Blogs

Blame

Blame is a powerful tool many of us like to use as a way of hiding our own inadequacies and shortcomings. When we blame another person, it takes the focus off of us and places it on the other person for a while. When we blame others, we are also closing the door to self-reflection and growth.
We are taught at a young age by our parents and other role models to blame others. We learn to blame through being blamed, controlled, and manipulated. We may be told that it is our fault or told we are wrong when we are not. We may hear controlling and manipulative statements like these: “If you would just listen to me, you would not have to do this,” or “Do what I say so I don’t have to punish you,” or “You made me do it.”
While we all have experienced blame and/or blamed others at some time in our lives as a way of protecting ourselves, the use of blame today helps us remain emotionally stuck and keeps us from moving forward with our lives. Many of us have a long history of blame, which has served us well as a shield and as a way to hide the truth. Blame is pervasive in our society today to the point we hear it happening every day on Capitol Hill. The president is blaming Congress, the Democrats are blaming the Republicans and the Republicans are blaming the Democrats along with the President. With all this blame, no one is taking ownership of the problem and it seems that no clear, healthy solution is on the horizon.
When people take ownership rather than blame, the truth is able to come out, there is no need to blame, and ultimately everyone has the potential to win. When we take ownership of our true feelings and actions, there is no need to lie, so our relationships shift and become healthier and our environment becomes a safer place. In business, when a company is willing to explore solutions rather than find someone or something to blame, the synergy created helps build teamwork and creates an environment for positive growth.
When it comes to emotional recovery in a relationship, one of the greatest obstacles is blame. Typically each person is wanting to be heard on how the other person is the reason for all the problems in the relationship. While we want the other person to change so the relationship can be better, we can only create that change in ourselves. What this means is that if we truly want change in a relationship, we must stop blaming and explore what we contribute that allows the negative aspects of the relationship to continue. When we look at the way we respond in the relationship, we can create changes in ourselves that change how others respond to us.

Blogs, Uncategorized

Dealing with Perfectionism

Every time I attempt to write an article, I question myself. Have I used the right words? Will this make sense to others? Am I using proper grammar? Will the article be interesting to others? Have I written it in a fashion that others will understand?

With all these questions running through my head, I realize I want to write the perfect article. These questions prevent me from writing more or addressing topics I believe could be interesting, because they limit my creativity.

When we strive for perfection we are guaranteed to fail, because we can always see flaws in whatever we do. Perfection is not a natural trait, but is something we are taught.

Many people see perfection as a good thing because it can produce positive results, yet there is a down side to perfection as well. Perfection creates much unneeded stress in our lives due to the higher demands and expectations we place upon ourselves. This stress affects everything, including the people we love, because the stress comes out sideways as sarcasm, criticism, and anger.

We are taught to strive for perfection as children when we are criticized for not behaving, looking good, trying hard enough, or feeling our feelings when we are not supposed to. We also learn it when we are told we are wrong or even bad for what we are doing or thinking. When we receive these messages often enough as a child, we take them to heart and start to tell them to ourselves, reinforcing the message that we are inadequate and need to try harder. These messages we learned as children and tell ourselves are actually reflections of other people’s direct or indirect inadequacies that they saw in us.

Since these messages that drive the need for perfection are so engrained, they create a pattern that is difficult to break. When a person is ready to break the pattern of perfectionism, it takes a conscious effort to do something different. Many people that are perfectionistic do not see a need to change because these tendencies can prove beneficial in certain situations. Yet perfectionistic tendencies are destructive in relationships with ourselves and others, which is the typical reason for working on our perfection.

Many people are concerned that when they work on their perfection, they will lower their standards and this will not work well for them in their professional lives. When we work on our perfection, we can still maintain a high level of performance, without the unnecessary and destructive stress. This is where we evaluate when good enough is good enough and not try to push it even further.
In my case, I have found it helpful to let the words free-flow in the document and get help from my gifted writing friend, Kathleen, who polishes the writing. Then I can let go of my internal criticism, relax more when I write, and free myself to focus on what I have to say instead of questioning how I say it.

Blogs

Understanding Experiential Therapy

Counseling has many theories and techniques available. The insurance industry, for example, has embraced behavioral counseling. Behavioral counseling embraces techniques to modify behaviors, and much research is available that demonstrates behavioral changes.

Experiential therapy is another approach that can be used to help modify behaviors. Additionally, experiential therapy has the ability to help a person explore and work through core issues when and if they are ready. While most counseling theories connect with the conscious or cerebral part of the brain, experiential therapy works to address both the conscious and subconscious parts of the brain. This is what sets experiential therapy apart and what allows the person to access core issues.

Experiential therapy also goes beyond talk therapy in that one of its goals is helping a person connect with what the body is saying or hiding. Many times a person is unaware of what their body is saying, yet the information the body shares has truth that wants to come out. Experiential therapy allows a person to reenact the emotional experience, then to embrace it and let it go. This is an important part of the process necessary to create long-term changes that many people desire.

Many techniques currently exist that are experiential in nature. Experiential therapy allows people to feel and connect with the hidden emotional truths that create chaos in their lives. Experiential therapy techniques include but are not limited to play therapy, art therapy, journaling, meditation, story telling, sand tray therapy, psychodrama, sculpting, and intuitive experiential therapy.

Many people share that they have attempted to figure out their problems for years with no success. Since they are intelligent, it makes sense that if they could figure it out, they would have already done so. Attempting to figure out the issues is tapping into the conscious part of the brain. To create the positive change they seek requires them to connect with their feelings as well, which is part of the subconscious brain.

Experiential therapy allows people to access both parts of the brain and  connect with the deeper issues that keep them from creating change. This is the reason it is such a beneficial and effective tool for change.