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in sight counselling

My name is Keena Hudson and I have been a counsellor in the Sutherland Shire for 20 years. Making an appointment to see a counsellor c...

Friday, January 20, 2017

in sight counselling

My name is Keena Hudson and I have been a counsellor in the Sutherland Shire for 20 years.

Making an appointment to see a counsellor can feel very scary. People are concerned that their problems may not be big enough, that counselling won’t actually help or that it will be too expensive.

Research shows though that most people are helped by seeing a professional. My job is to help you feel happier, to be more at peace, to do the things you want to be able to do. I help individuals and couples and love to do marriage preparation.
People are all very different – there is no one size fits all therapy. So I prefer to work cooperatively, which means I like to get your feedback about what how you want to go about therapy. 

It’s very important for you to feel comfortable with a counsellor. So I’m happy to meet with you for an initial free assessment to discuss your needs and see if I am the right counsellor for you. I like to be able to provide counselling that is affordable so during this session we would discuss an appropriate fee. Sessions are 1 hour long.

Keena Hudson BACCounselling, Grad. Cert. EFT, Cert IV AOD

Counselling is scary - at first

Going to see someone about your problems is a very courageous thing to do. In fact many people would rather die than seek professional help – and sadly often do. Picking up the phone is the first hurdle – I’m ok really. I just have to try harder and it’ll be ok. My problem isn’t big enough. Heck, I don’t even know what the problem really is! I just feel bad, but it’s probably my fault. Counselling won’t make any difference. I’ve tried everything anyway.
The next big hurdle is turning up for the first time. What if I don’t like the counsellor? What will she think of me? I really don’t want to talk about this. Where do I start? What am I going to say?
Yes, it takes a lot of courage to go for counselling. The initial phone call and turning up for the first appointment I think are the worst parts. Once it’s started it should feel a little easier. I think she gets it. That wasn’t so bad. Maybe this could be helpful after all. I’m proud of myself for doing that. What a relief to finally get that off my chest.

It’s worth it to try counselling. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Trashing and Cherishing

When a couple first fall in love they emphasise each other’s good points. Tidy, fun or good with money. They cherish their partner, and emphasise their good points. They look for the evidence that these qualities outweigh the negative. They feel so lucky to have this special person in their lives, and often express appreciation to their partner

Fast forward a few years, and tidy, fun or good with money can become obsessive, irresponsible or stingy. When a relationship is not working, the first indication is that one or both partners begin trashing the other. They nurture resentment and emphasise (in their minds) their partner’s negative qualities. They gather evidence that the negatives outweigh the positives. They focus both on qualities the partner doesn’t have, and flaws they do have. And all this may be true. We are all flawed human beings, but none of us like to see only our flaws emphasised.
The tragedy of trashing is that people stop noticing the good things about their partner. The good things their partner does, the qualities they do have. This makes it very difficult for the partner to make changes, because changes won’t be noticed. And good deeds that go unnoticed may not be repeated. The partner feels like they can never win, why bother, what’s the point. You can see how this will lead to further corrosion of the goodwill between a couple.

So the moral of the story is: Be on the lookout for the things your partner does right, the things you appreciate about them. Notice the good things, and let your partner know that you notice them. Thank them for what they do, the mundane and the extraordinary. Use these opportunities to build a positive atmosphere between you.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Communication styles that harm relationships

John Gottman, a relationship researcher, has been able to predict with 90% accuracy which relationships will fail by watching the couple interact. Those most at risk used these communication styles
1.         Criticism:
2.         Contempt: 
3.         Defensiveness:
4.         Stonewalling:  

Criticism  is attacking your partner with the intent of making yourself right and the other person wrong. For example,
Generalizations: “you always…” “you never…”“you’re the type of person who …” “why are you so …”
Comparisons: Others can do it . .
Remedy: Learn to raise issues gently and politely, but firmly. Keep the focus on the problem, not the character of your partner. eg  “When you (behaviour) . . It’s a problem for me because (consequences) . .  I’d prefer (propose a solution). . . .Could we experiment with that or do we need to tweak it?”

Contempt is attacking your partner’s sense of self with the intention to insult or psychologically hurt them.Tactics include: Insults and name-calling: “bitch, bastard, wimp, fat, stupid, ugly, slob, lazy…” Hostile humor, sarcasm or mockery Body language & tone of voice: sneering, rolling your eyes, curling your upper lip.
Remedy: Notice the good things about your partner and build a culture of appreciation (5 times as many positives to negatives)

Defensiveness is seeing yourself as the victim, defending or preventing a perceived attack. Tactics of defensiveness include:
Making excuses (e.g., external circumstances beyond your control forced you to act in a certain way) “It’s not my fault…”, “I didn’t…”
Cross-complaining: meeting your partner’s complaint, or criticism with a complaint of  your own, ignoring what your partner said
Disagreeing and then cross-complaining “That’s not true, you’re the one who …” “I did this because you did that…”
Yes-butting: start off agreeing but end up disagreeing
Repeating yourself without paying attention to what the other person is saying Whining “It’s not fair.”
Remedy: Listen generously and take responsibility for your part in the conflict. Change what you need to change in yourself.

Stonewalling is withdrawing from the conversation as a way to avoid conflict or punish. Partners may think they are trying to be “neutral” but stonewalling conveys disapproval, icy distance, separation, or smugness:
Tactics include:
Stony silence
Monosyllabic mutterings
Short answers
Changing the subject
Removing yourself physically, without returning to the topic
Silent Treatment
Remedy: To help the relationship, learn to calm yourself down and finish the conversation in a relaxed way.   

