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).

Are You Living In A State Of Emotional Apartheid?

Apartheid“You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between”
– Johnny Mercer

In our culture positive thinking (and feeling) is highly prized.

We often describe our thinking and emotions as positive or negative, but this way of thinking and talking about them can set us up for a lot of suffering.

Our emotions are our internal signals and motivators, helping us to navigate our world. They are innate, part of the human package, tuned and refined over millions of years of evolution.

Categorising them as positive or negative can have a powerful effect on how we view them and how we experience them.

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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.

Your Life In Their Hands?

Image courtesy of chelsea:(

There’s so much more to EFT than just tapping

Imagine the scene:

Dave is at home, slumped on his sofa in front of the TV watching a boxed set of ER.

He starts to feel a little unwell, his chest hurts and he has a pain in his left arm.

He has seen enough episodes of ER to know that this is not a good sign.

He phones the emergency services and five minutes later, sirens flashing, a response vehicle from “Instant Paramedics” arrives.

Cautiously, Dave gets to the door and lets the bright eyed and enthusiastic paramedic in.

The paramedic introduces himself as Tim and shows Dave his “Instant Paramedic Certificate”.

Dave is too scared to pay much attention and gingerly lowers himself back onto the sofa.

“So, what happened?” says Tim.

Dave replies “I was watching a rerun of ER and I got this pain in my chest and down my arm”

“Oh that sounds bad”, says Tim, “maybe a cup of tea will help”.

Read moreYour Life In Their Hands?

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