The Road Of Fire And Ice

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Imagine you are driving down a road.

It’s a wide road and you are the only car on the road.

This road is very strange.

On one side there is a raging forest fire that reaches right up to the edge, on the other there is a deep cold lake covered by a thin layer of ice.

Your car is also very strange.

You can turn the wheel to steer the car but it also has a special feature where the wheel will turn itself when you feel emotional distress. It will turn left or right (you’re never sure which) and the stronger the distress the further the wheel will turn.

You have to drive along this road you have no choice.

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Tapping: Natural, Powerful and Safe?

There is a common belief among tappers that even though EFT/Tapping is powerful, it is safe because it is natural.

If you tap on an issue nothing bad can happen because EFT only uses the body’s natural self-soothing mechanisms.

What could be safer?

Unfortunately being natural doesn’t make you safe: tigers, arsenic, Great White Sharks, Deadly Nightshade and lightning are all perfectly natural and perfectly capable of killing you.

Being natural is no guarantee of safety.

It gets worse.

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Why Therapy By Facebook Is A Bad Idea

Therapy by Facebook

If you are on any of the alternative / complementary therapy self-help groups you will be familiar with ‘Therapy By Facebook’: one of the group asks for help and other group members offer their experience and suggestions.

On the face of it, the support and willingness to help from the participants of these groups is is inspiring, but is it a good thing?

The steps of ‘Therapy By Facebook’ are probably familiar to you.

Someone posts a request for help on their favourite Facebook EFT, NLP, ( insert favourite modality here) group.

Note: In this article I’m going to talk about EFT/Tapping, as it is the modality I’m most familiar with, but I’m sure the same kind of thing goes on in many Facebook groups.

It’s obvious that the person making the post is suffering and wants some way to relieve their distress. They may have read articles or seen YouTube videos of someone using EFT/Tapping to get astounding results and they hope that they can get some relief from what is bothering them.

The ‘client’ usually sums up their problem in a short post of just two or three sentences.

As soon as members of the group have read this, some of them are moved to offer whatever help they can. Each person offers a suggestion, an approach or an explanation for what they think is happening and what might help.

Typically these suggestions are also just two or three sentences long.

Typically some of these suggestions will contradict each other.

It may have taken a lot of courage for the ‘client’ to put their issue out there into the public arena. As the suggestions roll in it must be comforting to realise that so many people want to help.

But will the help that is being offered really help?

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Resistance Has Got A Bad Name

Resistance has got a bad name.

In the ‘be positive at all costs’ popular culture experiencing resistance or engaging in self-sabotage is seen as a ‘bad thing’, something to be overcome or eliminated.

If you experience resistance or self-sabotage you might feel lacking, defective or even morally defective and, if you are really unlucky, other people will agree with you.

I think the conventional ‘wisdom’ that resistance and self-sabotage are bad and should be treated like some kind of mental leprosy is wrong and may even make things worse.

I think there is a more useful explanation for resistance and self-sabotage.

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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).

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