Category Relationship Tips

The Power of Gratitude

Which Scenario Best Fits Your Relationship?

The Power of Gratitude

You wake up in the morning and lean over to your partner for a good morning kiss and hug or you grab your mobile, ignoring the person beside you, as you roll out of your bed to go for a coffee and/or a cigarette?

There are numerous ways to approach your partner when you want to encourage certain behaviours and numerous ways to fail in it.

We can so easily overcomplicate things, believing that there is only one way to get what we want and that is having ignored our partner we then get angry and demand, often through put-downs, what we want.

The smarter approach though is usually the simplest suggestion – to show you are grateful that he or she is there not just when you want something but all the time...

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Couples Counselling Without a Couple

Couples Counselling Without a CouplePeople often wonder whether Couples Counselling works when one partner isn’t present at the counselling session. Absolutely, yes, it works. If one of the partners change, then the other will respond to the changes. Of course, this does not guarantee positive change or that the relationship will work out, but it does start changing the situation from its current, unsatisfying state.

Breaking the zone of comfort is stepping away from a zone of a relationship that is going nowhere and achieving nothing. Staying in what seems to be the comfort zone, you may be surprised to hear, is hard to maintain as it is not comfortable at all. Holding the decisions taken to move away from what is familiar and comfortable can be even harder...

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Creating Change Through Counselling (Part 1)

Creating Change Through Counselling

The Main Categories of Counsellors

Many people are somewhat afraid and ashamed when it comes to help, especially on the topic of feelings, mentality and psyche.

Realizing there’s a problem and a need for it to be solved is the first step in solving it.

There are a few different categories when it comes to therapy in general. Counsellors fall into one of four main categories: behaviour therapy, cognitive therapy, counselling, or psychotherapy.

None of them is better than the other and each of them can lead to the effect that is being wanted, namely inner peace and happiness...

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The SMART Approach to Goal Setting

The SMART Approach to Goal Setting

By saying “SMART” I mean all the things that involve a goal to be achieved. Because it is not enough just to want something and to set is as a goal. In order to achieve it there is a list of steps that need to be followed and worked on. In this context SMART is an acronym for all the things that make a goal great.

For a goal to be great it needs to be:

Specific

First it needs to be clear and formulated the best possible way so you know where you’re headed to. It needs to include as many specific details as possible:

  • What you want?
  • Why you want it?
  • Who is involved besides yourself?
  • Where it’s going to happen?

Measurable

Every goal has its price. Therefore, it needs to be clear what you want to get and what you are willing to give to have it.

  • How much?
  • How many?

Achievable

We of...

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Is The Life You Have Good Enough?

Is The Life You Have Good Enough?

Limiting Feelings, Limiting Beliefs and Limiting Behaviours

There are various ways to relieve yourself from a script and a game your mind is used to playing. Many of these are therapeutic which includes many different techniques and practices. In the USA there are about 450 registered associations that offer different help for limiting beliefs, behaviours, and feelings. These three combine to create the scripts we live our lives by.

“Limiting” here means something that holds you back, restricting you from living a truly happy life. It refers to an old way of being that is no longer useful in your life. Feelings, beliefs, and behaviours based on negative past experiences can all be limiting if held onto.

In therapy, you get an opportunity to review those limitations and make changes so tha...

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What Games Do Couples Play? (Part 6)

Games Couples Play 6

Vanessa and Mark’s Games

Most often on the surface, things can look really good or really bad, depending on what exactly we’re looking at as well as the angle of our perspective. Some couples are envied for the way their love looks on the surface and for the happiness they seem to have.  Vanessa and Mark seemed to have had it all in the beginning and they believed that they had the best marriage going until one day it just all went wrong.

Of course, when something goes wrong with a marriage, there must be an issue with both people and the way their characters combine in creating the games they play. Usually, the issues revolve around consequences of communication styles, games that the individuals play or just incompatible personalities.

The problem started with Vanessa and the way s...

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Getting What You Want from Your Partner

Getting What You Want from Your Partner

Pavlov’s Dogs and Skinner’s Theory of Conditioning

Ivan Pavlov, a Russian Physiologist, and BF Skinner, a US Psychologist, are most well known for their experiments with behaviour in the early 1900s.

You might recall hearing about Pavlov’s behaviour modification experiments with dogs and pairing feeding them meat with a ringing bell. Naturally the dog would begin to salivate at the sight of the meat.

Over time Pavlov proved he could change the dog’s behaviour and could get the dog to salivate on the ringing bell even when there was no meat present.

Then Skinner expanded on this theory it into what’s now called Behaviourism. He showed that all behaviours could be modified and that this is how certain behaviours developed in the first place...

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How to Be Assertive

How to Be Assertive

When in relationship, as in life, our thoughts, feelings and behaviours become habits. Getting what you want could thereby follow those old well-worn habits, sometimes successfully and sometimes not.

If not, you could use this to inspire and even change the way you express your thoughts and feelings.

You can become more assertive by following a formula when expressing what you like and what you want to change, according to who it is being directed at and how it will be received.

How to Be Assertive

Here’s the formula I use and teach my clients:

“I feel…” (Here, simply name the feeling or feelings)

“…when…” (Describe the situation that creates the feeling, but try to neutralize it so it doesn’t sound like blaming...

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Responding Assertively to Game Playing

Responding Assertively to Game Playing

I will illustrate the topic with an example from the story of “Lyn” and “James”.

At one time Lyn decides to take her children on vacation with a girlfriend and her children for a few days. But when Lyn tells James of the plan, he is not OK with it. When she asks why, he just says, “Because I said so.” When she says she is definitely going but would like his consent, he again refuses to give it.

Earlier in their relationship, Lyn would have backed down, but this time she decides to go anyway. James remains angry and revengeful. On Lyn’s return, James refuses to speak to her, and they go to bed in silence. The next morning, Lyn wakes to discover that James is not there. She finds him in the living room with her wallet and a pair of scissors cutting up her credit cards.

She ask...

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Effective Communication in Action

Effective Communication in Action

When you look at the solution to a problem from a different perspective then everything gets easier. Child’s play really.

If you imagine two adults who are playing tic-tac-toe and are competing for the win you are going to see the big picture as if from a bird’s eye view.

Let’s accept for a moment that the game is a dispute. I put an “x”, my partner puts an “o” and we continue like this one after another. The tension is getting stronger. Who is going to win? At some point my partner puts his “o” and draws a smile. I smile back, I accept the dispute from its amusing angle and I understand that my partner’s intentions towards me are positive.

I quickly grasp the wink. A game or a dispute, call it whatever you want...

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