Transgenerational Healing

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As more and more awareness of transgenerational trauma is coming to light, children and grandchildren of holocaust survivors are taking steps to heal the wounds of their ancestors’ past.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/03/holocaust-survivors-grandchildren-inherited-trauma

If you are a descendent of holocaust survivors, Life Therapy with Zita offers a unique and all encompassing opportunity to heal the wounds of the past, such that the trauma might stop with you.

Real generosity towards the future, lies with giving all to the present. – Albert Camus

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For more information call or email to book an appointment now.

Before you.

“Before we were conceived, we existed in part as an egg in our mother’s ovary. All the eggs a woman will every carry form in her ovaries while she is a four month old fetus in the womb of her mother. This means our cellular life as an egg begins in the womb of our grandmother. Each of us spent five months in our grandmother’s womb and she in turn formed within the womb of her grandmother. We vibrate to the rhythms of our mother’s blood before she herself is born. And this pulse is the thread of blood that runs all the way back through the grandmothers to the first mother.”

Layne Redmond

How to be Amazing!

Low self-esteem is sadly far more common than we often realise. It is the main reason why so many people struggle to accept that they are already amazing. They just don’t really believe it. Everyday I see clients for whom low self esteem lies at the root of their troubles. I am not saying that your life will ever be trouble free, however, there is a difference in how one can manage life’s challenges when they occur. Low self esteem affects people from all walks of life, in fact some of the most successful people in entertainment, business, politics and highly skilled professionals are affected by it. Although self esteem is not a condition in and of itself, if it goes unchecked it can lead to more serious problems that can have a detrimental effect on the quality of your life and a negative impact on your relationships. Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorders, Paranoia, excessive Alcohol and Drug use are just a few of the more serious side effects of low self esteem left unchecked.

The Life Therapy approach to healing offers a simple and highly effective remedy to address low self esteem; which can often be an inherited pattern of behaviour that has been in your family for generations. When we are caught up in a trans-generational cycle of behaviour not only is recognising it difficult, it is also harder to leave it behind as we are all immensely loyal to our family of origin. So many people struggle to do better than their parents did. Even if they seemingly have a better quality of life superficially, they will struggle to be happier emotionally and spiritually.

In just one Life Therapy session a dramatic shift in self perception can occur, the relief is palpable and rewarding.  Your life is supposed to be a fun and joyful experience. If you struggle with low self esteem it may be hard for you to believe that you do deserve to live a wonderful life simply because it will be hard for you to see how your perception of yourself is interfering with the quality of your life.

To believe that you are amazing is not a sign of arrogance it is a very healthy sign of genuine humility.

Symptoms of low self esteem.

Below is a list of symptoms that are commonly found amongst people who are affected by low self esteem. If you are affected by one or more of these symptoms please feel free to contact me. I am here to support you.

1. Social withdrawal

2. Anxiety and emotional turmoil

3. Lack of social skills and self confidence,

4. Depression and bouts of sadness

5. Issues with social conformity

6. Eating disorders

7. Inability to accept compliments

8. An inability to see yourself “impartially” – to be fair to yourself

9. Accentuating the negative

10. Exaggerated concern over what you think other people think

11. Self neglect

12. Treating yourself badly, but not other people

13. Reluctance to take on challenges

14. Reluctance to put yourself first – or anywhere

15. Reluctance to trust your own opinion and or express it

16. Expecting little out of life for yourself

How to be Amazing: The Basics.

Here are a few really simple and effective tips to get the ball rolling and get your self esteem climbing up the charts.

  1. Make a list of 25 things you like about yourself. Keep going 50 is the healthy target you want to reach.
  2. Make a list of 5 of your unique qualities.
  3. Make a list of the people you admire the most and the qualities you like in them. We see in other people qualities we either posses already or that are waiting to be explored and developed within us.
  4. Spring clean the people you spend time with. Socialising is good, it creates a sense of belonging, belonging helps us feel more confident and secure, however who or what you choose to belong to will have an impact on the quality of your life. Spend time with people who are happy and confident. Confidence is contagious. You will also find that confident people are more inclined to do things that support maintaining great self esteem and valuing themselves and they are happy to share love and joy with others.
  5. Make time to do the things you love.
  6. Practise kindness and compassion. When you are kind to others and seek to find the best in them it will automatically make you feel better about yourself.
  7. Practise self-hypnosis, create images in your mind of a version of yourself that you love, that makes you smile and feel good. This is the most powerful one of all. Practise this one everyday until it becomes your reality.
  8. Wake up. Be Amazing. Go to Sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat.

If you would like to book a session to learn self-hypnosis please contact me.

