Why accepting and facing pain can make us happier
15 May 2023
In Julian Barnes’ book A History of the World in 10 1/2 chapters the narrator gets a sneak preview of heaven and discovers that it is an endless experience of pleasure - he plays golf for many years and gets so good he gets a hole in one every time, then he goes on to master every other sport, has constant access to the most delicious food and can have sex with beautiful women every night.
But he eventually realises there is something missing in this existence of endless pleasure and positive experiences.
What stage of the change process are you in?
13 April 2023
How does someone change? How do we let go of destructive or self-destructive ways of behaving?
Have you been through the process of trying to change something in your life but found that you don’t stick with the change? It could be giving up something like smoking, eating more healthily or an interpersonal problem such as finally having that difficult conversation with your partner that you keep putting off.
The power of shame
11 July 2022
“Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.”
- Brené Brown
Shame is one of the most difficult emotions to deal with and it’s one that we’re often not fully aware of even when we’re feeling it.
Clients who come to therapy often find that there is shame somewhere in the mix, when it comes to dealing with unhealthy behaviours they want to address.
How to challenge destructive or self-destructive behaviour
5 March 2022
How do we react when someone close to us is behaving in a destructive or self-destructive way? The temptation may be to not say anything because we are frightened of upsetting or making them angry. But then the behaviour continues and we may feel our resentment grow or look for ways out of the relationship.
A good approach in these situations is the SET technique, described in the book I Hate You - please don’t leave me*. This approach was developed for people seeking to challenge destructive behaviour by people with borderline personality disorder, such as suicide threats, verbal or physical abuse or substance abuse.
Tackling the problems of a low-sex relationship
28 September 2021
Sex often emerges as an issue in couple therapy, even if it’s not the primary issue the couple has come with. In many instances a couple’s sex life has reduced dramatically or has become unsatisfying.
When sex is going well it adds an important benefit to a relationship - fostering closeness and trust. But when sex is going badly, or not at all, it takes a heavy toll. The more problems surrounding sex, the more the couple tends to avoid even trying and over time the problem can become chronic.
Inhibited sexual desire (ISD) is the most common form of sexual problem, with one in three women and one in seven men reporting a lack of desire. The second most common problem is differences in sexual desire within the couple.