conscious decisions tagged posts

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 2)

Golf and Other Games People Play

Finding compassion for people and situations you hadn’t imagined you would is a good way to free yourself from any past hurts and things that are holding you back. Forgiveness and a balanced and considered reaction to mistreatment can actually win the “game”.

Let me explain this with an example. Jon (made up person) is playing a game of golf at the club with three people he had not played with before. He is certainly the new kid on the block and is feeling every bit of it. They are playing for a competition and he is basically tagging along for a bit of fun. He’d decided some time ago that enjoying a game of golf for him is more about being outdoors and being in the fresh air in beautiful parkland rather than about any need to compete...

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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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What Games Do our Couples Play? (Part 1)

Beth and Roger’s Games

Beth and Roger’s Games

The story of Beth and Roger may look superficial or like nothing is really happening and affecting their relationship, but if the situation is analysed and looked at more closely, a lot of underwater details appear and give some clues to something happening at a subconscious level not evident when looking at it consciously.

The problem occurs when one of their children doesn’t want to attend the other child’s birthday party. Beth gets upset and expects Roger to take care of her feelings and to console her, but he is unable to do it.

Questions immediately appear and some of them are: what is so distressing about this situation and why so and even more so what roles are both playing and why?

The truth is, as bystanders to the situation it seems that Beth and R...

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Drama-Free Life: Is It Possible?

Drama-Free Life: Don't Make an Elephant Out of a Fly

Life Is Not a TV Drama

Is it possible to live a drama free life? Is it necessary to have drama in our lives in order to feel balanced when it is over? Isn’t it easier to just exclude even the smallest possibility of turning a fly into an elephant? What make us create dramas in our lives when this is the thing we fear and dislike the most?

Look at the games the couples in our stories (The Story of Tamara and Alex, The Story of Vanessa and Mark, Vanessa and Mark (cont), Detecting Games in Relationships, Responding Assertively to Game Playing).

An Exercise

If you want you can challenge yourself: try imagining each game discussed as initiated by anyone, of either sex, and imagine how that game story might play out...

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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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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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Detecting Games in the Relationship

Detecting Games in the Relationship - The Story of Lyn and JamesThe Story of Lyn and James

“Lyn” and “James” have been married for ten years and have three children. When they first met, Lyn had just left school. James was fifteen years older and had already been in the workforce for some time.

At the time they met Lyn still lived at home, while James had his own place. Lyn looked up to James for support and guidance and he was able to be that at a time when Lyn was still new to adult relationships and adulthood generally.

Lyn was still somewhat naïve, so she allowed James to advise her in exactly how she was to act as his wife and even what she should be like as a person.

Then things changed.

Lyn grew up and started to have opinions of her own. But whenever she attempted to express them they had a disagreement...

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Insignificant Games and Serious Games

Insignificant Games and Serious GamesWe need to spice up our life every now and then and, as my husband and I so often do, we play teasing games with each other. But when do games that are played in jest become something more serious game with a negative consequence for the relationship? And how do we tell them apart?

In the Survivor’s triangle each of the “game-players” play and respond differently and express themselves differently as their emotional state dictates from time to time.

There are three degrees of games though all games can be placed somewhere on a continuum according to how each person experiences it. In addition the outcome for the relationship will also be affected depending on the perspective of each “player”.

First Degree Games

First Degree Games are generally pretty harmless and people might eve...

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