Mental Health Month October

Mental Health Day is officially October 10 and so the focus for this month is on mental wellbeing.

“The theme for Mental Health Month this year is ‘beYOUnique!’ This theme promotes acceptance and an understanding of the impact that being proud of who we are can have on our wellbeing.”
Source and more information is available at Mental Health Association NSW.

SO what makes you unique? What is special about you  that is appreciated by your friends, work colleagues, family or loved ones?

affirmations-downloadsSome people may have a problem answering those questions – particularly if there was little or no healthy development of self worth in the formative years.

Healthy, well functioning parenting usually results in healthy, well functioning children who leave the nest as healthy, well functioning, independent adults, ready to make their way in the wider world.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor (even mediocre)  self image, chances are your upbringing may have been less than optimal. Statistically this means the majority of humans walking this Earth today have some level of wounding that can be triggered by a look, a word, a deed when least expected.

Negative thought patterns are often initiated in this way. You may have felt criticised or just heard a comment that set off your internal wounding with corresponding negative thoughts and feelings. This can vary from mild discomfort through feelings of shame or humiliation through to a full blown panic attack.

The person most likely to have this impact is your nearest and dearest. They are the one who matters the most. There is usually a significant emotional investment in the relationship with your significant other. That makes it important to keep the boat from rocking too hard – or worse sinking. This is where defence mechanisms come into play and usually only succeed in making matters worse – creating a bigger disconnect.

The Imago Dialogue is great as an alternative to defence games and will usually result in deeper understanding and rapport with your partner. Better than days of the cold shoulder! It is a way of  communication which makes it safe to discuss sensitive, emotionally charged issues with your partner.

Actions you can take right now

  1. Visit the Mental Health Association NSW and download your Mental Health Month NSW Starter Kit.
  2. Light a candle in a quiet place with pen and paper or your smart device and write down at least three qualities you have that are unique to you and express gratitude for having these gifts.
  3. Go a step further! Each night before you go to bed, quietly contemplate and add an additional quality to your list for the whole month of October!!
  4. Paste the list somewhere you will see it every day or make it your home screen on your fave digital whizz bang.
  5. Enjoy!!

About the author:
Christine Bennett is a private practitioner committed to a non-judgmental approach of helping couples, individuals and families enjoy more fulfilling, loving relationships with themselves and others. Christine also helps separated couples reach agreements for parenting plans, financial settlements and bullying disputes.

Websites managed by Christine Bennett:
Caring4Couples | Christine Bennett Consulting | Psyche-Care |
North Shore Family Mediation | Stop the Bullying
© Christine Bennett

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Marriage Counselling – Recover from a Cheating Partner

Finding out that your partner has been cheating on you is something nobody wants to discover.

It leads to heartache and grief that takes a long time, if ever to find relief.  It can take years to recover trust. Doing the work of re-establishing trust can seem onerous for the partner who has done the cheating. However it is absolutely necessary if healing is to occur and the couple is to regain emotional and sexual intimacy.

It takes a strong and ongoing commitment by the primary couple to do the work of reconnection. There needs to be a daily commitment of demonstrating caring behaviours and planning fun, light-hearted activities together.

Basically there needs to be a new relationship established with new ground rules that may never have even been explored in the initial stages of relationship. This is necessary now. If one partner has certain expectations of how things are going to be played out while their partner has no idea, then things can go awry.

Most people aren’t psychic enough to figure out what their partner’s needs and wants are without being told. It is common however to hear, “He/she has known me long enough, he/she should know what I want without me having to say anything! Can’t they see the mess!”

Although it only takes one person to stray, cheating is a choice. It is a choice that is usually made when feeling disconnected from a partner without the knowledge or experience to handle things differently.

Feeling safe to communicate how you are feeling to your partner is important. The longer things are left to fester, the more distance is created and the gap gets wider over time.

There may be a reluctance to hurt a partner’s feelings by revealing the truth about frustrations or there may have been just too much conflict for self revelation to be a safe option.

This is where marriage counselling can help. During the counselling process the counsellor facilitates communication between the couple and coaches them how to stay safe even when feeling vulnerable with raw emotions.

Caring4Couples specializes in teaching the Imago Couples Dialogue which is a very subtle, yet powerful communication process for healing the hurt.
Couples Counselling: Christine Bennett

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How do you know when you love someone?

How DO you know when you love someone?  “Is it love?” is a common question asked when cupid’s arrow strikes. So what IS the real deal?

Nature is very clever in design. Our Maker new what he/she was up to when chemistry was included as part of the human package. When eyes meet across that legendary crowded room and the heart beats faster and there is the strangest feeling in the pit of the stomach……Is that love??

