Childhood fear

Childhood fear is a terrible thing if you are the child!

Several things came together on our recent trip to Scotland where we visited the Falkirk Wheel – a big ‘lift’ for canal barges taking them far into the air to go from one canal level to another (saving a day of going through many locks).

I thought back to a time when my son wanted to jump out of the aeroplane as he could do nothing to quieten the cries of his daughter, my grand-daughter.  Some time later in a moment of quiet I asked Emma (aged 2 and three quarters) what’d been the matter. She disclosed that she’d been frightened – of falling through the window …

This comment took me back to being small and my mother taking me to the park in Nelson, Lancashire.  There was a pretty Victorian metal bridge over the trickle of Pendle Water.  The many slats of the bridge had gaps.  It didn’t matter how slight the trickle was. I was convinced I would fall through the gap in the wooden slats of the bridge and perish.  I remember the fear!!

We joined the queue on the Falkirk wheel to get on our booked barge.  Behind us was a small boy to be three the following month.  He was letting out a more or less constant agitated wail.  There was no acknowledgement from mother who kept telling him off – ‘but you LIKE boats; you have been on them LOTS of times!’  Father was rather more acknowledging and bent down to the little chap trying to soothe him.

I butted in to father as kindly as I could. ‘Ask him if he is frightened’.  It was a ‘frightened’ noise he had been making!  The little boy nodded.  I crouched and butted in:

‘Mummy and Daddy love you.  That goes on for ever and ever and NOTHING can ever alter that!  They will watch over you – I PROMISE’.  He gave a watery smile.

They stayed on the boat and HE DID IT!  Going op and down the great height with hardly a peep …

It reminded me of child development – how we set off as pure feeling. Only later, post 10 years the logical side of our mind coming in. I was also reminded of a counselling truism, ‘acknowledgement is often enough.

“Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living” is available from: sue@suewashington.com

There are helpful free downloads at: sue@suewashington.com

Download chapter 1 of sue’s book FREE at http://peaceofmindwithsue.com

 

Client feedback – control over one’s own emotions …

Talking about control of his own feelings, a client of Sue Washington said:-

“I noticed that my wife didn’t push my buttons any more. Things she does which used to provoke a strong emotional response in me don’t do so any more. For example when she sighed in a particular way in response to what one of our children was doing, it would really get my hackles up.  My response would be out of proportion to what my wife was doing.  This has changed now. I still have emotional responses to things my wife does but they are proportional. I also have choice about whether I talk to her about them, whereas in the past I was a zealot to disclosure having to voice my emotions.  Now I can choose whether I say how I feel or not.  My life is so much more in control”.

“Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living” is available from: sue@suewashington.com

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There are helpful free downloads at: sue@suewashington.com

 

The difference between Mnemodynamic therapy & counselling

A client view of the process is recorded here.  This was sent by an ex-client to a Mnemodynamic therapist.  The quote is used with permission of therapist & client:

“Of course I’m happy to say something about the process of our work together:-

”For fourteen long and painful years I attended weekly counselling and psychotherapy sessions in the hope that the incredible pain & hurt that was trapped inside me could be expelled in a safe environment.  For fourteen long and painful years all that happened at those sessions was stirring up of the events as I recollected them over and over again.  No emotions dissipated and although my aim was to ‘let go’; I was unable to because nothing ever changed as I recollected them over and over again.  No emotions dissipated and although my aim was to ‘let go’, I was unable to because nothing ever changed.   

Then four months ago I was given two sessions of Mnemodynamic therapy & had an instant and positive reaction.  Within moments I was back in the most painful experience of my life & actually feeling it as if it were happening to me all over again EXCEPT that this time I was there safely.  Rather than tears of frustration and increasing anger brought on by my previous therapists’ inability to access these profound emotions, the  Mnemodynamic therapy helped me cry the actual tears of sadness that had been locked away at the time of the event. All the emotions from that time flooded every cell of my body during this new experience & gave me an instantaneous ‘clearing’. 

Since the therapy was carried out I can remember the incident but feel no real attachment to it, other than as a series of visual images in my memory.  I was set free. 

It was so simple yet so effective.  I can’t thank you enough”.

What is in this for me?

  • Contact with the client is SHORT, 5 to 7 sessions generally
  • your therapist will help you to promote rapid change SAFELY
  • The efficacy of this treatment has been PROVEN
  • As a practitioner, a Mnemodynamic therapist will work using the wealth of the unconscious mind to promote healing. The model has a firm theoretical base then marries Hypnotherapy & Freudian theory.

 

 

A journey through your own insecurity

Joan

Joan is a very self-aware individual – someone who has spent a large portion of her life looking at the reasons her life is the way it is.  Although she doesn’t believe in pre-destiny as such, some of the events in her life, and her apparent powerlessness in the face of them makes her tend towards the idea of karmic retribution – or that somehow the misfortunes in her life may be a kind of a repayment for ‘previous’ wrongs.

