Untherapy – Compassionate Conversation and Holistic Treatment for Emotional Wounds

What is “untherapy”? Untherapy is what I am calling one of the types of life coaching that I do. It is basically compassionate two-way dialogue between the coach and the client, in order to provide validation and kindness, which the client is in desperate need of in their lives.

Although untherapy is absolutely not a replacement for treatment by a mental health professional, untherapy can provide a complement to traditional, clinical therapy.

While clinical therapists are licensed to delve into past trauma and use CBT to deal with those traumas, the life coaching practitioner is able to talk to the client about current issues and mental blocks that are inhibited them from moving forward with their lives.

We can often get into times where we feel like we are carrying a weight our shoulders and we just cannot get traction to move forward with our lives. While life coaches cannot diagnose any mental illness, we can help with issues like perfectionism and anxiety that are inhibiting you from doing things you need to do in life.

Life coaching can help you with things like feeling stuck, lack of motivational energy and lack of clarity due to brain fog from anxiety.

We are trained to guide the client to find the best path for them, by listening and identifying key issues that are creating problems for you. When you are in the midst of a dark reality tunnel, it can be very difficult to see clearly enough to be able to identify these things on your own.

Validation is an extrememly important need for people these days. Especially people who are carrying C-PTSD from childhood abuse and trauma, need validation about their reality. Years of bad programming by care givers can cause disorientation,  low self esteem and lack of the ability to self generate feelings of self worth.

Life coaches are able to deal with self esteem, and self confidence issues, as they relate to present time situations.

So whereas therapists deal with the past situations which caused mental health problems, life coaches can offer compassionate conversation about your feelings and thoughts in the present time, in order to help you get some traction to move forward onto the path you want to create as you walk it.

I am calling my particular flavor of life coaching “untherapy” because I feel it is different, yet can be complementary, to traditional therapy.

I can speak with you in a less climical and more equal kind of way. The traditional therapist is trained to keep an emotional distance from the client wheras I am under no rules to keep emotionally distanced from you.

I am allowed to share any personal stories of mine that may help to validate and guide you. Life coaches are not restrcted to stay at arms length from the client and make you feel like a “sick” patient.

Just because someone has experienced a traumatic past does not mean there is something innately wrong with them.

There are just natural reactions of the brain to put up blocks, in order to protect you from further injury. These blocks sometimes served us in the past and are now inhibiting our ability to move forward and blossom.

The spiritual side of you is just as important as the mental and emotional sides.

Spiritual coaching is a branch of life coaching that deals with helping you find your inner spiritual voice, and to overcome any vibrational blocks to your spiritual healing of yourself. This is another option of untherapy. We will call it Spiritual Untherapy or Vibrational Untherapy.

I will be posting future posts about this new concept of coaching. I feel the word “coaching” sounds like something to do with sports, and that is why I wanted a different way of communicating the new compassionate based life coaching, by using the term untherapy.

I am interested to get comments on this post to see if I have fully explained this, in a way everyone can understand and relate to. I believe there is a distinct lack of compassion and validation for people that suffer from certain issues, such as C-PTSD and PTSD.

There are holistic methods to help with PTSD, that fall outside of traditional therapy. I can guide you through NLP imagery and hypnosis, for anxiety reduction and even physical pain management.

If you are interested in finding out more about my services, please visit my web site at gentlekindnesscoaching.com

I am thinking of doing some promotional “freebe” kinds of things coming  up at that web site, so please add your name to the emailing list, in order to be sent any new promotions that you may enjoy participating in.

Many blessings for peace and happiness,

Annie💕

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

Accepting Yourself Thich Nhat Hanh Quote

There is a great healing that comes along with accepting ourselves just as we are.

Others say things about us. They label us, describe us, talk about us. They tell us what we can do, what we can’t do, what we should do.

They advise us on our careers, families, religious beliefs. They limit us…
They limit our potential.
They limit our possibilities.

If we allow them to keep us in the little box they have assigned to us then they will destroy what we could have become.

