Life Coaching for People with C-PTSD, PTSD, and Anxiety Disorders

I have cringed watching videos with Life Coaches who yell and are very aggressive with their clients. They are trying to shove them to where they “should be” and push them with covertly  shaming tactics to into their future.

I do understand that most life coaches are trained to be future -oriented with their clients. This is what they learned from their trainers and mentors. Maybe it even works for some people….but not for people with C-PTSD from a background of abuse or trauma.

I understand that it is not the job of the life coach to diagnose mental illness or to identify past trauma in their client….but you cannot minimize or ignore someone’s trauma either.

Many of these loud aggressive methods border on bullying the client. Someone who has already been mistreated by their family, manipulated, or has gone through some kind of trauma, cannot tolerate this kind of “help” from a life coach.

It will further traumatize the client. So if you are a life coach, make sure you do a proper intake assessment of your clients. If it is clear that your approach and methodologies are not a good “fit” for the person, then refer them to a different life coach…one who specializes in helping clients with C-PTSD or PTSD.

If you are looking for a life coach and you have C-PTSD, or PTSD, you need to interview the potential coaches and be sure you feel comfortable wit them, and that their methods will not re-traumatize or trigger your PTSD.F

Find someone who is sensitive to your needs and can be flexible with their techniques and methodologies, to individualize their sessions to benefit you…not re-traumatize you. 

If you are interested in life coaching which specialized in clients with PTSD, C-PTSD and mental illness, feel free to stop by my web site.

gentlekindnesscoaching.com

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Blessings.

Namaste,

Annie -gentlekindnesscoaching.com

 

Depression Hurts

depression hurts

Depression is real.

Depression really hurts.

Depression is exhausting.

Depression is scary.

Depression is dangerous.

If you have depression, don’t suffer in silence.  Find someone you can tell. If the people that are around you every day will not understand then find another way to talk to someone.

Go through this list until you see an option for you.

1. Family member

2. Friend

3. Teacher

4. Primary care Physician

5. Guidance Counselor

6. Neighbor

7. Online friend

8. Facebook Groups (Closed Groups)  (search on facebook under the key word  ” depression”. There are closed groups you can go to the page of the group. Then request to join. They will add you and then give you the rules of the group. There is always someone on there to talk to. Face book has both public and closed groups on all kinds of mental illnesses. Some are for specific issues and other are for mental health issues in general.

9. Online Groups for depression, because sometimes you just can’t drag yourself out of bed. When it is like that then you probably won’t leave the house to get help. Psych Central has groups for most  mental illnesses. Some are general and some are for specific disorders.

http://psychcentral.com/resources/Depression/Support_Groups/

6 pm

If you can’t , you can’t. Some days it gets to be 4pm and then 6pm and we just cannot even get dresses, nevermind leave the house. It happens. It has happened to me. 

10. WordPress Blog (if you have a wordpress blog you can meet other bloggers who have struggled with depression. Search the tags to read their blogs. Once you read other people’s blogs, more and more people will follow you and read your posts. Post under the tag depression and people will connect with you . If this does not work for you, Try one of the other things on this list

11. 12 step groups local

12. local Church ( sometimes they have someone to counsel you, it does not matter what denomination you go to, they should be able to connect you)

13. Helpline

National Suicide Prevention Helpline

Hotline & Helpline Information

24-hour Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Helpline

  • 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)
Suicide Prevention Services Depression Hotline 630-482-9696

Crisis Help Line – For Any Kind of Crisis 800-233-4357

14. Tumblr has Mental-Health-Advice.Usually someone is available to talk to you 24 hours. It may be worth a try.  They have a therapist o line that will respond to your posts/ questions in a timely manner Just go to your Tumblr account and look for Mental-Health-Advice, then click follow.

15. Internet information and resources

http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=urgent_crisis_hotline

The Importance of Balance in our Lives

If any of you are old enough to remember The Karate Kid movie, you may remember that the teacher always was telling the Karate Kid about balance.

This was not just balance on his feet or in his body. This was about balance of life. The karate kid was practicing constantly and was giving up everything else in a major effort to train his body and his mind for the contest that was upcoming.

The teacher found a picture that the karate kid had. That was a picture of the beautiful teenage girl that had a crush on the karate kid. She wanted attention from him but he was too focused on his training to even realize this.

The teacher showed the picture to the karate kid. He told him “Balance, You need the balance”

It  is very typical for a lot of us to lose the balance in life. I think that some people naturally maintain a basic level of balance easier than others.