Before seeking help in her personal explorations, Joan had concluded that much of her sense of not being quite connected to the events in her life stemmed from a gap in her very early years.  She was adopted at the age of three months, after apparently having been somewhat neglected by her teenage mother.  Her adoptive parents were wonderful, and she grew up secure in the knowledge of her specialness and of how dearly she was loved and wanted.  A single, very dark cloud on the horizon was the fact that her biological parents were not married.  She discovered that she was illegitimate at the age of about 9, when she understood the full implications of this fact.  To her, at nine years old, illegitimate meant ‘not legal’.  Illegitimate meant ‘no right to be here’.

Suddenly to the adult Joan it became very clear that her lifelong insecurity and shyness was related to the idea of not really having a right to take up the space she occupied.  She also made the interesting connection that her frequent complicated dealings with lawyers and the legal system over the purchase of houses and so on echoed the idea that she was ‘not legal.’

Using mental imaging, or creative visualisation, Joan placed herself on a sunny mountainside in front of the entrance to a dark cave.  Gingerly she entered the cave, and armed herself with armour from the armoury at the entrance to the cave.  Suitably protected, she took the flaming torch from the wall and proceeded down a dark passage.  The floor was sloping downwards, and each step took her deeper and deeper into the bowels of the earth, and further and further away from the safe sunshine outside.  The incline became steeper and steeper downwards, till she reached a series of stairs cut into the rock.  She started down the stairs, and discovered that on each step a letter was carved.  Going from step to step, she soon saw that the steps read ‘ILLEGITIMATE’.  Stepping off the last step, she found her passage blocked by a small locked door.

Determined, she managed to pry the door open, and inside she found a small room, stacked to the ceiling with cardboard boxes.  On each box was written an attribute that had caused her distress throughout her life.  She saw ‘no confidence’, ‘useless’, ‘ugly’, ‘’no right’ and many more.

Each box seemed to be suspended from the ceiling by a white cord, and it seemed important to her that the first thing she had to do was to disconnect these boxes from the cords that bound them, and using the sword with which she had armed herself, she set about cutting the boxes free.

When she had done that, she was satisfied, and didn’t feel the need to go any further at that stage, so she left the room and found, to her delight that the word spelled by the steps had changed to ‘LEGITIMATE’, and that each step upwards was an uplifting experience, where her legs became stronger, and her heart became bolder. Finally she reached the sunny mountainside, and sat there for a while, enjoying the bright sunshine after the dark dankness of the cave.

After her inner journey, Joan reported feeling a great deal brighter and happier.  She was also aware that she wanted to go back to the little room, because she wanted to look inside some of the boxes, and probably even destroy them.  For now she felt that having cut the white cords that bound them together, and probably to her life, she could choose the time she would go back and ‘finish the job’.

 

There are of course universal journeys – and Joan’s journey contained some universal elements. It is easy to identify some of these, such as the downward movement, and the protection by magical weapons – but they also served a pragmatic purpose.  And so it is with most personal mythological stores.

Popular Fantasy, both films and books really reflect a desire to access our symbolic selves. The simple reality is that we can access our deepest parts, and bring about profound changes as quickly and simply as Joan did.

“Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living” is available from: sue@suewashington.com

There are helpful free downloads at: sue@suewashington.com

Download chapter 1 of sue’s book FREE at http://peaceofmindwithsue.com

Jim wanted to win the lottery!

Why?

The little word ‘Why?’ is a very powerful one when it comes to establishing true motivation.  The process of locking on to a specific objective or an objective to fulfil a need is primarily a subconscious one, involving sometimes convoluted paths of reasoning that take us far away from our true needs.  In Janov’s terms, we respond to wants rather than needs.  Here is an example:

Jim

Jim had a job that required him to work a long day and spend many hours on the road.  Although he received a reasonable salary at the end of the month, it wasn’t enough to meet the needs of a wife and teenage family.  He was competent at what he did, and was satisfied with the level of status within his company and among his peers.  He believed he was happy in his job, in spite of the extraordinary long hours and high levels of stress. 

In spite of a happy family life, he experienced a sense of discomfort, which he ascribed to his immediate financial difficulties, and each week he religiously bought a ticket for the lottery and fantasised about what he would do should he win ‘the big one’.  He dreamed of being able to support his family in the way he would like, and of giving up his job and opening a deep-sea scuba diving business in a seaside resort town.  Week after week he bought a ticket and dreamed his dream.

One day a friend asked for help setting up a small business.  He was glad to help, and spent the few spare hours he had planning and strategising with his friend.  The business began to prosper, and the friend offered him a partnership.  The business was still young, and joining his friend would necessitate a drop in income, and he was aware that there were no guarantees of ultimate success in a competitive market.  After very careful consideration, he decided to join his friend.

That week when he bought his usual lottery ticket, Jim made a startling discovery.  He became aware that he would not choose to change anything in his life if he won. The money he would get from a lottery win would be welcome, but it was no longer important – it was no longer a ‘way out’ for him.