We are each of us on our own path. We are on a path of discovery. Discovery of knowledge, beauty and spirituality. Discovery of our own potential and possibilities.

Living with Insomnia / The Strange World of the Night

Insomnia probably sounds like a minor problem to those who do not suffer from it. But for those of us who do, it is like a huge , unclimbable mountain to get over.

People suffer from insomnia for many reasons. Each insomniac could tell you a different story but in the end we all suffer from our sleep being less than normal.

The origin of our insomnia may be different but we all end up having to compete with people during the day that have slept a normal sleep cycle the night before. We feel less than normal and somewhat disabled compared to other people.

We insomniacs usually do not reveal our problem to most people due to the fact that they would not understand. What’s worse, they offer lots of junk help.

By “junk help” I mean unsolicited advise and suggestions that don’t help and make us feel worse. They say “just take a sleeping pill”, “go see your doctor”, “try a cup of nice tea before bed”, “play some soft relaxing music”, “take a bath” or my all time favorite “just try to RELAX at bedtime”.

If there is nothing else insomniacs have in common it is the lack of being able to follow the advice “Just RELAX and stop worrying and you will fall right asleep.”

Holy crap, don’t you think we’ve tried that?

So you try hard to be polite and say, “ok, I’ll try some tea and I will relax and I’m sure that will fix it.”

Really?

My mind races so fast at night , there is no way to slow it down. Tea tastes great but does not relax me. Besides I usually find that it is way too much effort to make a cup of tea. As far as the bath idea goes, I do usually take a shower at night. But the reason for that is that I know I will oversleep in the morning and barely have time to get out the door to work on time.

It becomes a horrible cycle that snowballs out of control. On my usual insomniac schedule , I fall asleep around 3am.

When I have extra anxiety in my “daytime life” then 3am turns into 4 or 5am. When there is extreme anxiety in my life then I am awake until 6am or worse, for weeks at a time. Once it sets into that cycle , then I would give anything to go to sleep “early” again, meaning 3am.

Then I wake up late and have to rush. I feel guilty that I overslept and am determined that I will go to sleep on time in the future. I feel like there is something wrong with me. I tend to feel this way when I wake up.

At night I feel ok and I sometimes just accept my insomnia and “go with it.”
But tomorrow morning I will some amount of shame that I can’t get it together like other people.

It feels like the chemistry in my brain is very different at night than in the morning
( meaning noon or later) when I wake up.

I am tired when I first get home from work at 11 pm. Then over the next hour , something happens to my brain and I suddenly am wide awake. Then I am afraid to wait until the morning to get things done, because I am always too sluggish in the morning.

My brain is not fully functioning when i wake up. So I feel as though I have to get things done right now, in the middle of the night, while I have the chance.

If I don’t take the trash out, do the dishes and make a you-tube video right now, I will miss my chance.

I become so anxious that the important things won’t get done that I start doing them, and doing them and doing them.

I decide that tonight I will have a cut off time of 2am before I sleep. But one thing turns into one more thing and just five more minutes… Suddenly it is 4:30 am and I have no idea how it happened.

I have tried to control it. It is easier said than done.

I truly believe that my brain and my body work their best between 12pm and 3am. I am afraid to miss that time zone because I fear what in world would happen if I only did things when I am barely functional.

I feel most productive when the household and the neighborhood is asleep.
It may be to the point of a phobia of going to sleep too early.

My OCD will kick in around 12:30 or 1:00 am and I will feel a compulsion to get things done in my house and things related to my work and my future.

I think about what it would be like to get up early and get stuff done. But when I think of it, I have this fear of the morning. I can’t explain it but I just don’t want to get up and be busy, especially out of the house and dealing with bright eyed , bushy – tailed people. YUCK!

Who are they? I can’t relate to them at all.
I like to go grocery shopping at 2am because it is not crowded and I feel less stressed by the other people in the store.

I wonder if the majority of insomniacs are introverted like me. Sometimes I feel like I just don’t want to be around people all the time. I can have solitude and peace at night , in a way. Only my own brain gets in the way of my peace.