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Emotional, verbal and physical bullying

Bullying comes in many forms. The aim of bullying is to gain power and control over your opinions, choices and actions.  The message is ‘Do things my way or I’ll  ...’ In other words, what he/she says goes, and though the partner may object, they usually comply to placate.
Placaters often have a hard time understanding why they feel so bad. The bullying may not sound like much and often people around them will minimise it. But it is actually a form of abuse. Abuse is any behaviour that doesn’t value the dignity of another person. Living in a climate where your dignity is assaulted by being ignored, criticised, mocked or shouted at has a deep effect. Emotional bullying cuts to the core of a person, attacking their very being and personal dignity. It leaves them feeling fearful, insignificant, lacking in confidence, unworthy, untrusting, emotionally needy, undeserving, unlovable and guilty. ‘Peace at any price’ is the motto: resentment and depression the result.

Emotional Bullying uses actions to hurt another person emotionally.

·         Being unavailable emotionally.
·         Refusing to communicate.
·         Angry silence.
·         Discounting your feelings
·         Minimising your achievements
·         Expecting you to always agree and give in.
·         Making you feel guilty.
·         Making you feel like you’re crazy.
·         Cross examining you for information.
·         Manipulating you with lies.
·         Treating you like you are worthless.
·         Distorting your reality (playing mind games).
·         Saying they’re only joking.
·         Acting unpredictably, mood swings.
·         Flirting with the opposite sex.
·         Expecting you to be perfect and meet every need
·         Constantly expecting preferential treatment.
·         Setting unrealistic expectations and telling you that you can’t do anything right.
·         Placing responsibility on you for anything that goes wrong.
·         Always putting their own needs before yours.
·         Expecting you to perform tasks that you find unpleasant or humiliating.
·         You understand their feelings, but they never try to understand yours.
·         You need to ‘walk on eggshells’ so you don’t upset them.

Verbal Bullying uses words to hurt another person emotionally.

·         Mocking your values
·         Saying no one else would be interested in you or want to go out with you
·         Making fun of people like you, including your race, gender, age or personal style
·         Calling you names eg fat, stupid or ugly
·         Criticising   your   looks,   actions,   efforts   and intelligence.
·         Telling jokes about you.
·         Humiliating or insulting you.
·         Using sarcasm.
·         Constantly disagreeing with you.
·         Constantly asking you to justify your actions or back up what you’re saying.
·         Using an unpleasant tone of voice.
·         Shouting.

Physical Bullying uses, or threatens to use, strength and force to hurt another person physically.

·         Hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, choking, shoving, being hit with objects, or being held against one’s will.
·         Breaking things.
·         Hurting pets.
·         Physically intimidating you, eg standing too close, banging things in a threatening way, driving dangerously, playing with weapons.
·         Threatening to hurt a person or property.
·         Repeatedly frightening you
·         Making you fear for your safety
·         Making you fear for the safety of others
·         Forcing sex or sexual acts when you don’t want it.

Other forms of bullying - isolation and financial

·         Isolating you and restricting your social activities.
·         Acting extremely possessive.
·         Always making you ask permission.
·         Using jealousy to justify their actions.
·         Restricting your activities eg not letting you go out with friends.
·         Restricting what you read, who you talk to etc.
·         Controlling all the money.

To avoid taking responsibility for their behaviour bullies might:

·         Tell you that you bully them.
·         See themselves as martyrs or victims.
·         Convince you that the bullying is your fault.
·         Blame you for problems, but never take responsibility for what they do.
·         Tell you it’s just a joke (but you feel humiliated).
·         Blame anyone and anything else for unfortunate events in their lives.
·         Tell you that you have psychological problems are crazy, hysterical, or blow things out of proportion.
·         Focus on flaws in your upbringing or your hormones.
·         Dismiss your difficulties or issues as unimportant or an overreaction.
·         Ignore logic and prefer amateur theatrics.
·         Try to destroy any outside support you receive - family, friends or counselling - by ridiculing it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Safe People: How to recognise people who are good for you

Many people have put a lot into relationships that left them deeply hurt. They’ve been taken advantage of, and are left with little show for what they’ve given. What’s worse, they tend to either repeat the same mistakes over and over again, or else lock the doors of their hearts to further relationships. How can you pick if someone is going to treat you with respect? After you’ve known a person for a while, look at their behaviour objectively and ask yourself how safe is this person? And how safe are you for others?
Unsafe People
Safe People
Withdraws, criticises or makes you feel guilty
if you disagree with them, or
do something they don’t want you to do.
Respects you even when you
disagree with them or do something
they don’t want you to do.
Listens to you for a bit, and then turns the conversation back to themselves.
Listens to your opinions, comments
and stories with interest.
Take more than they give.
Give as much as they receive.
Not interested in your thoughts and feelings
Have compassion for you.
Holds grudges for a long time.
Ready to forgive you when you do something wrong and genuinely apologise for it.
Have one set of standards for you, and another for them.
Standards of behaviour are the same for both people.
Treats you either like a parent or a like a child.
Treats you like an equal.
May or may not do what they say they will.
Do what they say they will.
Demand your trust and become defensive
when you have a reasonable query.
Earn your trust by being trustworthy.
You don’t like yourself as much when you’re with this person.
Brings out the best in you so you feel stronger and better about yourself.
Either act like they have it all together, or
blame others for their problems.
Admit their weaknesses and take
responsibility for their own behaviour.
Won’t admit when they’ve done the wrong thing. Or apologise with feeling and regret,
but do not change their behaviour over time.
When they have done the wrong thing apologise and work on changing their behaviour.
Deceive others by lying or leaving out
important information.
Tell the whole truth, even when it is difficult.
Tells other people your secrets,
or tells you other people’s secrets.
Keep your secrets safe with them