Category Archives: Blog

How to build emotional resilience

How to build emotional resilience and bolster self-esteem

Do you make an effort to look after your emotional resilience? Do you stand up for what you need?  Or do you prioritize your physical health, work or other people’s needs instead? Neuroscience tells us that emotional wounds such as failure, criticism, and loneliness cause us pain in the same way as physical wounds because the same parts of our brain light up.  So why do we look after our teeth better than our psychological health?  What can we do to bolster our self-esteem and build emotional resilience?

Woman floating in mid air against yellow painted background - learn how to build emotional resilience with Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling North Brisbane
Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

1. Do something about loneliness

Social isolation is one of the biggest predictors of depression. Loneliness even affects our physical health (blood pressure, cardiovascular health, life expectancy and more). (Find out more here..)

Loneliness is not exclusive to the singletons out there. You can be equally lonely in a marriage or a family.  Loneliness is subjective and depends on how disconnected you feel from your environment.

Just reach out to someone” you might say, but loneliness is tricky emotion.  Loneliness distorts our perception of our relationships, making us afraid to reach out because we believe that the people around us don’t care about us.

So what can you do to fortify your emotional resilience?  Think of a time when you felt really connected to someone/people and then contact those people.  It will take courage and vulnerability to do so, but it might just disconfirm your thoughts that those people don’t care about you.  

Increasing the amount of contact you have with other humans is also going to help. In December 2015, I left my corporate job working in a buzzing office of 1000 people to start my private psychotherapy practice working from home.  I remember a colleague had warned me how she had become depressed in her first year of private practice, but I arrogantly thought “that won’t happen to me.”  But it did.  The social isolation of working from home impacted my self-esteem and my mood.  Initially I felt guilty for taking time out of the working day to join exercises classes or catch up for a coffee with mates, but I quickly realised how vital those activities and social contact were to my emotional wellbeing.  Now I have a regular schedule of yoga, Pilates, and social events that bolster my emotional resilience.

Here are some other tips for overcoming loneliness.

 

2. Flip the way you view failure

Dropped ice-cream.  Learn how to deal with failures and build emotional resilience with Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling North Brisbane
Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

Thomas Edison famously said: “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.

If he had given in to negative beliefs around failure, I would be sat here typing this in the dark.

When we fail, we usually fall back into a default pattern of thinking “oh well that just shows I’m not good enough… I should probably never try that again”.  One big failure could be enough to stop us trying that thing ever again. 

Like loneliness, failure distorts our perceptions and triggers our negative beliefs. We can spiral into a failure tornado of negative thoughts. So how do we stop this familiar pattern?

Remember how your mum kissing your grazed knee better made you feel better when you were young?  One way to break the hold of the failure belief tornado is to reach out and connect with a trusted friend or family member.  Someone you value and care about. Someone who is going to listen to you, show you empathy and compassion, and help you soothe that wounded part of you. 

Being heard or seen in your time need, feeling compassion and connection from another human being can help downgrade your tornado of negativity into a minor shower.  Trust me, it works. I fail all the time, quite publicly sometimes.  And it hurts.  However, talking to my favorite people stops me from drowning in shame and re-builds my emotional resilience.   

3. Change your filter for criticism

Proud young woman sticking out her chin - Learn how to deal with criticism and build emotional resilience with Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy North Brisbane
Photo by Peter Sjo on Unsplash

Talking of shame, does criticism flood you with shame? Does it make you curl up into a ball and want to hide away from the world?  One negative voice can drown out 100 positive comments.  But do you ever stop to consider who the person is that is criticizing you?  Do you even value their opinion?  Are they even out there on the same playing field as you?  The internet has made it easy for people to criticize and even bully others, without even showing their face.  But do those negative voices belong to people you care about or respect?  Are they even putting themselves out there, showing up and doing what you’re doing? 

I’m a BIG fan of Brene Brown.  One of my favorite quotes is: “.. if you are not in the arena, and also getting your ass kicked, I am not interested in your feedback”.  

YES!  I bolster my self-esteem and emotional resilience by filtering out the noise, and only listening to criticism from my favorite people/tribe/squad, and those I respect. It takes practice and it still really stings, but I’m getting better at filtering out those that do not matter. And as with failure, I reach out to my nearest and dearest for compassion and connection and it helps lessen the sting.

4. Stand up for your needs

neon sign of human emotions on black background - learn how to stand up for your needs and build emotional resilience with Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling North Brisbane
Photo by Alexis Fauve on Unsplash

How many times have your prioritized work over a social catchup or exercise class?  Do you skimp on sleep in order to look after others?  Has your list of dreams and needs become buried under a mountain of chores and other people’s desires? 

There are so many reasons why we might do this, most likely due to patterning in our childhood.  Perhaps we got the message that good girls/boys look after other people first.  Maybe there is the thought that we need to prioritize other people’s needs first so that they like us. So that we don’t get rejected or abandoned.  However, subjugating our own needs in deference to others is only going to make us resentful and maybe even ill, and dent our emotional resilience.

So what can you do?  Think about what you need in order to feel fulfilled, connected, have self-esteem and build emotional resilience.  Talk to a professional about why you feel unable to express those needs.  They will help you look into your beliefs and patterns of behaviour.  You never know, you may end up getting what you ask for!