I am also afraid of the morning because I have this fear that I will use myself up too soon. Then what will happen near the end of my work shift? How will I keep going if i am so tired and still have to work until 11pm.

Anyway, it is 1:15 am now. This is about when I will take my shower and then attempt to go to sleep by 3am. That would be an improvement over how bad it has been lately.I will try to resist starting a load of laundry although I put it in the bags, ready to go, just before I started this blog.

I always feel behind and that I am not keeping up. Maybe writing this blog at night will help to calm me so that I can sleep earlier. We will see what we will see.

I am interested in what other people do in the middle of the night when they can’t sleep. Feel free to leave that in the comments below.

Good night,
LOL LOL
Annie

Mental Health Issues vs. Physical Disease / It’s not ” All in your Head”

“There is NOTHING wrong with her! She is JUST depressed. ”

“There is absolutely nothing physically wrong with her. It is just psychological.”

Have you heard this? I have heard a nurse actually talk about a patient this way. I have heard people tell me their therapist told them that their anxiety issues were only “emotional” and not biological.

First of all, depression is a real condition and if someone is clinically depressed , it is not true that “nothing wrong with them.” Depression is as painful and as much of a threat to someone’s health and their life as any “biological” illness”

Second of all, there is no such thing as any disorder or disease being only “emotional” or only “biological.” The mind is part of the body. A very important part , I might add.

Every function in the entire body is regulated in some way by the brain. Emotions are also a function of what is happening in the brain.

Changes in the brain affect emotions, and changes in emotions affect the brain.

When a person has a physical disease or disorder, there is an emotional reaction to it. Furthermore, a person’s emotions relating to their illness, have a direct correlation as to whether or not they overcome the illness and how fast they get better.

I have cared for stroke patients with similar levels of a stroke. The ones that had positive feelings about physical therapy got better. The patients that felt angry or depressed did progress nearly as well in physical therapy.

An emotional disorder has a direct affect on a person’s brain and biology. A person that starts to have depression and/or anxiety develops patterns of feeling certain emotions in response to specific stimuli. These repetitive patterns create actual connections in the brain.

Any habits or behaviors become connections in the brain. Once connected the brain regulates the fact that anxiety or depression is triggered by certain stimuli. So, when someone says, “there is nothing wrong with them. It is just psychological,” it doesn’t ring true.

Once patterns are set into the brain that cause mental suffering, it becomes a biological disorder. People with depression, anxiety, OCD and other mental suffering have as much of a right to be recognized as people with typical physical illnesses.

Tendency of people to discount mental suffering as “it’s all in their head” is very hurtful and dangerous to the people suffering from “emotional” problems. Truthfully it is, in fact “in their head” meaning that it is in their brain.

If this blog does not do anything else, my intention is that anyone suffering from depression and anxiety will feel validated. The condition is real. It is worthy of being treated as real. You have a right to be sick just as much as someone with a physical disease has the right to be sick.

It is unfair that people with anxiety and depression must suffer in silence. It is not an acceptable excuse to call out of work. It is not an acceptable excuse to cancel an appointment.

When someone has severe anxiety about doing something that they know will be a trigger , they should be able to ask for help and have someone do it for them or help them. It should be the same as someone with a broken leg asking for help to get into a car.

Doing the things that trigger the brain to cause painful, disabling emotion are frightening and dangerous. A person should be able to ask for help.

It feels like an invisible disease to the people who have it. They have to do things that will make it worse. The reason for that is because people’s families, friends, bosses, teachers and even nurses and doctors do not understand mental illness.

If you are suffering in silence, please know that you are not crazy. You are not alone. Your condition is painful and sometimes terrifying. It is not your fault. It is not something you made up to get attention or to get out of things.

You know when things are painful or too much for you. There are many of us with the same fears and disabling difficulties at doing the simple things that most people take for granite. We can support and validate each other. You are not alone.

Thank you,
I hope this helps someone,
Annie

Doing Nothing

We all feel that we have to be doing something every second of the day. This is one of the main causes of anxiety, frustration, depression, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, relationship stress and the list goes on.

