I often get asked the question "Why should I go to counselling" as if there is a textbook, one size fits all answer. There is no straightforward way to sum up the importance of counselling, because in my eyes the benefits of counselling is personal in nature and therefore, infinite.
One must not be fooled by the discrete and subtle nature of some traumas. The common misconception that a hijacking or a mugging that ended without any physical injuries is “a fortunate result” must be substituted with a new paradigm. We must imagine the soul itself stabbed with a knife, bleeding and screaming for help. Maybe then the true meaning of trauma will finally sink in.
There is nothing I have so keenly needed on my own journey than someone just sitting down with me in the mud; in the hurt and in the breaking. There has been nothing so comforting and endearing as someone just really seeing me. Acknowledging me, my feelings, my thoughts and my behaviours. Being so attuned to my every movement in that moment that I feel overwhelmingly heard and understood.
Admitting to yourself that you need professional help can be quite daunting. After you have finally plucked up the courage to make the appointment, you might find yourself wondering about – even researching – the person that is about to hear your life story. Can you really trust them? How much should you say? Are they really all a little crazy? – I mean they chose a profession where they listen to people’s problems all day!! Will he / she be analysing me the whole time?
A trauma bond can be thought of as running on a never-ending hamster wheel, where periods of intermittent reinforcement (love, promises and kindness) are combined with periods of physical, emotional and psychological abuse. The more you want to get off the hamster wheel, the more you feel confined to the wheel and trapped in the movement to keep running. The cycle becomes toxic as the need to regain the feelings of infatuation that were felt at the beginning of the relationship, leads the victim to repeatedly forgive their partner in order to return to the good feelings associated with the relationship.
It is heartbreaking that many people judge the psychology world by the picture that Hollywood has painted for us. In countless movies the psychologist is portrayed as a know-it-all guru who traps people in an extended, dependency driven relationship. There is a big fluffy couch where the patient will lie down and share their story, while the distracted ‘shrink’ continuously asks “how do you feel about that” and bluntly stops the session the moment time is up. In many movies the client never resolves issues and is just told to come back next week.In light of this I am overjoyed to tell you that most counsellors sees this portrayed image and goes out of their way to break and correct this view of the counselling world.
At the end of the day if I want to gain my self-respect, self-worth and independence back it is important for me to establish boundaries and enforce them. It is healthier to set boundaries than it is to put up walls or constantly be resentful towards others for taking advantage of me. It is my responsibility to teach others to respect me and my boundaries and to be patient with myself while doing this.
This shame and guilt led me to question everything in my life and led me to being more vulnerable to myself and to others. Brene Brown states; “The ability to hold something we've done or failed to do up against who we want to be is incredibly adaptive. It's uncomfortable but it's adaptive.”
A very personal account of a journey to surviving infidelity – Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The concept of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is generally quite well known in society these days. The problem was that although I could relate to the PTSD symptoms identified in research, most of the articles only mentioned people who experienced or witnessed a terrifying event such as assaults; murder or natural disasters. At the time I was unaware of PTSD for people who experienced infidelity and didn’t realise it actually existed. Even when I researched Infidelity PTSD, it was difficult to find any article’s mentioning it until I discovered one, written by Mitzi Bokmann (2019) that I could relate to. As I read through the PTSD symptoms, I realised that I experienced all of the symptoms and maybe by writing this article I can help others relate to it as well.
It is well known that no two children are the same, not even when from the same parents. The same is true for the love language of your child. Every child perceive, understand and show love in different ways. What is important for one child, may not even be noticed by another child. And that is exactly where miscommunication and misunderstanding easily happens.
No parent wants to even think about the possibility of sexual abuse getting anywhere near their family, however, this is one of those horrible realities that we need to be aware of. Our Child Therapist, Heske Sangster, answers some important questions regarding sexual abuse and forensic assessments.
Alle mense het ‘n sekere vlak van stress of uitdagings nodig om optimaal te kan funksioneer. Sonder enige uitdagings gaan niemand hul volle potensiaal besef en bereik nie. Party kinders kan egter stress beter hanteer as ander. Spanning en angs kan ‘n destruktiewe effek op ‘n tiener se emosionele gesondheid hê en kan selfs lei to angs versteurings. Indien jy as ouer bekommerd is dat jou kind ‘n angs versteuring ontwikkel is dit beter om professionele hulp in te kry sodat hy of sy die regte hulp ontvang.