Upcoming workshop – 14 September 2019 in Brisbane

If you want to look into your own beliefs and patterns around needs, join me for an experiential workshop on Saturday 14 September 2019 in Kelvin Grove, Inner North Brisbane.  Click here for more info or contact Sarah on 0450 22 00 59 or info@sarahtuckett.com.au.

Sarah

If you would like to ask me what Counselling or body psychotherapy is all about, I offer a FREE 20 minute discovery session by phone/skype for new clients.  You can also book this online by clicking the button below.

BOOK ONLINE

Alternatively call me for a chat on 0450 22 00 59 and ask me how I can help you.

Read more about how body psychotherapy can help you go deeper and achieve more effective results from your therapy.

If you’re not ready to book just now, you can sign up to my monthly client newsletter and see what I’m sending my clients.  I never give away contact details and you can unsubscribe at any time.

How to build emotional resilience was last modified: August 14th, 2019 by Sarah Tuckett

How many therapy sessions will I need?

How many therapy sessions will I need?

Most of my new clients ask me: “How many therapy sessions will I need?”  To which I usually reply:  “Somewhere between a few and many”.  It depends on whether you align with the ‘illness’ or ‘wellness’ model of therapy.  Hopefully, this article will answer your question:

Old wooden bridge through forest - Your therapy journey with Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling North Brisbane

It depends on your goals for therapy

Do you want help or support getting over one particular issue in your life, e.g. the break up a relationship, or perhaps to alleviate some unpleasant symptoms?  This is like going to see a doctor about an illness.  In this scenario, I would recommend just as many sessions as you need until you start to feel more stabilized or until your symptoms are reduced.  

But if you follow the ‘wellness’ model then your therapy is more like going to the gym. It is an ongoing work in progress. You go to therapy to work through things as they arise, develop deeper connections with those you care about, and generally improve your quality of life. 

We can look deeper into your core beliefs, the patterns of your relationships and your past. All of which unconsciously affects your life in the present day. 

It depends on how deeply you want to learn about yourself and the way you inhabit this world

Do you just want to put on an emotional band-aid? Or do you want to examine the wound, carefully treating it so that it will heal and cause less pain in your life?   Not everyone is ready to do this.  It takes courage, time and insight.  If you want to learn about the most fascinating subject on the planet  – yourself – then give me a call.

Negative thoughts, unhelpful beliefs, self-sabotaging patterns – these are all things that we can look into in long-term work.  But it’s not a quick fix. 

If you have grown into a way of ‘being’ or a pattern of behaving during the 20/30/40/50 years that you’ve been on this planet, then it’s unlikely we’ll be able to eradicate that in the click of my fingers. 

As it took time to create those patterns of thinking, so will it take time to undo them, learning new neural pathways, trying out new ways of behaving.

Some clients stay in treatment for six months, some for a few years because they find they get so much out of it.

I created the following image to help you understand how might feel after a certain amount of sessions.  The risk is that if you stop too soon, then you may lapse back into familiar (unhelpful) patterns when the next trigger occurs.  (But you can always come back and see me and work on your ‘stuff’ again.)

An illustration of the therapy journey - Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling North Brisbane

If you would like to ask me what Counselling or body psychotherapy is all about, I offer a FREE 20 minute discovery session by phone/skype for new clients.  You can also book this online by clicking the button below.

BOOK ONLINE

Alternatively call me for a chat on 0450 22 00 59 and ask me how I can help you.

How frequently do I need therapy sessions? Weekly? Fortnightly?

I like to suggest that all new clients come to see me weekly for a few sessions, just so we can make some headway.  Especially so if they are in a crisis.   In the beginning, it’s all about getting to know each other so that I know and understand you, and you know and trust me and it helps if we keep some momentum going.   

After that initial phase, I prefer clients to attend fortnightly so that we continue to make progress.  You are learning a new skill, just like learning a new sport or musical instrument, so keeping a regular session is key to your progression.  If you would like to reserve the same time slot each week or fortnight please let me know and I can book it for you. But this depends on your personal circumstances. 

It depends on your personal circumstances

How many therapy sessions you have also depends on your circumstances:  your availability, your finances, your personal situation.

Sometimes people take a break and come back to me later when they have more time and money, or if they have another issue crop up that they need help with.  I’m always happy to see a familiar face return and hear what they’ve been up to.

How do I know when it’s time to end therapy?

When you think you’ve achieved all you wanted, tell me about it in your session and we can discuss a closure session so that you walk away feeling empowered and good about yourself.  (The opposite of how you would feel if you just walked away).

I’ve written a blog all about this very subject “How to end therapy well” (2 min read).

If you’re not ready to book just now, you can sign up to my monthly client newsletter and see what I’m sending my clients.  I never give away contact details and you can unsubscribe at any time.

How many therapy sessions will I need? was last modified: October 7th, 2019 by Sarah Tuckett

How to End Therapy Well

How to end therapy well

There will come a time when you know you want to end therapy.  Perhaps you want to pause for financial reasons.  Maybe you want to try something different.  But hopefully it is because we have helped you with the issue you came in with, you’re feeling better and we have given you some tools to go on with.  Either way, you’re faced with ending therapy. But how to bring it up with me?  Here’s my guide on how to end therapy well:

Time to end - how to end therapy well - Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling North Brisbane

Firstly, tell me you want to end therapy

Tell me your reasons why you want to end therapy

Firstly, tell me straight out that you think you want to end therapy and why.  You can be honest with me.  I want to know if we didn’t achieve your goals and you’re feeling frustrated, that way we can do something about it.   I also want to know if we DID achieve your goals and you are feeling much better about yourself – let’s celebrate that!