No, that is a hormone rush!! A bucket load of endorphins is released and it feels sooooo good!!! It is also a big con! It is nature’s con to ensure the procreation of the human species.That chemical rush – commonly known by the term “falling in love” cannot possibly be sustained. It can last up to two years max, otherwise our whole endocrine system would fall down flat.

The trouble is it feels so wonderful, that those stricken with this form of psychosis want it to last forever. It can’t. Just like a drug addict cannot maintain high levels of drugs of addiction without serious consequences.

I found an interesting article to follow on from this called titled “How do you know when you love someone?” Following is an excerpt and by following the links, you can read the whole article……..

“I used to believe that love was a light switch. Something flicks on. You get an overwhelming sensation. It hits you like a bag of bricks. Or a strong arrow. When you know, you know. Right? Not so much. After 38 years and an expired marriage, I don’t see love that way anymore.  I’ve placed Cupid right next to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Love is a series of choices.  The first choice is based on many many factors, including chemistry, principle, logic, humor, intelligence, body type, where we are in our lives, what we want / need… the list goes on and on, and the weight of each factor varies depending on the individual.  Based on these factors, we either choose to begin the process to love or not. If we decide to enter this process, the action of loving can bring “light switch” moments. The way he looks at you. How hard she make you laugh. The notes he hides in your purse. The way she makes you feel when you don’t feel anything. But like an airplane flight, there is turbulence. The fights. The disagreements. The little things that bother you. His socks. Her shopping. You start wondering if you’ve made the right choice. Once you are in doubt, you have to make another choice. To continue to fly with this person or jump out of the plane. This choice is based on a thousand other factors, again depending on the individual and where they are in their journey.

If you decide to jump, the scary free fall will either make you stronger (grow) or miserable (depressed). But sooner or later, you’ll find yourself back at the airport waiting to board another plane. Then you hit turbulence. Or maybe there is no turbulence. Maybe you’ve changed your mind about the destination.  Either way, another choice. Fly or jump?”

Read full article: How do you know when you love someone?

Relationship Counselling by Christine Bennett caring4couples.com.au

 

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Love and the Law of Attraction for Healthy Relationships

Love just like anything else in the Universe is subject to the Law of Attraction.

This law states that like attracts like. It is a simple matter of physics and when it comes to love – our own emotions are what matters.

How we feel about ourselves is vitally important to who we attract into our life as friends, colleagues, and most importantly intimate partners.

So if we feel down on ourselves, we don’t feel good enough, confident enough, attractive enough – the list could go on and on…….then that is who we will attract as a partner. We will attract our mirror image. Whatever emotional wounding we have suffered during our childhood will be mirrored in our partner. Guarranteed!! This is the basis of the work of Harville Hendrix who is the author of “Getting the Love You Want” amongst others.

Harville Hendrix is an American psychologist who founded what he calls Imago Relationship Therapy. The foundation of the therapeutic process involves what is called the Imago Dialogue where the therapist facilitates a dialogue around a particular frustration that is getting in the way of the couple’s connection to one another. It is usually because a wound has been triggered and one or both partners have gone into their defense strategy, shutting each other out.

The concept of attracting a like person is illustrated very nicely by Denise Scarbro (Huffington Post, 27 July 2012) in her article “The Trick to Attracting Healthy Relationships“.

Scarbro says, “Have you ever felt like you always attract a certain type of person? I know I have! The same kinds of people seem to present themselves to me all the time. They may have different faces and different names, but in the end the same themes are always there. Not too long ago, I kept finding myself with an emotionally unavailable boyfriend; misunderstood people gravitated to me; needy people always wanted to be my friend; and if there was ever an underdog, we inevitably somehow teamed up. I found myself thinking, “What am I putting out there to attract these people to me?”

For a while, I arrogantly thought I drew these people to me because I had so much strength. Maybe I was supposed to help fix them? Like a moths to a flame, they were drawn to me because my light was shining for everyone who needed my help. Well, my believed strength did not make the boyfriends emotionally available; I was not able to build the self-esteem of the needy people; the misunderstood never gained any new insights; and the underdogs were still underdogs no matter what wisdom and examples I thought I shared. I was usually left disappointed, hurt, or annoyed. So why was I attracting these people?”

Click here to continue reading “The Trick to Attracting Healthy Relationships“.

Please leave your comments. I’d love to hear from you!

Relationship Counselling by Christine Bennett Caring4Couples
Certified Imago Relationship Therapist

 

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