Do you give too much?

Imagine if you had insights into your earliest experiences in life that would give you clues as to why you need what you do in your relationships?  What your body remembers provides clues for the challenges you face today.

Emily first came to see me as a client because she wanted to explore what had contributed to the end of her 13 year marriage. Emily was distraught and reeling from the discovery that her husband was having an affair and had recently announced that he was leaving her for the “other woman”. Her greatest fear had come to be. She was alone, a single mother with two young children, she was scared, vulnerable and most of all really angry.  

As we worked together, I suggested that she might want to explore what she was feeling, the sensations in her body and where in her body she was feeling them. This simple technique allowed her to discover new insights about the relationship instead of the story the mind wants to tell about a he said / she said blame game. Through this we discovered that Emily had learnt that her familiar way of loving was to give… and then to give some more. More often than not it is the over-giver that creates an imbalance and actually ends up breaking down the relationship. For harmony to be experienced in any relationship, especially a loving, committed relationship such as marriage, it works best if the giving and receiving is equal; one person gives and in return the other person gives a little more and then the other returns by giving a little more, and so on… The exchange is love, and as each gives and receives so love grows and the relationship continues to blossom.

Emily told me what she knew about her earliest experiences including a traumatic separation from her Mother when her Mother was no longer able to care for her and she was adopted at 6 months of age. A baby is all feeling centred. You cannot tell a baby that they are safe, they only know if they feel safe or not. A baby’s way of feeling secure is closeness with its Mother. Close to her voice, her smell, her nurturance and care sends a calming message that begins a foundation of trust with love and bonding.

The biology of Attachment supports how deeply this affects how we bond, how we love and how we relate not only to our parents but how we maintain connections in our future relationships. This early experience, not consciously remembered, creates a template for how we unconsciously exchange love or withdraw from it.

Often those who experienced a prolonged or permanent separation from their parents in the first 3 years of life, live with a body-centred fear of being left alone. That fear often shows up like a pulse of anxiety ever present in the body.  It is as if the child’s body memory recalls the longing to have Mother close, her smell, her touch, her voice yet for whatever reason, Mother is not there. The adult now does everything in order to keep love close – anything to avoid the longing left unfulfilled.

Due to her early life experiences, before words or brain development were fully formed Emily was inclined to notice what the other person in her relationships needed instead of noticing what she needed in each moment. When you give more than you receive, unconsciously, you do it from a place of emptiness. You do it to pick up the slack of the other side, to fill in the empty spaces. You do it to ensure that you will never again end up alone.

Over time the receiving partner can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the imbalance of what is given and the lack of reciprocation. In many instances the partner would rather leave than feel in debt within the relationship and so contributes further to the replication of the first experience of abandonment.

During Emily’s Life Therapy sessions I invited her to explore what was happening inside her. By exploring the areas that guide each of us unconsciously, by following where the breath can move easily and noticing where it gets stuck it is possible to achieve a certain clarity of that which is hidden from the conscious mind. It is the images in our minds rather than the story we tell that allow emotional release and a peaceful resolution to occur. We all live by our inner images. The images we hold inside guide our lives. Once your inner image transforms, then the patterns you live by can evolve so that something new and healthier can emerge. 

If it is your natural instinct to give, then a new habit to form that will support your relationships is to only give as much as your partner is capable of receiving.  Not only will this open a new exchange within your connections, your relationships will flourish with the improved sense of balance.

                   Within the delicate balance of give and take, relationships thrive.

A Glass of Water.

A Systemic Family Therapist walked around a room while facilitating a Systemic Family Constellations workshop, he took a glass of water and raised it up. Everyone expected that they would be asked the “Half empty or Half full” question. Instead, with a smile on his face, he asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. He replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I will have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralysed. In each case, the weight of the glass does not change, however, the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” 

He continued, “The stresses and worries in life, are like that glass of water… Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt… If you think about them all day long you will feel paralysed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down

Orders of Love.

‘Orders of Love’ is an award winning short film by Jes Benstock is about his Systemic Family constellation. A heart warming story of one man’s journey to rediscover his roots. 

The Unsayable.

“The unconscious, with its own quirky associative logic, insists on knowing the truth, even if the truth is a shocking and costly retrospective that crosses generations” –  The Unsayable: The Hidden Language of Trauma by Annie Rogers

In her twenty years as a clinical psychologist, Annie Rogers has learned to understand the silent language of girls who will not–who cannot–speak about devastating sexual trauma. Abuse too painful to put into words does have a language, though, a language of coded signs and symptoms that conventional therapy fails to understand. In this luminous, deeply moving book, Rogers reveals how she has helped many girls find expression and healing for the sexual trauma that has shattered their childhoods.