Oppad terug van vakansie af, het ons almal so om die beurt, ‘n bietjie gedeel waaroor ons opgewonde voel vir die jaar wat voorle. Na ek my kans gehad het, vra my man my ‘n baie interessante vraag: “Dit klink alles great, An…maar wat gaan jy hierdie jaar minder doen?”
Liefde is een van die sterkste emosies wat ons as mense kan ervaar. Maar wat is liefde? Daar is ‘n groot aantal boeke wat liefde definieer en vir ons voorskryf hoe dit moet werk. Die probleem is egter dat niemand anders liefde soos jy sal voel nie.
Spel word gesien as die universiele taal van kinders, afgesien van etiese herkoms, agtergrond of sosio-ekonomiese geskiedenis. Spel oftewel “speel” word beskou as kinders se woorde, kinders gebruik spel in dieselfde manier as wat volwassenes woorde gebruik. Dikwels speel kinders hul probleme of emosies op ‘n simboliese manier uit, om sodoende hulself uit te druk.
One of the biggest mistakes we as parents can ever make, is making our children feel that our love for them and our acceptance of them depends on academic achievement. Your child needs to know that,no matter what, they are enough. It's so easy to compare our children with other kids and setting our expectations of them, based on other children's achievements and capabilities. Don't do this – every child differs and you need to help your child understand that his/her best really is good enough. Praise best effort, not high marks!
Anri raai paartjies aan om ‘n bietjie bewus te raak van al die klein, alledaagse dingetjies wat hul verhouding uniek maak en om te kies om dit waardevol te ag. ‘n Groot bos rooi rose sal enige meisie se hart laat smelt, maar die klein dingetjies soos koffie in die bed of sagte soentjies op jou voorkop, iemand wat aandagtig na jou luister terwyl hy/sy jou in die oë kyk terwyl jy praat…dis hierdie dinge wat ‘n gevoel van veiligheid en geliefdheid bring. Moet ook nie terughou om jou partner so te bederf nie
Getting divorced is never easy, especially in the case where children are involved. By really keeping your child’s best interest at heart and not letting your hurt take over in the conversation, you can inform your children about the divorce in a manner that really does help them in the long run.
How much time do you actually invest in this relationship? No one needs to explain to anyone these days how busy life has gotten, and I get that. But what are we actually filling our days with? How many instances in your day to day life, has someone you desperately care for, asked for your attention, where you “had your hands full”?
By making sure that you have a secure attachment with your child, you will help him learn that he is okay, worthy and good enough (at the very least). That you as his parents are trustworthy and that the world is a safe place that can be explored confidently. Most importantly, not only will you be giving your child a head start in life personally, but also interpersonally; when it comes to all his future relationships.
Once a partner (the divorce initiator) informs the other partner that he or she wants a divorce the first thing they do; or the first advice they receive, is to get themselves a lawyer who can take care of the situation. Whilst it is not wrong to get a lawyer to represent you, there are other options to keep in mind. Many people are not knowledgeable about the law, especially the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 which provides guidelines as to how to go about a divorce when children are involved.
‘n Verhouding bestaan uit twee diverse indivdue. Elkeen het ‘n unieke stel verwagtinge, unieke lewensuitkyke, unieke behoeftes en agtergronde. My idee van “hoe ‘n vrou behoort te wees en hoe ‘n man behoort te wees” word beinvloed deur my agtergrond, my voorbeelde, my keuses en my ervaringsleer. Al trou twee mense van baie enerse agtergronde met mekaar, is die klein verskille wat daar wel bestaan, steeds meer as voldoende om groot probleme te kan veroorsaak. En nou plaas ons hierdie twee, unieke mense onder een dak en ons sê “wees nou gelukkig” – dit is nie net so eenvoudig nie.
Ongelukkig lewe ons in ‘n wereld waar ons en ons kinders op ‘n daaglikes basis gebombardeer word met dinge van ‘n seksuele aard. Dit word as’t ware op ‘n silwer skinkbord agter ons aangedra en na ons toe uitgehou; om elke hoek en draai. Ons word stelselmatig so gedesensitiseer daardeur, dat ons dit self dalk nie eens meer agterkom nie.