One On One Psychotherapy
|I have been a clinical psychologist for 37 years. A most profound change in the work I do occurred 2 years ago. I discovered Brain Working Recursive Therapy (BWRT) and Eye Movement Integration (EMI). These models work at a much deeper level than normal talk psychotherapy, ie they work neurologically. With BWRT I can resolve deep seated stress, trauma, sexual abuse and grief in 1 or 2 sessions. If you had told me this in the past, I would have thought that you were crazy. I have had 100's of clients who have benefitted from this form of therapy in ways they would never previously have dreamed of.|
Oscar Wilde says that ‘There are two problems in life. Not getting what you want and getting what you want.’ If he is correct, and my observation over many years suggests that he is, then ‘wanting’
is the problem. Of course ‘wanting’ is double sided. It has many positives, but as Wilde points out, it has negatives as well. Wanting involves the need to control and the ability to let go of this control is
In other words, beyond working neurologically, we need to talk about our issues.
Wisdom is often admired in our society but not often explored, described or most importantly worked toward. In psychotherapy I like to talk about wisdom, how to acquire more of it how to develop it, understanding its many components. Wisdom reflects the truth. Wisdom is enriching, healing, transformative and leads to growth. Its opposite, fundamentalism oversimplifies and polarizes. Wisdom sees the big picture, fundamentalism simplifies and sees the small picture. Fundamentalism is ‘either–or’. Wisdom is ‘both–and’ and so fundamentalism excludes while wisdom ‘includes’. Fundamentalism creates conflict and war. Wisdom connects and dissolves conflict. Wisdom is seeing past the rules, the conditioning, the habitual cultural beliefs and norms. Fundamentalism (and by the way, most of us are, at least some of the time fundamenalists) is rigid, while wisdom is flexible and adaptable. Our conditioning skews us toward fundamentalism. When under pressure we like to see one party as good and the other as bad, supporting our own prejudices and judging the bias of others. Great psychotherapy dismantles conditioning, enabling wisdom and freedom from restrictive beliefs and debilitating emotions. This is best seen in great marital therapy, where both parties take responsibility for their flaws and deficits and both
work on their own issues, enabling the act of mutual giving.
The process of psychotherapy is a movement between listening, observing and reflecting – on the part of the client and the therapist – as well as using methods, techniques and strategies to help people to shift into Mastery.
When the client and I feel that techniques and strategies are appropriate, I draw on the following:
I use some or all of the above to work with the following issues:
- BWRT and EMI for all deep stress, trauma, sexual abuse, self-esteem and grief issues.
- I use a very simple, yet powerful, emotional releasing technique for letting go of negative emotions, enabling the capacity to live from a place of greater Stillness and Peace, reducing the need to control life.
- Strategic Questions, designed to build relationships and master conflict. I have created a model called The Trust and Power Dynamic as a result of working with conflict in organisations over the last 15 years. This model is based on the scientific observation of people communicating skilfully and unskilfully.
- Meditation to establish a connection with our true nature, the source of all life, our true identity, based on the work of Adyashanti. See www.Adyashanti.org for more information.
- To quote Fritz Perls, anxiety is: 'Will I get applause or tomatoes?” Anxiety is created by attempting to control how much 'good and bad' I have in my life. The primary purpose of the 'releasing technique' is to let go of needing to be in control. When we are anxious, we feel out of control and so paradoxically, when we release the need for control, we feel more in control. The less we need to control the future, the less anxiety we feel.
Isolation and purposelessness
- Depression has many causes, to list just a few: It is about a perceived sense of loss, a sense of purposelessness or meaninglessness, isolation, or more importantly a belief that being connected is better than being alone (when in fact the pain of being alone is often easier than the pain of a bad relationship), aggression turned inwards, constant pain, ongoing conflict, disconnection from spirit, being inauthentic and a dependency on fantasies about life and relationships which are shattered by reality.
- Everyone needs closeness and distance. Managing these two polarities is one of the great challenges of living. Overdependence on relationships can create a deep sense of isolation, as can creating unrealistic fantasies about what relationships can give us.
- Very often we push others away, creating the isolation, the very thing we hate.
- Feelings of isolation can be released cumulatively over time.
- Paradoxically, the more we need others, the less likely we are to be able to have a successful relationship.
The emotional impact of chronic fatigue
- I have created a pioneering model called Primary Self-Esteem: Re-discovering your true magnificence. Primary Self-Esteem is returning to a specific quality of self-esteemm that we had before we were told that we were good or bad or right or wrong. Small children just feel wonderful whithout having to be told so, unless of course they experience significant trauma or pain. Secondary Self-Esteem is the place in which most of us life, most of the time. It is dependent on the external world to feel good, to feel worthy. Primary Self-Esteem is independent of the external world. There are specific strategies and practical methods which I have created for re-connecting with Primary Self-Esteem to enable it's recovery.
Couples/marital therapy and relationship issues
- I have wrestled personally with a chronic fatigue issue for 25 years. I have a great deal of insight into how to manage the emotional issues that arise with the fatigue. (as well as sharing some practical strategy tips learned over the years, especially through consulting a specialist in Canada.)