Some people that are able to maintain the balance have pretty predictable lives, without a lot of variation. That is not necessarily the best thing either. It  really depends on your personality.

Certain people have a particularly difficult time maintaining balance in their lives. People with chronic pain , like myself, have a hard time with balance.

I am thinking of this example because I have such a high level of pain in my neck and spine today that I have already repositioned myself and my laptop 3 times during this post.

There is extreme pain in my neck, radiating up into my head and down my arms. My fingers and hands are going numb because the nerve is so severely pinched by the herniated disc in my cervical spine today.

So this is a high end bad pain morning. If I stretch it could help. The feeling of disappointment and feeling disheartened by the level of pain today is overpowering.

People that have chronic pain have trouble maintaining balance because the pain takes over their thoughts.

Anything that dominates your mind on a regular basis will tend  to dominate your life.

When there is something that dominates your thoughts, the other things in your life get pushed aside.

Recovering alcoholics are more aware of the importance and value of the “little” things in life than a lot of people are.

They have learned the lesson that some people never ever learn.  Life must be balanced.  When something gets 90 percent of your time and attention then something else is being neglected.

Workaholics will get so dominated by work that they neglect their loved ones. Shopaholics will become so obsessed with buying that they neglect balancing their finances.

People with mental illness will become so overwhelmed by intrusive thoughts that they will neglect the needs of their bodies and minds.

When our work lives become neglected, we will lose self esteem about our jobs and our ability to make a living.

If we neglect everything else but work, we will lose our emotional support system of family and friends.

No matter what is taking the majority of our attention, we are sacrificing some other aspect of our needs.

Everyone has certain areas of their lives that need attention. There is the work or whatever is generating income.  A frequently neglected area these days is physical health. Mental health is affected by physical health and visa versa.

You also need something that you enjoy outside of work and family. Something that helps your self esteem, like yoga, art, golf, gaming, writing , singing or some other activity.

We humans are built to have various aspects to our lives. We need to work for shelter but we also need to love and be loved.

We need to be healthy and we need self-esteem. We need spirituality of some kind to give us direction and hope.

Balance is a constant juggling activity. The balance is bound to get off, sooner or later. If we are in tune with it then we will notice. When we notice something is being neglected we can take measures to rebalance things.

So just be aware. If you feel overwhelmed by life then it could be that tipping the scales a bit will help. Sometimes simply adding in some time to meditate, go out to lunch with a friend, or do a fifteen minute stretch in the mornings will help.

Other times we have a huge balance problem such as an addiction or a severe mental health issue. One of the ways to help ourselves is to make very small changes that are tolerable. Just make a small change such as stopping to eat breakfast at a diner once a week.

Take care of yourself and take care of your relationships.  Pray for balance in our lives. Write down your areas of life.

What hats do you wear?   Teacher, Mom, Dad, brother, boss, student, artist, team mate, co-worker, fishing buddy, blogger.

Think of them in a pie pictograph, like a pizza with slices. Put one important area of your life in each slice.

Which is the smallest slice? That is the one to work on.

Is one slice taking over the pie and squeezing the others out? That is your area of dominating thoughts, addiction or obsession.

Peace and love and balance to all of you,

Namaste,

Annie

Cold Memories of Abuse / in poetry

The winter is coming

Like a trigger from hell

The memories flood me

My dreams are not well

Nightmarish visions

Of what it was like

Under your tyranny

Torment and strife

You captured my choices

Opinions you punished

Your opinion alone

Was allowed to be wielded

Your ways were so perfect

My ways were  wrong so wrong

My thoughts and opinions

Could never be voiced

Punishment was imminent

Judgement and shaming

Retaliation was swift

If I did not obey

Kindness eluded you

Judgements were harsh

No appeals to the judge

No simple mistrial

You ruled without mercy

Obedience unquestioned

No allowance for defiance

Your rules defied reason

But reason was a luxury

You didn’t allow

Your rulings nonsensical

With severe consequence

I froze in the winter

Heating oil was denied

My money you stole

Demanded your rights

I suffered in cold

But you were okay

Vodka and beer

Warmed you all day

I still feel the cold

It chills my poor bones

The memory haunts me

Till I feel  alone

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference Reinhold Niebuhr

The serenity prayer was written by theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, sometime during the 1930’s. It was quoted by others a few times during the 1930’s. Niebuhr sometimes used it in his sermons.