Give yourself time to work through any difficult feelings

Sometimes people want to end therapy when difficult feelings start coming up.  This is often a turning point for people. A chance to break free of negative patterns that have no longer been serving you, but you need a little helping hand to get through this.  So tell me what is going on for you and let me help you through this.

An opportunity to try out a different way of behaving with no risk

Depending on your prior experiences in relationships ending, and your attachment style, this may be challenging for you.  You may have feelings of anxiety come up, perhaps a worry of disappointing me or letting me down.  Perhaps you’d rather just ghost me and disappear into the ether, but that can bring up feelings of guilt and shame, and you don’t get to speak your piece.  However, I am not your friend/family member/partner – I am your therapist and this is a therapeutic contract. You get to try out a different way of relating to someone, in a neutral environment with no risk.

So let’s talk about a way to end therapy well so that both parties can walk away with clarity and feeling positive about the situation.

Decide on a potential end date and plan a closure session

Plan a closure session

Let’s plan a session (or maybe two depending on how long we have been working together). You get the chance to explore why you are leaving and feel good about leaving.  You get a chance to speak up for yourself.

An opportunity to bring up any negative feelings

If you have negative feelings towards either me or the therapy we have been doing, you get the chance to air those feelings and be really heard.  If you are not happy, I want to know.  How many times outside of therapy do you get the chance to bring forward negative feelings to the other party in such an empowered way?

Review your progress and celebrate your growth

Equally, we can talk about the progress you have made, how your life has been positively affected and how you feel you have changed.  Sometimes people appreciate the growth so much that they decide to stay or come back.  We may have given you tools to reduce your initial issue, but are there other things you want to work on?

How this benefits you

An opportunity for healthy closure

Most relationships often end with a rupture of some kind. Something has gone badly wrong and either one or both parties decide to withdraw.  Sometimes both parties will be aware, but other times it will be a one-sided breakup with one party unaware of what they have done wrong. This is painful and can cause significant emotional distress.

(If you are reading this and you want to talk about relationship issues – have a look at how I might be able to help you)

Learning an empowered, positive way to end a relationship

This is your chance to change that pattern, getting closure.  Taking the opportunity to end therapy well, leaving you feeling positive and empowered.  This may be your first experience of a healthy closure.  A clean, healthy goodbye.  Learning a skill that you can then take out into your other relationships when needed.

Leave feeling good about yourself

So don’t be afraid to tell me that you want to end therapy.  This could be a positive experience for you if you get to end therapy well.

If you would like to ask me what Counselling or body psychotherapy is all about, I offer a FREE 20 minute discovery session by phone/skype for new clients.  You can also book this online by clicking the button below.

BOOK ONLINE

Alternatively call me for a chat on 0450 22 00 59 and ask me how I can help you.

If you’re not ready to book just now, you can sign up to my monthly client newsletter and see what I’m sending my clients.  I never give away contact details and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Movie ending screen in old retro cinema, view from audience - learning how to end therapy well - Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling North Brisbane
How to End Therapy Well was last modified: May 9th, 2019 by Sarah Tuckett

The Impact of Music on the Nervous System and Mental Health

The Impact of Music on the Nervous System

Sounds can either delight or irritate the nervous system, which in turn has an impact on how we feel, think and behave. Last Thursday a car parked in my street had the alarm going off every 5 minutes from 10am until they picked the car up after work. By the end of the day I was grumpy and frazzled.  The constant blare of car horn had bored into my nervous system, setting me on edge (a sympathetic nervous system response).  This unpleasant experience led me to search Google scholar for articles on the impact of music on the nervous system.

The impact of music on your nervous system - Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling North Brisbane
Photo by Vlad Deep on Unsplash

The Impact of Music on Anxiety and Depression

Heaps of research has been done on the impact of music on anxiety and depression:

A 2017 study by S Aalbers and colleagues found that music therapy reduces anxiety and depression. 

In a 2014 review of 63 scientific studies, Fancourt and co. found that not only did listening to music decrease the blood pressure, levels of cortisol and stress in your body, but it had a GREATER EFFECT than anti-anxiety medication and relaxation techniques. 

Let’s think about that for a minute.  Listening to your choice of relaxing music is more effective than medication!  All you have to do is listen…   Pass me the earphones STAT!

How does music do this?  Apparently listening to the music you love releases Dopamine, the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter that impacts our thinking, feeling and behaviour. See the research here…

  

listening to the music you love releases Dopamine, the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter that impacts our thinking, feeling and behaviour. -Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling North Brisbane
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

But it’s not just about feeling good emotionally.  The impact of sound on your nervous system impacts other systems in your body.

