Would You Label A Baby?

NewbornImagine that one of your best friends has just had a baby.

You visit her to congratulate her and see the newborn. She hands you a tiny bundle, the child’s sleepy eyes look up at you as a tiny hand grips your massive finger.

After a delightful while you return the baby to your friend.

Your friend looks down at the baby and says :

“You are worthless”

“Your are not good enough”

“You are a failure”

What would you think?

You would probably be shocked and you would almost certainly disagree.

You would argue that it was ridiculous and cruel for her to label a newborn child in this way.

No one starts off worthless, not good enough or a failure; that is something you are taught to believe about yourself along the way.

You might have been taught very well and come to believe these labels implicitly and even blame yourself for being that way.

Take one of the critical thoughts you have about yourself – one of those damning descriptions you know to be true.

Imagine, once again, that you are going to visit a friend who has just had a baby.

When you get there you realise, with a start, that the friend is your mother and the newborn baby is you.

Your mother hands you the tiny bundle that is you, the child’s sleepy eyes look up at you as a tiny hand grips your massive finger.

Look into that baby’s eyes and try to apply your damming description to her (or him).

Does that description really fit?

If it doesn’t fit the newborn you then you must have learned this idea about yourself along the way and if you still believe that description is true then you have been well taught indeed.

In either case what has been learned can be unlearned.

One definition of therapy might be unlearning what isn’t true (even if it seems like it is).

Full disclosure: the overall idea for this post came from a suggestion at the end of this article about Self Acceptance and Self Rejection by Steve Andreas.

Who I work with

One of the challenges of working in private practice is explaining clearly who you work with and what troubles them.

I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to do that effectively and, quite by accident, I come across a poignant video that does that job perfectly.

This is who I work with

Our common fate from Rikke Kjelgaard on Vimeo.

BTW I won’t try to fix you … you’re not broken (even if you feel like you are).

From Carl Rogers To Identity Healing

Tony Mudd Memorial Lecture
Tony Mudd Memorial Lecture
On 22nd March 2018 I had the pleasure of presenting this talk to an audience of counsellors and counselling students at Tyne Met College.

It’s a personal account of the development of the Identity Healing processes that I use with my clients.

The talk is about how a shy introverted teenager who didn’t feel quite good enough developed the process that helped him and helps others.

This 40 year journey includes encounter groups, Carl Rogers, Buddhism, NLP, introductions to inner children, EFT (aka Tapping), how our younger selves get stuck and one way of getting unstuck.

Note: I recorded the talk on my phone so the sound quality is a little bit variable in places.

How your past can be running your present (and what to do about it)

Annies photo
Image courtesy of simpleinsomnia

EFT/Tapping is a wonderful self-help tool. You can use it to soothe difficult emotions and ease painful memories.

It’s so good, you imagine that if you just tapped on the symptoms of your problem, relief would be quick to follow.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work that way.

A quick search on the internet will find a multitude of tapping scripts or tap-along videos for your problem. However, while tapping along can soothe the distress at the time, those old feelings can come back later.

It’s as if tapping on the symptoms is like hacking away at the leaves of a tree. If the trunk of the tree is untouched the leaves can grow back with ease. If we don’t work on the trunk and the roots then we could make slow progress.

Let’s imagine someone called Annie.

Annie is now in her thirties and has had the uneasy feeling that she is not wanted for as long as she can remember.

Although she is in a long-term relationship with a loving partner, she often imagines that she is about to lose him to someone who is ‘better’ than she is. In spite of his obvious love for her, she finds it hard to accept that he does love her and that it will last.

She strives to conceal her reservations and be pleasing to him. She puts him first to ensure she keeps his affections.

But, even when things are going well, she feels a deep-seated unease about her relationship and how long it will last.

Read moreHow your past can be running your present (and what to do about it)

What is the difference between Matrix Reimprinting and Identity Healing?

Identity HealingPeople ask me: “What is the difference was between Matrix Reimprinting and Identity Healing (because they seem to be identical)?”

At first glance the two approaches seem to be quite similar. Tapping in our imagination with our younger selves to ease the emotional problems of the adult.

But, beneath the apparent similarities there are significant differences in the techniques, the underlying model and their applications.

I took an introductory Matrix Reimprinting training in 2014 and have since used the process to help people heal painful memories. However, I would not call myself an expert in Matrix Reimprinting, so I apologise in advance for any errors in my explanation and description of Matrix Reimprinting.

If I get it wrong I’m sure more experienced practitioners will step in to correct my misunderstandings.

Update: The purpose of this post is to present a thumbnail sketch of Matrix Reimprinting and Identity Healing to clarify some of the differences as I see them. It is not intended to be a thorough description of either the mechanisms or the applications of both, nor a criticism of Matrix Reimprinting or the many ways it can be used.

Read moreWhat is the difference between Matrix Reimprinting and Identity Healing?

The Enfolding – A Folk Tale Of Wounding And Healing

One of the problems of describing therapeutic techniques is that they can seem dry and remote. It occurred to me that writing a folk tale would be a good way to talk about the Identity Healing process in a way that spoke to the metaphorical part of ourselves that delights in a story. This tale is one way of telling you about it without talking about it. I hope you enjoy the story and see its potential. – Andy

Holding hands
Image courtesy of Aaron Gilson

In a land far away and long ago there lies a village remote and beautiful.

A scattering of rough stone houses and tangled gardens surrounded by high hills and deep forest.

The villagers lived the simple lives of villagers everywhere.

They worked, slept, laughed, cried, were born and gave birth, grew up, grew old and died in all the ancient and familiar rhythms of the world.

To their occasional visitors they looked the same as villagers everywhere and anywhere.

To those visitors who stayed a while they seemed happier than villagers ought to be.

In spite of the hard work in the daily and yearly struggle for survival these villagers had found a way to be contented with themselves.

The villagers had an easiness of being. A deep contentment with themselves and the world. And although they had all the familiar vexations in their lives, they lived them to the full without struggle.

Children growing here suffered all the usual knocks and blows of life.

If you saw such a moment in a child’s life here you would see all the things you would expect to see anywhere. The shock, hurt, anger or fear would run through their bodies and over their faces.

What you wouldn’t see, what you couldn’t see, if you were not from this village, is the secret way each child protected themselves from their pain.

If you could see it you might doubt your eyes.

Read moreThe Enfolding – A Folk Tale Of Wounding And Healing

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