- According to Virginia Satir, a world renowned family therapist, 4% of intimate relationships are nourishing. My personal and professional experience corroborates her findings. Most of us want a fulfilling one, whereas few are really successful. It is hard work. There are many elements to creating one. Here are a few:
Career and work issues
- If you cannot come to agreement around the areas where your ‘wants’ conflict, then split up, because you will split up as a result of these differences anyway, or you will stay together ‘miserably’ because of these unresolved differences…forever. (Of course you are free to stay together miserably for as long as you want to. I have seen many couples do this for 50 years and more!)
- ‘Not wanting to control your partner is Love.’ We like to think that when we are controlling our partner, we are loving them. For example, when we are trying to get them to stop smoking, even though we are trying to help them to be more healthy, they will not experience our intentions as loving. After all, what they want in the moment of inhaling, is to be smoking, not to give up!
- Cultivate respect. The first thing to ‘go’ in a bad relationship is mutual respect. You need to know what you do that creates it and erodes it.
- Heal the hurt. If you can't heal the hurt, it accumulates and asphyxiates the relationship. Much couples work ignores this fact. If you can't heal the hurt from the past, very little is going to change. You'd best 'get out' or suffer endlessly.
- In line with above point, learn to repair hurt as it happens. The more you can do this, the more nourishing your relationship is going to be.
Personal empowerment and conflict resolution
- Two of the most powerful things you can do to have a fulfilling life is having a rewarding intimate partnership and a rewarding career. The latter involves many things: finding the 'right thing' and making it pay, managing other people, mastering conflict and keeping one's focus. Over 12 years of corporate consulting I have created a model called Strategic Questions, (see above) designed to build skill and confidence in interaction with others. It is a simple and very powerful technique designed to empower you, build relationships and give your interactions skill and wisdom. This technique can be used in all areas of life.
- Letting go and Strategic Questions can both be used together to deal with these issues. What is personal power? It is confidence, a belief that one can deal with whatever is going to come up next. Every moment of pressure in life is a choice between the Victim position and the Mastery position. The former involves fighting and/or retreating from reality. The latter involves working with and flowing with reality. The more time we spend in Mastery, the more powerful we feel. The more we are 'released' on our emotions the more powerful and empowered we are and the more we are able to act spontaneously, confidently and wisely. Wisdom is an integral aspect of Mastery.
- Another critical element is that of developing powerful personal boundaries. There is a continuum. From Overpowering on the one hand - where there is a disregard for the boundaries of others, to Disempowered - which is having little or no boundary. Disempowered people often blame the 'Overpowerers'. In fact they invite them in! Empowered is in the middle, it is the balanced position, which is really about respecting others and oneself.
- Most parents want their children to be “happy”. This is monumentally unrealistic. I often ask parents. “Have you been happy all of your life?” They say: “No”. Have you been happy and sad all of your life?” They say: “Yes”, and I reply: “So why should your children be different from you and indeed anyone else on the planet?!” Masterful parenting is not easy. It is fraught with pitfalls and unpredictable events. Parenting is another critical role in a long list of challenges that includes, trying to make a good living, finding fulfilment at work, having a satisfying intimate relationship, managing health, dealing with conflict at work, with family and friends. Most parents have expectations of themselves as parents and of their children that are unreasonable. All of the above present significant challenges. Fear and a desperate need for control underlies most of these challenges. Strategic Questions are a great tool to improve parenting skills, as is the ability to let go of all of the emotions that go along with being a parent: anxiety, expectations, impatience, intolerance and anger, being just few. Critical to this is the fact that parents lecture their children and kids switch off when they get lectured to. Learning to parent with minimal lecturing has immense benefits.
Trauma – see separate section entitled Beyond Trauma
- Loss of those close to us can be extraordinarily painful. The idea that healing from the loss of a loved one needs to take at least 2 years is, in my experience, fallacious. Bereavement can be much, much shorter. In the order of weeks or months. Depending on the type of bereavement, I use the work of Dr John F. Demartini to assist people in managing this pain. See www.drdemartini.com for more information.
Spiritual transformation. (See section on spiritual work)
- This work is in my experience, the most profound journey of discovery available to any human being, for it speaks to the question of who we really are. What is at the core of our existence, our being? It is about accessing the Truth, the Consciousness that pervades all things, that which animates all of existence. I work with all of the components that constitute the ‘ego’, that act as a veil obscuring Consciousness as well as meditation, in order to enable the truth of who we are to reveal itself.
I work in Waterfall Country Estate in Midrand, South Africa. Skype sessions are an option for certain work and if the bandwidth and stability of the signal are adequate.
I use the above techniques to assist you with:
- Stress and Trauma.
- Sexual Abuse.
- Sports Psychology.
- Couples difficulties.
- Isolation and purposelessness.
- The emotional impact of chronic fatigue.
- Managing pain.
- Career issues and conflict at work.
- Personal empowerment and Self-Esteem issues.
- Parenting Skills.