The Impact of Music on Your Body

  • Music was found to have had an anti-inflammatory effect on the body (which is a risk for numerous diseases and conditions). See the research here..
  • It had a beneficial effect on anxiety, blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, sleep and pain in people with Coronary Heart Disease. See the research here..
  • And it had beneficial effects on anxiety, fatigue, pain and quality of life for people with cancer. See the research here..
Relaxing the nervous system - Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling North Brisbane

So choose the sounds you listen to carefully….. Think about the impact of music on the nervous system.

  • Feeling stressed or anxious?  Put on your favorite music and see if it makes an impact.
  • If you work in a stressful environment, why not use noise-cancelling earphones?
  • What sound do you use as your alarm?  A friend of mine listens to the sublime, silky sounds of “Samba da Bencao” by Bebel Gilberto.  Imagine waking up to that instead of a beep.  How chilled would the start of your day be?

I use music to either quieten or arouse the nervous system in my movement therapy classes and workshops. If you are interested in finding out more, hop on over to my Movement Therapy Page.

If you would like to ask me what Counselling or body psychotherapy is all about, I offer a FREE 20 minute discovery session by phone/skype for new clients.  You can also book this online by clicking the button below.

BOOK ONLINE

Alternatively call me for a chat on 0450 22 00 59 and ask me how I can help you.

If you’re not ready to book just now, you can sign up to my monthly client newsletter and see what I’m sending my clients.  I never give away contact details and you can unsubscribe at any time.

The Impact of Music on the Nervous System and Mental Health was last modified: May 9th, 2019 by Sarah Tuckett

Grieving the loss of a pet

Cat sat on tombstone.  Grieving the loss of a pet? Get help from Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy in North Brisbane
Photo by Eddie Howell on Unsplash

Grieving the loss of a pet? Some tips to help you through the heartache

To me there is nothing sadder than returning home from the vets with an empty carrier.  Five days ago I found out that a furry family member had an inoperable cancer.  Yesterday I made the call to put him to sleep.  I’ve written this article in the midst of my own grief, to give you some tips for help and comfort if you are also grieving the loss of a pet:

1.Reach out to friends and family for comfort and nurture and to calm your nervous system – or in science nerd term: “limbic revision”  

One of my closest friends came around to be with me, despite the drama playing out in her own life, and for that I am eternally grateful.  Being with kind, caring people is going to help calm your nervous system because of a thing we call Limbic Revision.   Our ability for empathy, to share deep emotional states with another human (or animal) comes from the limbic part of our brain (which is responsible for emotions and memories).   Your nervous system does not exist in isolation, it is affected by those around you.  So being around someone kind and nurturing literally rewires/remodels your neural pathways. 

“Because mammals need relatedness for their neurophysiology to coalesce correctly, most of what makes a socially functioning human comes from connection – the shaping force of love.”  Taken from “A General Theory of Love” – Thomas Lewis, M.D, Fari Amini, M.D. and Richard Lannon, M.D.

2. Ask for a hug

A 20 second hug is all it takes to release the hormone oxytocin into your system and you will feel a whole lot better. Find out why here.

3. Cry, sob, bawl – allow yourself to feel your emotions

I’ve taken to wearing big dark sunnies today so that I can let the tears roll down my face without people seeing (or so I think anyway!)  The important thing is to let those emotions flow.  Just look at the word itself:  e-motion.  Let the feelings flow. They just want to be felt and allowed to move through you.

4. Gentle movement for your body

I woke up this morning with a sense of heaviness in my body.  I know that it’s from using back and shoulder muscles to sob, and from a general sense of sadness in my whole being.  So I’m taking it easy with gentle movement – walking, stretching, yoga.  Anything to gently ease the physical and emotional tension from my mind and body. 

5. If you find you are not coping – talk to a counsellor

Grief is a normal process of loosing someone you love. It is different to depression. It is sadness. But sometimes we need a little help to grieve.

I am a body psychotherapist by trade and I help clients through grief and loss. Whether it is the end of a relationship, or the death of a loved one (human or furry).  And I speak to my own therapist about my own grief.  I walk the talk so that I can help you.

If you would like to see me feel free to contact me on 0450 22 00 59 or use this link to book directly into my diary. 

So whilst I am grieving the loss of my pet Simba, I will remember him in his finest hour, lying on the floor being stroked by three best friends, purring ecstatically as if to say “Yes, this is my best life!”  Miss you buddy xx

Simba, the recently departed furry kid of Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy, North Brisbane. Rest in peace sweet lad.

If you’re feeling unsure, or want to ask me what Counselling or body psychotherapy is all about, I offer a FREE 20 minute discovery session by phone/skype for new clients.  You can also book this online by clicking the button below.

BOOK ONLINE

Alternatively call me for a chat on 0450 22 00 59 and ask me how I can help you.

If you’re not ready to book just now, you can sign up to my monthly client newsletter and see what I’m sending my clients.  I never give away contact details and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Grieving the loss of a pet was last modified: January 16th, 2019 by Sarah Tuckett

Emotional eating (and how to stop)

Emotional eating (and how to stop)

Do you struggle with food cravings?  I do.  I’m an emotional eater but learning the neuroscience and psychology of emotional eating has helped me quit.

Brownies are not a girls best friend. If you want help with emotional eating then speak to Sarah Tuckett
Photo by Rasmus Mikkelstrup on Unsplash

People always assume that a therapist totally has their act together, but we’re human beings just like you. If I’ve had a tough day ice cream soothes my worries away.  Missing my family overseas? Chocolate brownies make me feel loved.   Delicious, but not at all healthy and this emotional eating is the reason my jeans kept getting tighter.   But I recently found an eating plan that is working – and it’s because it is based on the psychology and neuroscience of eating.