The original wording was printed as follows:
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

This prayer is widely used in alcoholics anonymous meetings and other 12 step programs. Some people think that it was written for alcoholics anonymous but it was not. They adopted it because it is a helpful tool to give recovering alcoholics a frame of reference for what to work to improve in their lives.

I love the first phrase “…accept…the things that cannot be changed” This is a very important concept for healing. It is an idea in Buddhism which is a practice that has a lot of healing benefit to it.

We cannot change everything. We cannot change other people. Peace comes through acceptance of letting go of the things we cannot change.

If we were to make a list of things that are causing us to feel anxiety right now, we might be surprised that there are things on the list that we cannot change. Especially in regards to other adult people.

We can guide and encourage. We can support and comfort. But in the end, we cannot cause other adults to change anything.

Even when someone is in a dangerous situation, like drug addiction, you can only be as supportive as you are able to be without incurring damage to yourself.

There is a point at which you have to protect yourself and draw a line as to how much help is reasonable to give to another adult.

I find the original wording interesting to compare to the updated version.  There is  a difference in the meaning of the second phrase. “courage to change the things that “should” be changed.”

I personally like this version better.

There are times we want to force our desires on other people as far as their choices go. But should we make another adult’s choices for them?  People get self-esteem and confidence from making their own decisions.  

The wisdom to know the difference...”  This may be the ultimate trick. How can we tell the difference between things we can change and things we cannot change. Well, basically we really only have the power to change ourselves. We can improve our mental and physical  health. We can make choices and decisions that will create changes in our lives.

We have some power over the environment around us. We can clean and organize. We can move to a different place or to a different job. We can choose to make changes in behavior, relationship patterns, and habits. We can educate ourselves, learn new talents and create things.

If we can let go of the anxiety of trying to change things we can’t. we have more energy for working on the things we have some control over.

 

Staying Sober while Living with an Alcoholic Drinker

The question has been posed to me as to whether or not a newly sober person can maintain their sobriety while living with an alcoholic who is drinking.

This is a tremendously difficult situation to be in. It is extremely painful and full of mental and emotional torture.

If you have become sober then you have achieved a difficult goal. In order to maintain it, you need support. You need the support of people who understand how difficult it is to stay sober. You need the support of people who boost your self-esteem.

You also need emotional support. You need family and friends that are on your side and can understand how you feel. It is important to be around people that boost your self-esteem. You need to feel worthy of the effort to stay sober.

An alcoholic partner who is drinking , is not able to be emotionally available for you. They cannot sympathize with your feelings. They cannot understand what it is like to maintain your sobriety. It is a daily struggle to be strong and find alternate ways to relieve anxiety and stress.

The alcohol is a way of escape from anxiety and stress. If you are no longer drinking then you need other ways to reduce stress and help with depression.

The alcoholic is still drowning themselves in alcohol as a way of escaping reality and responsibility. They are dumping their responsibilities on you. They are not only leaving you alone, in your time of need but they are adding on the stress of dealing with them.

It is not a good situation. If you are trapped in this type of homelife then you need extra support from other people.

It is bad for your mental health to be in this situation. It is easier said than done to tell you to get out. Financial entanglements are hard to unwind. Emotional tangles are even harder.

You want the person to be proud of you. You want them to hold you and comfort you. You need them to praise you and encourage you for each day you stay sober, as you become comfortable with your new behavioral patterns.

The sad truth is – they won’t do any of these things for you and are not going to in the near future.

It seems so cruel to say that. But misleading someone is not kind, especially if it will cause them to seek something, only to be disappointed and crushed.

Someone who is newly sober needs to find new things that they will enjoy to do. Activities outside of the house might help. Going out with friends after AA meetings is good.

Do not let the partner discourage you from attending meetings. You need to keep up with your healing.

It would be very easy to feel sorry for the alcoholic. You may also feel angry at them or sad that they don’t love you enough. All of these feelings are normal and you are allowed to feel what you feel. But don’t let the alcoholic’s bad addictive behaviors draw you in.

They may resent you or perceive that you think that you are better than them, now that you are sober.

Do not let them manipulate you by making you feel guilty for being sober.

They are choosing their own path of demise. Sadly, they are choosing it over you.

No matter what the partner tells you – You are important and your path to maintaining a happy, fulfilling, sober lifestyle is a good path. If you keep going forward there will be good things that await you.

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