Clearly Jim’s ‘need’ to win the lottery was not based on his need for financial security.  He spent many uncomfortable years believing that he needed money to change his sense of discomfort, so he worked harder and longer, and dreamed and schemed to find a way to increase his income.  He was fortunate that his solution presented itself at his door, or he may have continued, like most of us, for the rest of his life looking for the miracle of chance that would be his salvation.

The Why Game

Consider any one of the things you want in your life.  The need for more money is universal enough to use as an example.  Let’s consider Jim’s desire to win the lottery.  Assume you want to win the lottery and ask yourself:

‘Why do I want to win the lottery?’

The answer may be ‘Because I want to pay off all my debts.’ 

Ask again ‘Why do I want to pay off my debts?’

Perhaps it’s ‘Because I feel uncomfortable owing money.’ 

‘Why do I feel uncomfortable owing money?’

‘Because then people think I’m unsuccessful / can’t manage my affairs / am unable to earn enough …etc.’

By following this line of questioning a completely different picture may emerge, and it may be possible to modify the behaviour you undertake to fulfil your needs.  It is important to be honest with yourself. It is of course always possible to block yourself, or to reach a point where the only possible answer is ‘because I want it!’  Check whether this is because you have reached a real NEED or because you are feeling uncomfortable.  If you can be open-minded and accepting of what you come up with, you may discover some interesting things about what motivates you.

Download a free chapter of Sue’s book at http://peaceofmindwithsue.com

Feelings of rejection!

The unconscious mind is organised by association.  Lovely Jane aged 24 came to me with feelings of rejection.    This week she came for the second time.

At her first session a week ago, she described how she was feeling overwhelmingly rejected.  She and her fiancée had parted company some five months previously, but even after the lapse of time to the appointment day, her feelings had not subsided one jot.  Whilst the two had been reasonably close, it seemed to her that her still-strong reaction was a little over the top.  I listened to her “story” of course.  As a twelve-year-old, and the youngest of four daughters, her mother died.  Her first thought was “How can she leave me?” This was followed by feelings which she listed as: “shocked, very upset, gutted, had a pain in the stomach, helpless, powerless” (and wait for it -) “rejected; wants to die too; (and) guilty about leaving the rest of the family should she take this course of action”.

We worked together with these feelings in a variety of psychotherapeutic ways (using a therapy called Mnemodynamic Therapy) leaving her image of that same little girl, by the end of the session “relieved”.  I knew she would feel better by the next session, not because I said so, though I did, but because she said so. “Relieved” was how she’d left the image of herself.  At the start of the second session my young woman looked wonderful, wholesome, and with a glow about her. I asked “On a scale of nought to ten (not that anyone’s at nought, but if you had been when you last came to me, and ten is “wellness”), where are you up to?

“Seven” was her immediate reply.  “Brilliant” I thought.  How hard she had worked. This time she dealt with two incidents.  The first was when she was fourteen.  Her father had a row with an older sister, who was then thrown out of the house.  Her feelings were: “very upset, stranded, trapped, helpless, powerless, anger and resentment to father, furious, enraged, murderous”.  She worked with those feelings, and left the younger person “comforted”.

After that, we moved to another incident, the parting of the ways from her partner, six months previously.  They’d had a row, and she said that she would move out, and left the house.  When she returned, “to make it up” she found all her things in dustbin sacks.  She felt, “very hurt, gutted, powerless – want to turn the clocks back and can’t, helpless, guilty, angry, alone, unsupported, and (of course, again) rejected”.  She intervened in several ways, and left herself “Better, laughing. I’m telling her she’s too good for him!”

 

Now you can see the long reach of the statement that the unconscious mind is stacked associatively.  Jane’s feelings of rejection had a little to do with the incident six months ago, but were so much more strongly associated with those of the twelve and fourteen year old.  Of course a mother does not reject a twelve-year-old by dying – but that’s not the point.  The youngster felt rejected.  The sister didn’t reject the younger one when fleeing from the wrath of her father, of course not, but the youngster felt “stranded”.  The feelings, which reached from the far past are now, mercifully, laid to rest.

You can deduce therefore, that a small incident as a child – say of a grazed knee, may be stored in the same ‘file’ or ‘box’ as a traumatic motor accident in which we were made to feel insignificant, and a shattered love affair, in which our feelings were denied.  When the box or file is opened, not only will the feelings associated with the grazed knee emerge, but also the associated feelings from the other ‘items’ stored with it.  Fortunately, however, most of the time these ‘files’ remain password protected.  It’s usually only when the whole storage system gets too full and overflows, that a little leakage occurs.  This usually shows up as one of a whole range of symptoms and we have a clear message that something is wrong.  If the illness or sense of ‘wrong’ persists, we usually do something about it by seeking help from the professional we believe will be able to solve the problem for us …

See  sue@suewashington.com for free downloads

The 3D Storage System

There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now at http://www.peaceofmindwithsue.com