I say ‘eating plan’ because I don’t ‘do’ diets.  I’ve only done two in my whole 47 years on the planet and every cell of my brain rebelled against the food restriction.  “What do you mean I can’t eat cheese whenever I want??  FK YOU!”  For me it was like DIE with a T on the end.  I’d rather slog away in the gym for hours than restrict my source of pleasure.  Whilst that may have somehow worked in 30’s, it no longer worked in my 40’s.  Recently, however, a friend told me about Bright Line Eating Plan and so far I have lost weight, my emotional eating has reduced to ZERO and there’s no part of my brain that is rebelling.   It’s not about willpower……  It’s about planning.

Bright Line Eating is the program run by Dr Susan Peirce Thompson. She has a Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and was a psychology professor.  Her expertise is the neuroscience and psychology of food addiction and sustainable weight loss and she has done heaps of research on why and how people loose weight (and why they don’t).  I found out that I am a 7 (out of 10) in her susceptibility scale (gasp!), which helps me understand why I can consume the entire block of chocolate-covered marzipan without even blinking.  It also means that Persian Love Cake is my own personal form of heroin. 

I joined her 14 day challenge for $29 USD and those numbers on the scale decreased and made me dance around the kitchen like a lunatic.  (I admit that I do this most days just for the sheer joy of being able to dance!)  However, the most important thing is that I’ve stopped the emotional eating.   Dr Thompson’s daily 5 minute videos helped me with my ‘food thoughts’ and and what to do to get through it.

I have absolutely no affiliation with the Bright Line Eating program other than my own participation.  I’m sharing this info because it worked for me and maybe it might work for you.  And I think this lady is amazing!

I still talk to my own therapist about the underlying issues – the things that are making me sad, lonely or exhausted.  If you would like to talk to me about your emotional eating and the underlying issues in your life that are upsetting you, give me a call on 0450 22 00 59 or book into my diary using this link.

If you would like to find out more about how body psychotherapy or counselling could help you, look here

Sarah Tuckett's signature

 

Emotional eating (and how to stop) was last modified: August 17th, 2018 by Sarah Tuckett

How to deal with unpleasant thoughts and feelings

How to deal with unpleasant thoughts and feelings – How Sean Connery gets me to the gym on a monday morning

We humans have evolved to do whatever we can to avoid pain, whether it’s physical, emotional or psychological.  Obviously avoiding physical pain is a good thing.  However, sometimes we behave in unhelpful and unhealthy ways in order to avoid unpleasant thoughts or feelings.  For example, making yourself super busy in order to avoid feeling something.  Smashing a tub of Ben & Jerry’s after a breakup to ‘eat’ your feelings.  Or avoiding social situations that make you feel uncomfortable.

 

Do unpleasant thoughts and feelings have a hold on you?  Try Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling in North Brisbane
Photo by Eduard Militaru on Unsplash

 

In psychological terms we call this behaviour “experiential avoidance”.  I do it myself.  We all do it to some extent because it’s a totally normal human behaviour.  If it’s not excessive or it’s not really hurting you, it’s ok.  But if it’s affecting your health or keeping your life ‘small’ in some way, then it’s unworkable.  In which case, it’s probably a good idea to look at how you can stop these unpleasant thoughts and feelings from having so much sway over your life.

I have unpleasant thoughts and feelings every Monday when the alarm goes off for my early morning PT session.  I’m guessing you may have similar thoughts.  When the alarm goes off my first thought is “Oh gawwwwd I’m so tired. I need to stay in bed.  It’s too early to exercise – I’ll hurt a muscle because I’m so tired and stiff.  Ugh I’ll get all sweaty.  It’s too far”.  (Cough… It’s a 10 minute walk princess …) 

 

Having unpleasant thoughts and feelings about getting out of bed each day?  Speak to Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling in North Brisbane

 

The truth is that when I’m there I love it and I feel GREAT afterwards.  My trainer is really knowledgeable and he doesn’t shout commands at me (unlike other trainers who didn’t last very long).  He’s also hilarious and my unofficial dating advisor.  So why the resistance?  Why the melodrama every Monday morning?

Quite simply, I’m not a natural early riser and a very vocal part of me wants to stay in bed.  I want to stay in a place of comfort.  I want to avoid the unpleasant thoughts and feelings about having to get up, get sweaty and get out there when I could stay under the covers and snooze. 

 

Avoiding unpleasant thoughts and feelings?  Learn techniques to accept them with Sarah Tuckett and Psychotherapy and Counselling, North Brisbane
Photo by elizabeth lies on Unsplash

 

 

As I’ve said, these kind of avoidance strategies are ok if they work and they aren’t too costly in one way or another.  But if I listened to those thoughts and stayed in bed it would affect my waist line and my muscle mass (very important for us ladies over a certain age).  And I’m pretty sure my PT would get fire me as a client, which would mean no Dating High Command.  

So every Monday morning I use a ‘de-fusion’ technique from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which helps me accept my unpleasant thoughts and feelings and gives them less power over me.