Rogers opens with a harrowing account of her own emotional collapse in childhood and goes on to illustrate its significance to how she hears and understands trauma in her clinical work. Years after her breakdown, when she discovered the brilliant work of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, Rogers at last had the key she needed to unlock the secrets of the unsayable. With Lacan’s theory of language and its layered associations as her guide, Rogers was able to make startling connections with seemingly unreachable girls who had lost years of childhood, who had endured the unspeakable in silence.

At the heart of the book is the searing portrait of the girl Rogers calls Ellen, brutally abused for three years by her teenage male babysitter. Over the course of seven years of therapy, Rogers helped Ellen find words for the terrible things that had happened to her, face up to the unconscious patterns through which she replayed the trauma, and learn to live beyond the shadows of the past. Through Ellen’s story, Rogers illuminates the complex, intimate unraveling of trauma between therapist and child, as painful truths and their consequences come to light in unexpected ways.

Like Judith Herman’s Trauma and Recovery and Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind, The Unsayable is a book with the power to change the way we think about suffering and self-expression. For those who have experienced psychological trauma, and for those who yearn to help, this brave, compelling book will be a touchstone of lucid understanding and true healing.

Words by www.goodreads.com

How to stop apologising.

“Life is far too precious to spend another day at war with yourself.” Zita

Sorry. Saying sorry is the appropriate response in certain instances and the power of the word to heal or console when appropriately applied is tremendous. It is nevertheless important to know and understand the difference between when an apology is required and when it is not. It is beneficial to say sorry when someone receives sad or difficult news or when your actions have made life really difficult for someone else. Other than that sorry is one of the most frequently inappropriately used words in the English vernacular.

Here are a few pointers on how to stop apologising for the good of all.

Pay attention to who you tend to apologise to. Are there certain people who undermine your confidence, or who leave you feeling as if you are always wrong? In such situations, you are actually giving someone else permission to think and believe that they are more important than you.

Pay attention to when you are starting to apologise. Our own habits are often hard to spot because they are usually automatic and we are only semi-conscious of patterns we fall into and the things we tend to say. If you notice that you repeatedly find yourself saying sorry for someone else’s mistakes or saying sorry to stop an argument or end a challenging situation that makes you feel uncomfortable then it is probably time to apply some personal discipline and correct this pattern of behaviour.

It can be helpful to look for the roots, or the need, you are covering up. For example, perhaps an authority figure (parent, teacher, older sibling, etc) used to get angry if you didn’t just “shut up” or take the blame. Alternatively, it may be that you feel you can’t really honestly and openly share the way you feel – so you apologise as a means to suppress or repress your true emotions.

Keeping in mind the points made previously it would be useful to consider the longterm effects of how your need to apologise will effect you further down the line. The constant need to apologise as a way to manage current issues may lead to a build up of grievances which can have grave consequences for your relationships, you may start to pull back from those you love and shut off your true feelings, this ultimately damages the feelings of good will and is harmful to the other person who is denied the opportunity to acknowledge your true feelings and honour your vulnerability. Speak up, denying your feelings with apologising is tantamount to apologising for your existence, if that is how you feel then I suggest you seek the help of a professional counsellor or therapist who you can discuss the issues at hand.

Make a constructive decision to establish and enforce your own set of boundaries. Practise the art of saying “No” to others – without also saying “Sorry”!

If you struggle with issues of esteem, low self-worth or have difficulty creating and setting boundaries, Life Therapy can offer you the support you need. Please feel free to email or call I am happy to answer any questions you may have. 07709046643

Issues and Tissues

“… and the more hurt she gets, the more venomous she grows.”  – Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

7 Issues from Childhood that Affect our Relationships Later on in Life.

1. Threats and fear of abandonment. These can lead to jealousy and feelings of insecurity.

2. Lack of emotional nurturing. This can lead to feelings of emotional deprivation – which can feel like a bottomless pit to fill.

3. Growing up with feelings of entitlement. This can lead to feeling as if you are superior to everyone else.

4. Being told that you are inferior or inadequate. This causes you feel like you are never good enough.

5. The demand to be perfect and to always get things right. This can lead to being driven – and setting yourself incredibly high, and ultimately unachievable standards.

6. Being betrayed by those you trusted – so you won’t trust now, and you can’t get close to others, or let them get close to you.

7. Being raised in a way that your needs were denied, not allowed, disregarded, trivialised or ignored. This can lead to a doormat type of personality where other people matter –  and your needs never count.

Growing up never ends.

“Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before. Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.” – Alice Walker