Self Compassion and Self-Esteem: At odds with each other.

Esteem Driven Engine

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Hi everyone   

Most people believe that they need stern self talk to get things done in life. It’s the notion that we need to be constantly pushed so that we do our best work and achieve greatness. Many of us subscribe to idea that pressure brings out the best in us so we internalise the language of coercion and carry it with us always. You can’t be too “soft” on your self or you will become “lazy”. Lots of you will recognise this type of guilt trip self talk that is full of commands like “should, shouldn’t, have to and got to”.    

Funny thing is that it seems to be a common human condition. Stress and pressure to ‘get up there’, ‘make a stand’, ‘be noticed’ and become the ‘king of the castle’. Self-esteem is about comparing your self to others and making sure that you can feel good about yourself knowing that you have climbed the ladder of success. The proof of the climb is that there are people worse off than you.   

Problem with self-esteem type of thinking is that there is always someone better off as well.  So the pressure continues because you can never really be satisfied that you have done enough. There is always more to be done. This is why self-esteem is linked to feelings of anxiety and can create a focus on the self that may become distorted. Those with an inflated sense of self-esteem can become quite arrogant and feel like the world is beneath them. Those with a poor sense of self-esteem can never measure up and can become depressed and anxious. Either way there is a sense of detachment from the rest of humanity. A sense that we are on our own.   

Self compassion however, fosters a sense of connectedness to the rest of humanity and is based on being kind to the self. The sense of connectedness with the world comes from an understanding that we are all in the same boat, are all making the same mistakes and are all enjoying happiness over similar achievements. Self compassion allows people to relax and do the things that they know will bring happiness to their lives while creating a sense of fulfillment. An understanding of your own humanity will free you up and take the anxiety of making mistakes away. People do just as much when they are relaxed and well. It is much easier to have fun and be creative in a relaxed space.  A head that is taunted by commands is no fun, neither is anxiety that one has not done enough and feelings of guilt for failures. 

So be kind to your self and don’t be too down when you make mistakes. We have all made mistakes.  It is all part of being human.  

Take Care  

Therapy Monkey.   

    

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Resilience

Resilience

Hello

The Banksia is a beautiful depiction of how a destructive force like fire will release a seed and bring new life into the world. It is truly a wonderful thing to see a spec of green among the black and grey ash that is left in the wake of a bush fire. The bush regenerates after fire and some argue that it actually improves. Don’t get me wrong, the tragedy of fire is very real and many lives have been lost.

What I am speaking about here is the idea of resilience and how many are able to continue living in the face of adversity. We see  suffering every day on the news and it fills me with hope that people all over the world continue to grow and outlive not only natural disasters but carry on living with meaning and purpose in the face of personal difficulties, incredible barbarianism, hypocrisy, racism and cruelty. I believe in the human spirit. I believe in humanity.  

It is interesting when you look at different people’s responses to similar events. Minor events crush  some people while others seem to blossom in the face of incredible hardship. Funny thing is that you can never really tell how things will affect someone until it happens.

The important point to remember is that we, as people should never judge a person that is struggling in life or has made a mistake because we all make mistakes. We are all the same. Stuff happens sometimes and you will need good people around you when it does. 

It is quite simple. Be as well as you can and help when you can and hope that others are doing the same so that they will be there in turn to help you when you need them. This is the essence of the human spirit. The sense of connection with the world which fosters resilience while encouraging growth and allowing new meaning to arise from the hardships we face in life.   

Take Care

Therapy Monkey

The Addict Industry: Is this news to you or just Politics?

Various prescription and street drugs may caus...

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 Hello reader    

Most people are unaware of the  ‘Addict Industry’. You hear a little about the “bad guys” in the news and let’s face it, no one really cares what happens to them.  They need to be dealt with,  Right ………?  So society does what wants with them.     The Addict Industry is a gold mine if you know where to dig.        

You’ve probably heard it said that we all know some one “on drugs” and how everyone has a relative that is an alcoholic. If you haven’t heard, take a moment now. Do you? You probably do.  That’s a lot of people. Lots of  ‘hooked’ people.    

The list of workers in the ‘Addict Industry’ would include but is not limited to people working for; the police, Courts, Corrective services (prison staff & parole officers), Corrective Services  Industries (using inmates as labour),  rehabs,  psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, charity organisations, DoCS, methadone clinics, chemists, pharmaceutical companies, security guards, video surveillance companies, the list goes on and on ……..        

 The Addict Industry grows larger every day. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really beautiful people out there working in the industry. This is about the those who are making big money while professing dedication to improving  our society. I don’t buy it!  There are more prisons being built all the time.  Money makers trumpet their goodwill towards others but if you listen to them closely they are unethical, selfish and speak mostly about how wonderful they are.  These people seem fair but smell real foul and gravitate towards positions of power. They know who’s shoes to shine and are quite charming to the people above them. Those below don’t seem matter unless they want their car washed or need words of thanks and praise to fill their massive egos.     

The problem is that the Addict industry has a helpful façade but actually keeps many of their customers dependent while fostering a sense of hopelessness in its customers. This is only mentioning drugs and alcohol. The big picture becomes pretty scary if you include all the diets in magazines, internet addiction, video games, dating sites,  junk food, fizzy drinks and anything else you can think of that ‘hooks’ people.   

If you don’t believe me, ask yourself why the world is becoming more overweight when there are thousands of diets to choose from. Building more prisons would be a waste of time if the criminal justice system was working. More and more people are on medications for anxiety and depression instead of a less depressed and anxious population. The opposite to treatment is occurring.   

The more we focus on ‘the fix’ the more we feel broken.   

People are not broken. Only stuck believing that they are broken.   

People need knowledge, empowerment, hope and inspiration. Instead the “Industry” maintains its customers as consumers so they keep coming back.  There are many workers who battle on while being stifled by the politics of small-minded business people. The business and therapeutic models of treatment differ vastly so admin people should go away, balance their books and leave the clinical work to those who know what they’re doing.    

More later ………          

Take Care           

Therapy Monkey              

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What exactly is therapy? 1.

Family Therapy

Image by directorebeccer via Flickr

Blog 1.

Hello to you the reader

Therapy is a beautiful thing. I believe that therapy (or counselling) is a space where a person (or more than one in the case of group or family therapy) can get together with a therapist to discuss what is happening in their life.

Discussions with the therapist brings about realisations about thinking, feelings and behaviour. The change in understanding opens one up to new possibilities. The therapist’s skill is important here. You need to find the right person.  

The therapeutic relationship is very powerful because the therapist is completely neutral about the outcome and provides a space where people can realise their own potential. I do not believe therapists have a right to tell people what to do. The people, not the therapist must live out the consequences of their decisions. Unless they are going to harm them selves or others, of course.

Most people seek help about something in particular. Like when they are having trouble and need some help. Apart from dealing with the main issue that initiates therapy, it’s difficult to know exactly what is going to happen but you can look back at the end and see what has taken place. Like life….

Being open to the idea of personal growth is the key. In my experience, many people attend therapy/counselling for one reason and find that they have enriched their life in other areas as well. 

More later……..

Take Care

Therapy Monkey

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