To do this, I replay the uncomfortable thoughts over and over in my head using the voice of a famous person/character.  My favorite is Sean Connery.  You can borrow him if you like. 

“Och I’m going to get so schweaty” said Sean, over and over.  It makes it sound a little silly and I smile a little.  The thought has less power over me.  I don’t get so anxious about it and I get out of bed!  (If I’m honest it also sounds a little bit pervy when Sean says it).

 

Learn Acceptance and Commitment Therapy techniques to help you deal with unpleasant thoughts and feelings - see Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling in North Brisbane

 

Here’s how you can do it for yourself:

 

An easy de-fusion technique for unpleasant thoughts and feelings

 

  1. Pick an unpleasant thought or feeling that’s been plaguing you.
  2. Say it over and over in your head silently for 10 seconds. 
  3. Notice how you feel having done this. How much do you believe the thought (how ‘fused’ are you with the thought?).  How does it make you feel emotionally?  And what sensations can you feel in your body. 
  4. Pick the voice of a well-known character or actor.  Someone you can really ‘hear’ speaking in your head.  (Run out of ideas?  What about:  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Marilyn Monroe, Miss Piggy, Donald Duck, Dr Sheldon Cooper, or even that hideous Trump person).  

  5. Say the same unpleasant thought or feeling over and over in your head in their voice for 10 seconds.
  6. Again, notice how you feel having done this.  Do you feel any differently in your body?  Does the thought or feeling have more or less power over you? 

 

It’s important to understand that we’re not trying to avoid or ‘tolerate’ the unpleasant thought or feeling.  These thoughts are going to keep popping up into our mind and that’s not something that’s under our control.  But what do have control over, and what we’re learning to do, is to ‘accept’ these unpleasant thoughts and feelings.  To allow them to have less power over us. 

 

Learn Acceptance and Commitment Therapy techniques to make your unpleasant thoughts and feelings have less control over you - contact Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling in North Brisbane
Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

 

We can do this in therapy with any unpleasant feeling or thought.  A particularly common one among my clients is “I’m not good enough”.  Not a particularly helpful thought, and probably not true. 

Through different ACT techniques we can help you unhook from these unpleasant thoughts and feelings.  And in doing so, help you stop avoiding situations or people where this thought might pop up.  Helping reduce the amount of experiential avoidance in your life.   Helping you live a BIGGER life.

 

If you want to find out more about ACT please hop on over to my Services page

 

If you would like to speak to me give me a call on 0450 22 00 59 or have a look through my online diary to book a spot that works for you. 

I offer confidential counselling and psychotherapy sessions to people who are going through a hard time, whether that’s because of a mental health issue like anxiety or depression or because of a situation (relationship issues, bullying, abuse, isolation).  There is no need for you to suffer in silence.  

If you’re feeling unsure, or want to ask me what Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or somatic psychotherapy is all about, I offer a FREE 20 minute discovery session by phone/skype for new clients.  You can also book this online by clicking the button below.

 

BOOK ONLINE

 

Alternatively call me for a chat on 0450 22 00 59 and ask me how I can help you.

 

If you’re not ready to book just now, you can sign up to my monthly client newsletter and see what I’m sending my clients.  I never give away contact details and you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

 

How to deal with unpleasant thoughts and feelings was last modified: October 30th, 2017 by Sarah Tuckett

Dealing with the aftermath of domestic violence

Dealing with the aftermath of domestic violence

I wish that this wasn’t the case, but I’m currently helping a few clients deal with situations of domestic violence.  Some still in the danger zone.  Others now in a place of safety.  But all of them dealing with the aftermath of domestic violence. 

Each time I hear stories of domestic violence, my inner Wonder Woman wants to protect the victims and annihilate the perpetrators.

The reason it generates so many feelings in me is because for a brief, but terrifying period, domestic violence affected my family too.

Dealing with the aftermath of domestic violence - Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling, North Brisbane

When I was in my early teens a member of my family dated an asshole.  Whenever she tried to leave him he punched her in the face.  I never witnessed the domestic violence first hand, just the ensuing black eyes, tears and confusion each time she took him back out of sheer terror.  

Even if I had witnessed the violence first hand, I’m sure I would have been frozen to the spot in fear, but I carry with me this strange mixture of guilt for not having protected her somehow, and fury at him for having picked on someone so small and vulnerable.

Whenever these feelings arise from my unconscious I work through them in a safe, therapeutic way with my own therapist, so that my own ‘stuff’ doesn’t get in the way of helping my clients. 

I metaphorically “killed” him in my early psychotherapy training.  The full force of my teenage feelings resurfaced 30 years later as I let out my anger in a safe, therapeutic space.

See below examples of me using a foam baton against a foam cube or punching a punchbag.   These are some of the tools I use in body psychotherapy – you can find more about this here.

Punching out anger in a therapeutic space - Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling, Shorncliffe QLD 4017
Photo by Heros Gnesotto

 

Dealing with the aftermath of domestic violence: Hitting the cube to release tension in the body - Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling, North Brisbane Dealing with the aftermath of domestic violence - hitting the foam cube to release tension in the body - Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling, North Brisbane

Obviously I didn’t want to really kill him. I’m not a violent person.  However, part of me wanted him to hurt as much as he had hurt her. 

