I believe that psychotherapy is a key part of any transformational programme. It is not just for ‘clinical’ level of problems such as anxiety or depression. Anyone who wants to better themselves, to become the best person they can be, will benefit from psychotherapy.
Trauma and its symptoms are more prevalent in society than is often thought. Nearly half of us, that is about 6 of every 10 (or 60%) of men and 5 of every 10 (or 50%) of women experience at least one trauma in their lives. About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8 per cent of the population) will have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, the most full-blown grade of trauma), at some point in their lives.
Many of us have an unhealthy relationship with anger: we flip between occasionally or often blowing our top or being scared of our own anger and trying our best to suppress or avoid it. I call this Anger (capital 'A'), it either blows outward in 'hot rage' or goes deep inward, buried as 'cold rage'. We may not even be aware of it; tending to pride ourselves on our ability to stay calm and be quite a placid type of person. But the symptoms may speak to us.
People often come to therapy wanting help with low self worth or lack of self esteem. They might call it low self confidence and then look a little puzzled and say, ‘but I am confident in some areas’.
Self esteem and self confidence seem to be two separate, and often mutually exclusive, things. But the lack of clarity between them is the cause of a lot of our problems.
Depression, anxiety and stress are all interrelated. Perhaps it starts with stress. We get ‘stressed’. This may be chronic (long term consistent level), or acute (short term intense spike) or both (ie acute on top of chronic). This stress affects our breathing, compromises our immune system and puts our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) into overdrive. This results in many psychological, physiological and behavioural symptoms that reduce the quality of our life.
“Anxiety is the state of twentieth-century man.” ~ Norman Mailer
If this is true, perhaps panic disorder is its 21st century progeny? Panic attacks are horrible: they come on suddenly, for no apparent cause, characterised by a severe fear that can peak within 10 mins. This is accompanied by symptoms such as excessive sweating, nausea, disturbing thoughts about harming oneself or others, fear of loss of control or that you are becoming insane.
Recently I have been working alot with clients who have a high degree of anxiety. Their symptoms range from panic, over worrying, phobias, chest pains, blurred vision, impaired ability to think clearly, headaches, inability to focus, loss of memory, muscle pain, dizziness and sleep problems.
“Attitude is very consequential stuff. It determines everything one does, from falling in love to voting for one candidate rather than another” ~ Anthony Grayling, philosoper
Many of us realise how important attitude is in determining our success and happiness in life. We may also realise that, with the wrong attitude, we can spend a lot of energy worrying. But when we say ‘he or she has a great attitiude’, what do we mean?