This resonated with me today

I’m being brave and aligning myself with a particular individual’s approach to helping others by sharing this short video. This is something I try to avoid doing, as I sincerely believe that when it comes to helping one another professionally and personally, we learn most from listening to what works best from those in distress, as opposed to handing out tried and tested ‘models’.

This video is narrated by Brene Brown, a psychologist and I would say, philanthropist, whose vision for encouraging empathy and bravery in all of us is, I believe, extremely relevant in today’s chaotic times. Her take on empathy here certainly resonates with me.

On a practical level, I would sincerely advise leaning in towards those that offer true empathy and taking its counterpart, sympathy, with a pinch of salt, particularly when it often hits far wide of the mark in terms of helping you recover and feel better about yourself.

I’ve commented before about what I believe to be the key component of any healthy healing process, be that a conversation with a friend or a course of therapy treatment, and that is the honesty and integrity of the relationship. The irony is that we all know what it is to feel shame, fear, rage, and heartbreak for example, yet somehow struggle to use this to our combined benefit. To do so is to share and step even closer to one another in a much deeper sense than simply showing concern and offering an ear. Stepping into someone else’s’ shoes, as sincerely and often as uncomfortable as it can be, and walking the line with them through the storm, hail and seemingly endless wilderness, is what it really takes for us to feel loved, worthy and most importantly, to come out the other side in one piece.

I hope this clip is helpful to others. Just a reminder that I am not here promoting any particular individual’s therapeutic model, such as Brene Brown’s; in fact, I think a lot of what psychology has to say, we all already know on a deeply human level, simply struggle to believe in and practice for fear of ‘getting it wrong’.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about this, her website can be found here

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Self and Health

 

 

 

 

To be on Facebook or not to be? That really is the question that a lot of my clients have been asking themselves.

Personally, I find emails and texts enough to be keeping on top of, but I do have a Facebook page, albeit a rather dusty one. I visit my ‘face’ once every couple of months for a good nosey around, but once logged in, that’s me hooked for a few hours!

Why is it then, that I feel so darn empty afterwards?

Apparently I am not alone. Facebook is a common topic in the therapy room, and many a tear has been shed as a result of ambiguous comments and seemingly ‘perfect’ peers.

Please don’t think me an old stick in the mud, I am after all writing a blog, so can’t really bemoan the advances of social media. It’s just from a professional perspective, it’s hard to praise a platform that can also feed into our primal insecurities and magnify certain unhelpful beliefs about ourselves and others.

“All my friends are having babies, and they look so happy”; “Why can’t I see the world as positively as others, I mean, look at the inspirational quotes they post!”; “Everyone else’s lives are so full, what am I doing with mine?”

My reply – how do you know it’s true? Let’s be honest, not many of us would happily pass around a photo of ourselves looking worse for wear, or publicise our deepest darkest fears for all to see.

As social beings, we are driven to attach to others, but with this comes the danger of comparing ourselves and in some cases, creating false idols to emulate.

So if you do find yourself looking at that selfie and wondering just who that person is, remember it’s a pixelated reflection, not your true self (same goes for everyone else). We are so much more than what we project to the world! Failing that, why not try a Facebook sabbatical? It’s worked wonders for those I know who’ve taken the leap.