My rage exhausted, I sobbed and sobbed. Tears of frustration that there was no one there to protect us.  Tears of grief for not having been able to protect her, even though I was little and needed protecting myself. 

Having processed these historical emotions that were trapped in my body and mind, the feelings have less hold on me.  I am able to help others without getting triggered.   

Now as a therapist myself, I have the tools to help other people through the aftermath of domestic violence. At times my role is just to provide emotional and psychological support to get them ready to leave (if that is what they want).  And at other times we may work through feelings of fear, grief, guilt and anger. 

Get emotional and psychological support to leave a situation of domestic violence from Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling, North Brisbane

So if you are a victim of domestic violence yourself – male or female, or just a witness like me, please know that you don’t have to live with the aftermath of domestic violence in your system – you can get emotional and psychological support – from a counsellor, from helplines and legal advice. 

Here are some helpful contacts for Queensland:

 

DV Connect (for both male and female victims of domestic violence)

Womens Line:  1800 811 811 Queensland-wide. Calls are free from any public phone (24×7)  http://www.dvconnect.org/womensline/

Mens Line:  1800 600 636  Queensland-wide service that operates between the hours of 9am and midnight, 7 days a week.  http://www.dvconnect.org/mensline/

 

Womens Legal Service Helpline

T:  1800 WLS WLS (1800 957 957)  Monday – Friday: 9am – 3pm. 

https://www.wlsq.org.au/

Rural, Regional & Remote Legal Advice Line – 1800 457 117 Tuesday: 9.30am – 1.30pm

 

If you would like some help from me in dealing with the aftermath of domestic violence please book in using my online calendar.

BOOK ONLINE

Or give me a call on 0450 22 00 59.

 

Would you like to ask me what counselling or body psychotherapy is all about? I offer a FREE 20 minute discovery session by phone/skype for new clients.  You can also book this online by clicking the button below.

 

BOOK ONLINE

 

Alternatively call me for a chat on 0450 22 00 59 and ask me how I can help you.

 

If you’re not ready to book just now, you can sign up to my monthly client newsletter and see what I’m sending my clients.  I never give away contact details and you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

 

 

Dealing with the aftermath of domestic violence was last modified: October 27th, 2017 by Sarah Tuckett

A problem shared

A problem shared (internet dating horror stories)

“A problem shared is a problem halved” goes the old English saying.  I heartily agree with that one.  This is not just because I’m a psychotherapist and I know that just talking to someone about your problems can be enough to help you feel better; but because I’ve had my own personal experience of this recently. 

I have entered the world of internet dating.  (Shudder).  I was finding it overwhelming, demoralizing and down right depressing.  However, I found that sharing the stories of outrageous untruths and appalling coffee dates with my own therapist has helped me cope better with it.  My resilience has increased and I’m hanging in there.   Talking to someone can really help you carry on through tough times.   So I’m going to share them with you too.   A problem shared…..

A problem shared - talk through your problems with Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy North Brisbane

A few of my friends have met their partners online.  So I know in theory that it can work really well.  It’s just I’m having such a vile time of it because apparently in the online dating world it’s perfectly normal to be a complete liar pants and not even blink when you’re caught out.  

I’m hoping to meet someone who shares my core values and blah blah you know the drill.  But it turns out the gentlemen are not entirely honest in their profiles and it’s beginning to feel like a futile endeavour. 

Every unwanted advance from a Sexagenarian bikie without a basic command of English grammar or high school certificate, makes my self-confidence erode even further.  “Is this all I’m worth?” a snide little voice inside me says.  What exactly do they think we have in common?  A shared passion for Ballet?

A problem shared - talk about your problems with Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling in Shorncliffe 4017 + A problem shared - talking about your problems with a counsellor can help you feel better - speak to Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling in North Brisbane 

 

I went on a date last month with a gentleman to a rather nice bar in James St.  During the date he asked: “Would you mind if I just went outside and bummed a cigarette off someone, I’m trying to quit at the moment”. 

I was confused not just because I wouldn’t normally agree to go out with a smoker – it’s one of my deal breakers – but because as he walked away I could see that he had a full packet of cigs in his trouser pocket.  Liar liar, pants literally on fire.  

A problem shared - share your woes in confidence with a qualified counsellor - speak to Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling in Shorncliffe North Brisbane

Last week I went out for a delicious Turkish meal with a not-so-delicious gentleman.  His profile said he was 46 and the photographs seemed to tally.  However, in person he seemed substantially older that the photos. 

I like to give people leeway on the first date – nerves and all that – but when he started talking about his grandchildren and his recent colonoscopy I realised that he was probably nearer 66 than 46. 

As he relayed the intimate details of his rectal procedure over stuffed vine leaves, I plotted an elaborate plan to flee.  (I didn’t though… I’m too polite, and the humus was amazing).  But seriously, who talks about a colonoscopy on a first date?  People let’s keep the conversation away from your ‘date’ on a date!

At times this whole endeavour feels frustrating and futile.  However, sharing the tales of hilariously awful dates with my therapist makes it seem more a comedy than a drama, and I have the energy to persist and wade through the pond life.  Her support gets me through. 

And I think that’s what it’s about.  Reaching out for help when you need it so that you can keep going, even when the going gets tough.   

So if you’re having a tough time with online dating, or anything else for that matter, give me a call and share your woes.   As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved.

