand our minds

Our brains have the ability to change continuously as we move through life and this is clearly reflected in our mental activity at all levels, including our behaviours. Yet, as I see it in my work all the time, the way we experience life in our first years of life becomes our default way of functioning and can stay in the way of change later in adult life. Very often we get stuck in familiar ways of thinking and behaving and despite their negative impact in our lives we struggle to let go of the old to create space for the new. I discuss sometimes with my clients about neuroplasticity and they genuinely believe their minds are able to expand, but this is never a straightforward process because our programming is strong and becomes our second nature.  Moreover, often part of our programming is the denial of our human nature, …

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About our default functioning

We come on Earth with a blank sheet of life experience. The family, the school and the systems of this world are molding us throughout life and influence our way of being. Our personality develops as a way of adapting to life and responding to our own needs, but also to the needs of others and the world around us. All our beliefs, habits, behaviours, way of thinking, feeling, relating with ourselves and engaging with others and the world around us are instilled in us from the outside. Some are beneficial to us, but others are not doing us any good. Yet, our programming is very strong and cannot be edited so easily.  Human mind learns to function in a certain way and will continue to run like that automatically, by default, unless we stop it. Luckily, we can take conscious control of our minds and we can design our …

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Mental Wellbeing between Mental Health and Mental Illness

I am being asked often why I don’t talk about mental health and mental illness that much and I use the concept of mental wellbeing instead. It’s a good question considering that at the beginning of my career I was a very passionate mental health practitioner. So what changed, what shifted in my mindset and implicitly in my work? Let me tell you as little story that might challenge your perception of mental health and mental illness altogether.  I started as a clinical psychologist and, naturally, I followed the medical model, looking at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as my bible. I used to spend my consultations writing long, detailed life histories for my patients and doing standardized test to measure their cognitive processes, mood, and emotional functioning, but I soon realized  that I was more interested in talking to people and easing their distress than doing tests …

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How to find clarity and direction in 2020

At the end of each year we all look back at our past experiences and draw a line on our achievements, unfulfilled dreams, earnings and loses. In an absolutely natural way we all look forward towards the future with new hopes and aspirations and optimistic plans for a better life.  Sometimes we struggle to find clarity and direction in life and this time of the year is a good opportunity to take a few moments and explore how we can sort that out. A good start is to look back at our early years of life to understand how we were  molded by your families and school.  We can then explore how the outer world continued to influence us and this is where most times the confusion is coming from.  Our world has always been led by charismatic and seductive leaders and we all follow various “gurus”, fascinated by their …

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3 tips to manage stress at the end of the year

Everybody seems to get a bit tense and agitated towards the end of the year. This is by far the most challenging time of the year, with the highest break-ups and divorce rate, with conflicts and significant strain on relationships, with the desire to have a “perfect”celebration”, with accidents, excesses and life crisis. It’s a fact of life that at the end of the year the stress levels tend to get higher. We’ve had amazing times, fantastic achievements, we’ve created wonderful memories, but we also accumulated distress, losses and unfulfilled dreams And on top of this we face the excitement and the anxiety of the festive season. Shopping, presents, travelling, reuniting with family and friends, with people dear to us and people less welcome in our lives. They create a cocktail of emotions that can keep us tense and worried. So here are 3 tips to manage the stress at …

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How to resolve severe family dysfunctions

The lack of connection with our families and roots can have a very negative impact on our wellbeing. So let’s take a few minutes to reflect on this very important question: Can we resolve severe family dysfunctions? I would like to share with you a case study from my recent work to help you search for an answer to this very important question within yourself. He came to see me to explore some work difficulties, but the conversation took him someplace else pretty early in our first chat. He is 48, his 4th (and only biological) son will soon be 18, and he has never seen his wife together with his mother in the same room. I told him it might be challenging to work through the accumulation of events that marked their lives for the past 18 years, but not impossible. “I will be very curious to see how are you going …

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