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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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It Takes Two to Play Games

It Takes Two to Play Games

Why Do We Play Games?

Just as we need two people to agree to tango so too it takes two people to subconsciously agree to play the psychological games we all play.

However, they don’t realize how exactly the game is being played, or how it all started, but usually the payoff for both sides is negative and it comes fast.

The whole process of playing games comes from an earlier stage of one’s development during childhood. Most of the time games happen automatically, like a habit that the brain has in creating realities that we believe and live in.

Watching other people’s behaviours in early childhood is the core of the games being played later on...

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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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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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Some More Facts about Game Playing

Game Playing and Duality

Here are some little known facts about the games we play with our partners in relationship:

  • Games are not played only between people in a romantic relationship. They can also be played between family members, between work colleagues, between friends and even between “teams” of people.
  • You need two to tango. All players have to be willing to play otherwise there will be no game. And while playing, each participant can and do make conclusions about the game which may have nothing to do with the payoff of the game itself.
  • Games can be played out of fear.
  • Some people are just scared to let other people get close to them simply because they fear the possibility of the other person leaving and the pain of missing them.
  • Some games can be played out in a minute, though the ultimate script ...
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Am I OK? Are You OK?

am I OK

Helpless Aggressor Martyr

What does it really mean to be “OK”? Is there a formula that we need to follow to in order to be okay? When are we okay? Is it when we feel loved and respected, or when we feel someone needs us and that make us feel important? Is happiness something to fight for or it is something that comes to us when we’re done the battle with ourselves?

To sum it up – each of us is either predominantly OK with life and how it’s progressing, or not. I think you might be able to guess which is better. Victors live out a very clear “I’m OK and you’re OK” life script, while both Visitors and Victims live out a predominantly “I’m not OK, you’re not OK” life script.

Let’s look at this from the perspective of the Survivor’s Triangle.

The Aggressor

Aggressors are the bullies of...

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How Survivors Play Out Their Life Games on the Game Triangle

Survivor's Triangle

Love Triangle Karate Summer Camp 2012

All Psychological Games get played from one of three positions. These can be seen in action on the Survivor’s Triangle.

I call it the “Survivor’s Triangle,” because, while games are destructive, you play them in response to whatever you were taught, or decided, as a child. It was the way you learned to survive in your family and in society.

As well when you are a child you ‘by default’ need to be taken care of, to be helped and pampered because you are a tiny and weak creature. You simply need to survive as a child biologically and later on emotionally so you naturally do whatever you need to ensure that happens.

Survival or Imprisonment?

Each of the triangle’s corners represents one of the three stances that someone might take in a game...

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The Games People Play

Victors - Visitors - Victims

As a little child we all played funny games where the die determined our luck and our eventual triumph at the final. Have you ever noticed that in a particular situation participants have different reactions to the way a game progresses. Some of them feel themselves to be the winners the very moment they take the dice, while others feel scared while playing at dice, and third are desperate feelings some have that this would be just another time they would not get a double six.

The more the players are, the more the reactions are. Just as in life, isn’t it? The games people play bring them joy, disappointment or pride.

Eric Berne and His Theory

Differently from the games like those above the life that you ultimately come to live, and all that you think, feel, say, and do in it, is for the ...

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Vanessa and Mark (cont)

A Talk with Vanessa and Mark

The Story of Vanessa and Mark

A Talk with Vanessa and Mark

The story of “Vanessa” and “Mark” that I recently shared with you is the story of a search for the point of intersection between two very different people with very different conflict management styles.

If you need a reminder of their story pop back and see the previous article where I first introduced you to them.

As you review their story you may be able to empathise with Vanessa and yet you may also understand what Mark is experiencing and be able to empathise with his experience as well. This life setting is as real as the stories of any couple you may know. It is unknown to some, but so painfully experienced by others.

This is a story of the “family secrets” – which we can, though sometimes not very successfully, manage to transfer from our pat...

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