Sarah

P.S. People please stop lying on your dating profile.  We’re going to find out when we meet you in person.  So just cut it out smoky pants. 😉

Please give me a call on 0450 22 00 59 or have a look through my online diary to book a spot that works for you. 

 

BOOK ONLINE

 

I offer confidential counselling and body psychotherapy sessions to people who are going through a hard time.  There is no need for you to suffer dreadful dates in silence.  Speak to me and get some support.

If you’re feeling unsure, or want to ask me what counselling or body psychotherapy is all about, I offer a FREE 20 minute discovery session by phone/skype for new clients.  You can also book this online by clicking the button below.

 

BOOK ONLINE

 

Alternatively call me for a chat on 0450 22 00 59 and ask me how I can help you.

 

If you’re not ready to book just now, you can sign up to my monthly client newsletter and see what I’m sending my clients.  I never give away contact details and you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

 

 

A problem shared was last modified: October 17th, 2017 by Sarah Tuckett

It’s time to speak up

It’s time to speak up

A friend of mine created the excellent campaign “It’s ok to say” (if you don’t feel ok).  It’s about letting people know that you have anxiety and/or depression so that you’re not going through this alone.  But with the news of women in Hollywood speaking up against Harvey Weinstein, it got me thinking about other matters we don’t speak up about: bullying, unwanted attention, loneliness, abuse or things that scare us.   It’s time to speak up and get some help. 

There is so much we don’t say.  And so many reasons why we don’t.  Fear that we won’t be believed. Second-guessing ourselves (‘maybe I did something to create that situation …?’)  Fear of rejection, isolation, loosing our job, or being ostracized.  But people it’s time to tell someone.  It’s time to speak up when something’s not ok.   

 

It's time to speak up - speak to Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling in Shorncliffe North Brisbane

I once had to speak up at work about a man who had showered me with unwanted attention on my morning commute in London.  And I’m so glad I did, because it short-circuited his campaign of lecherous advances.

For days I had unsuccessfully tried to avoid this guy on the little shuttle train from Clapham Junction to Olympia. He worked on the floor above me for a different company, but I saw him every morning on that commuter train and the walk to the office.  

He seemed oblivious of my increasingly not-so subtle body language:  putting up the Metro newspaper in-front of my face to physically block him out, wearing earphones and avoiding eye contact.  At night-time I had to walk for 30 minutes across Clapham Common on my own and I was terrified he would follow me across the dark, empty parkland.  I had even stopped going out at lunch on my own in case he was waiting for me. Yet I told no one.

It's time to speak up - speak to Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling North Brisbane

He finally got the message on the day that I waited until he had gotten onto the train and then ran along the platform and ducked into another carriage.   When I got to work there was a barrage of emails from him to my work account starting with the words “Never have I been so offended….”

Until then I hadn’t told a soul.  Not my friends, not my flatmates, not my co-workers.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps because I wasn’t sure I wasn’t making a mountain out of a molehill.  I remember also feeling embarrassment and shame.  Surely I should be a big girl and fix this by myself.   

Don't stay silent - it's time to speak up.  Get help from Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling in North Brisbane

One of my male co-workers must have seen my face because he asked me what was going on.  I explained and showed him the email.  He asked if he could reply on my behalf.  I said yes.  Before I knew it he had typed “F…  Off” and pressed send.  I was petrified of the repercussions.  What would this man do now that I had been so direct?   Nothing it turned out, because he was a creep who shriveled the moment I stood up to him.

With my colleague’s encouragement, I told our HR person.  They talked to his HR person and started an inquiry.  Within 24 hours they found out that he had harassed every female in his firm with the exception of the PA to the CEO.  And he was newly married (poor woman).  A’hole. 

No one had spoken up before.  It took my complaint for them to come out of the woodwork and talk to each other.   He ended up being fired from his job and we were free to catch the train in peace. 

It's time to speak up. No need to suffer in silence. Get help.  Sarah Tuckett Psychotherapy and Counselling North Brisbane

We’re all terrified of being rejected, harassed, laughed at even.  But if you speak up, there’s a chance you can help yourself and maybe others.   So speak to someone. Tell someone if you’re not ok.  Tell your friend, a family member or a work colleague.  Or find someone neutral and non-judgmental like a counsellor.  Just make sure you speak up.

 

Sarah x

If you would like to speak up to me give me a call  on 0450 22 00 59 or have a look through my online diary to book a spot that works for you. 

I offer confidential counselling and body psychotherapy sessions to people who are going through a hard time, whether that’s because of a situation (relationship issues, bullying, abuse, isolation) or because of a mental health issue like anxiety or depressionThere is no need for you to suffer in silence.  Speak up and get some help.

If you’re feeling unsure, or want to ask me what anxiety counselling or body psychotherapy is all about, I offer a FREE 20 minute discovery session by phone/skype for new clients.  You can also book this online by clicking the button below.

 

BOOK ONLINE

 

Alternatively call me for a chat on 0450 22 00 59 and ask me how I can help you.

 

If you’re not ready to book just now, you can sign up to my monthly client newsletter and see what I’m sending my clients.  I never give away contact details and you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

 

It’s time to speak up was last modified: October 16th, 2017 by Sarah Tuckett