How CBT can help you
Have you given so much of yourself to everyone else, that you’ve lost connection with yourself and what you need?
Do you feel guilty when you take time for yourself?
Do you find it hard to stay calm and patient with your kids, despite your best intentions?
Does your child’s behaviour trigger feelings in you that you know you need to work through, but don’t know how?
Do you fear that you’re passing on your own insecurities or issues to your children?
We’re living in challenging times. The fast pace of modern-day life, a lack of support from extended family or others and trying to juggle work alongside parenthood and other responsibilities. Many parents want to bring their children up in a more gentle and conscious way than they were themselves, however it can be hard to break these patterns, whilst taking care of your family and trying to also find the time that you need for your yourself.
But, Your wellbeing is the foundation of your family’s wellbeing.
Understanding and regulating your own emotions will not only help you to feel calmer, happier and more fulfilled. It will also help you to be more present and patient with your kids, stay more connected to them when you need and teach them to be able to do the same.
The ABC of emotions
By learning about the different types of emotions and how you can respond to each, you will be more able to manage negative thoughts, feel calmer, happier, less stressed or overwhelmed and be able to align more closely with your values and goals.
Changing unhelpful thoughts and beliefs
The beliefs that we hold shape how we respond to our environment; how we think about things, interpret situations and how we respond. These beliefs were usually formed many years ago as a result of the experiences we had in the past.
These beliefs and behaviours will have helped to keep you safe at some point in your life. However they can become generalised to all situations and therefore no longer helpful in the way they once were.
There are many different types of negative beliefs, which include beliefs about what you “should” be able to achieve, how others “should” behave, or how you “should” feel in any given situation. Over time, negative thinking patterns like these can lead to anxiety, self-criticism, self-doubt and low self-esteem.
I can support you to understand how your previous life experiences shaped your beliefs and how these are influencing your emotional responses and behaviours. I can support you to change the way that you experience situations in the present, by learning how to change negative thinking patterns. So that you feel more connected to yourself and others, feel calmer and less stressed, can stay more patient with your kids and have an easier and more enjoyable life.
Managing stress and overwhelm
Learning how to regulate your nervous system can help you feel safe, calm and more connected to yourself and relaxed with others. This sometimes takes the form of specific strategies that help you to calm down nervous system activation (or fight-flight-freeze response) in your body. As well as dial up parasympatheic nervous system activation (or rest-digest response). At other times it may be looking at practical changes you can make that would make life easier, more enjoyable and fulfilling for you. As well as working through and any obstacles that prevent this from happening. So that you develop feelings of calm and patience, and improve communication with those around you.
Processing the past
Current day situations e.g. your child not listening to you or intentionally dropping their food on the floor, can trigger intense feelings of anger or frustration. Causing you to shout at them or lose your temper. Your response may not be a result of what’s happening in the present, but an echo of emotional pain you experienced in the past which is triggered by the situation.
If emotions aren’t processed at the time, they can become trapped in the body. If you grew up in a house where showing emotions was not encouraged or allowed, this was likely the case. Trapped emotions can create strong reactions to a situation, that seem out of proportion and can be hard to ignore.
Learning how to process these trapped emotions allows them to pass on, changing the way you feel and therefore changing the response you have to your child’s behaviour.
Clients often contact me as they’ve had concerns about some aspect of their child’s behaviour. Following an initial assessment it becomes clear to them that they can address the source of their difficult by making changes to their own thoughts, beliefs, behaviours or interactions. You can find out more about how CBT works here.