By “something” I mean something measurable, something tangible, something that produces something, something that others acknowledge as “something”.

But who has the right to be the judge of what is a productive use of our time? Why do we constantly allow others to be the judge and jury for us? Do any of these people actually understand who we are inside?

How many people actually understand who you are, how you feel and what you really think? After so many years of listening to other people tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your time, do you really know yourself anymore? Do you really know what you feel anymore?

It seems like the pace of life has gotten so fast that we don’t feel like there is time to just stop and do nothing. Sometimes doing “nothing” by other people’s definition is actually a productive use of our time.

Could it be that just stopping for a half an hour and doing nothing could make us more productive during the rest of our day?

Could it be that doing “nothing” is doing “something?”

I propose that each of us take one half hour each day for a week to do absolutely nothing. No internet, no cell phone, no people, no thoughts about work.

No planning for or worrying about the future. No thinking about problems with family or friends. No thoughts about money or health issues. No thoughts about world problems, community issues or neighbors.

Just let go of the past and the future. Sit very still and very quietly with only the sound of your own breath to focus on.

The past will not be injured if we leave it alone for 30 minutes. The future will not be doomed if we stop worrying about it for 30 minutes.

Just let yourself be in the present moment. Not even the whole day, just the very tiny moment that you are in.

For a half an hour let the thoughts come into your mind and just ignore them, do not attach to them, just let them float away because we are not doing “something” right now. We are just doing “nothing”.

Set a timer if you need to to alert you at the end of 30 minutes. And for a glorious, precious half an hour just take a vacation from everything. Imagine there is absolutely nothing to do.
You are on vacation so there are no dishes to do, no bills to pay, no people to please or apologize to. There are no health problems, no finances.

No relationships whatsoever. For 30 minutes, you are not married, you are not single. You are not obligated to anyone but yourself and to the present moment.

Just you and you alone being in touch with the spiritual side of yourself. Focus on life and the gentle flow of your breath.

I challenge each one of us, including myself to give this experiment a try. I have written this out of a feeling and a vision that this half hour will save all of us. It will open New Ideas, New Pathways, New Opportunities and New Solutions for all of us.

As we do this, we will have a connection with each other in a spiritual way and our connectedness will create extra positive energy for all of us and for each of us.

I believe in each and every one of you.

Take a step outside the box.
Take a walk outside the lines.

You and I did not write the lines or make the boxes that society expects us to stay in. Why do we have to stay within them for 24 hours a day? Even when no one is watching?

I challenge us to erase the lines for a half an hour and allow ourselves to let everything go for a time.

Decide that it is okay to take a break. Decide that it is okay to take a half hour vacation. Give yourself permission.

You do not need anyone else’s approval to take a half an hour to stop worrying about what others expect. You do not need anyone else’s approval to think your own thoughts, unaffected by the rules, for a half an hour.

My prayers are with you.

Save yourselves.

Save yourselves from the stress that society tells you is part of being a responsible adult. It is a lie. Being under anxiety and attempting to please those that do not understand you is not the way to be a responsible adult.

I challenge you to be responsible to yourself for a change. Be accountable to yourself.

In the end we are all alone in a way. We were all born alone and will all die alone. No one could share the feelings and thoughts of those life experiences with us. So to take time alone, is natural and more normal than what society tells you “normal” is.

In the end all we have is ourselves. Should we not have a relationship with that person who was with us in birth and will be with us in death?

I have said we are each of us alone, but it is also true that we are all connected with each other. We are all connected through life energy.

When any one of us is injured. it effects all of the rest of us. When any one of us are uplifted, it uplifts all of us even if we are on the other side of the world and consciously unaware of that person.

So as we are alone in many ways , we are intrinsically connected in life.

So as you all take your half an hour vacation each day, I will take mine. We will each have 30 minutes to connect with ourselves and find peace. And at the same time, we will all be connected as we agree together to take care of ourselves and find the truth that is inside of each of us.

Namaste
Annie

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