About you, my ideas, and working together
Firstly, I’d like to say that I appreciate that few people emerge well in life without a correct diagnosis. It defines the problems we have always faced, is helpful, allowing for understanding and access. But nothing is ever free — nothing — and so you must balance awareness and information with what can become a hidden, incalculable cost many never see.
Mental health is not a nice world, no one wants to be in it, people who must don’t fare well, and the platform providing the help is a mystery. People who are locked out from everyone else remain a puzzle to all, educated guesses covering gaping holes in knowledge directing.
For you, from the onset the risk of over-identifying with the condition/s and ascribing parts of yourself to it is very relevant. You may dismiss or mis-assume that you aren’t geared this way or that way, think you don’t have this quality, not that personality, because it doesn’t go with a by-the-book definition.
For one, there is a very low threshold for diagnosing the label itself. Consider; miscommunication, brevity of assessment, you and your clinician’s agenda, the overlap mental health conditions share (they all have unclear boundaries among themselves and with normality).
Thirdly, the label is very sticky and affects your reputation. You lose advocacy and there’s little ability to push back against a diagnosis and repeal. You and others treat yourself differently, generating self-fulfilling behaviours that further alienate you. Very casually, you conform to what you think you are.
As per the clinicians, like everyone, professional instinct plays a role, shortcomings never admitted, esteem, ego, authority paramount. We know this, “I don’t know” is rarely offered. Thus, many diagnoses is made. Remember you are assuming that they have the competency to grasp, decode, and transform what you share in a way that’s correct, exact, and helpful. The potential for error is obvious.
These diagnoses are bred from the need to deliver treatment, medication, and any answer that could remotely make sense. Funding access is real and that the mess is transferred onto a label, off the individual, and not taken personally, is supremely important. But, when unwarranted, opening the diagnostic gates with shaky evidence, brings a great risk of harmful unintended consequences. You pay for a label and a clinician out of their depth.
But what are we to do? We can’t go it alone, don’t understand, can’t think what to do, but deep down we know the answers won’t come, aren’t really there. Common scenario; two minutes into a consultation we are not confident in the help. We listen to ourselves, our lives, feelings, and problems, be reduced to a spoonful. We are given simple advice and solutions that don’t solve anything.
Yet we return, we’re confused, and whether our last diagnosis didn’t fit or we are just trying to find a new clue, we’re looking for information. We need to know and it’s a part of what therapists do. It seems the most natural, obvious place to turn.
But, assuming it fits, following how most track after a diagnosis, we are unlikely to fare better knowing, we take the label too far, personally, intrinsically, and morph into it. Without thought, referencing ourselves by it with ‘Oh, that’s just me and my anxiety,’ or ‘I have trouble with this, I’m…’. We are promoting the spread of what we must never uphold.
Sure, we lack, no doubt about it, clear deficiencies and difficulties, but if we line up with them, we make separating harder. If that is what we are how can we be not? Three crucial concerns:
- If you explain yourself away with a diagnosis, you are handing that part of yourself over to it. You no longer own your whole self, something else controls a part of you. You lose command, autonomy, and responsibility. That part, and with it the potential and possibility it holds, is now under the domain of the condition. And know this, conditions are self-fulfilling — they don’t evolve positively and can only worsen.
- You risk missing, over-assigning, parts of yourself that are possibly unexplored or weren’t relevant before or when you were dicey.
- If you live in line with it, that’s the life you ultimately can expect. If you don’t want that doctrine of a life, you must break away. Disown the label, contend what you can, privately carry what you can’t, and take your failings as under your watch and catch yourself up.
Real damage is made when you use something to explain yourself away and outsource your future to something you can’t know conclusively. Repudiate it.
I have seen the face of a 50-year-old woman realise she had held onto something untrue about herself her entire life. I have seen women realise that they are, in fact, extroverts who thrive in company and enthusiasm, and are excited by people, when this entire time they have avoided much because of misconclusion.
Yes, being out is hard and painful, but social phobia, anxiety, and introversion are not the only causes. More probable is pure under-development. Have you practised such skills? How can you expect to hold them, and, couple this too, with knowing women with decades of social experience on you leave you in the dust. Taking the condition as the cause places doubt on you where it not only affects you but also across what else falls within the guide of it.
Don’t discount the filthiness of low self-esteem. I wouldn’t hand myself over to a condition again — you are cheated even more. Every setback on the misguided path you are now on confirms the potency of the condition, and converts a grain of self-belief against you.
But to rectify, this does get harder before it gets better. There is a lag once you disown a label and first try out. In many ways you are as under-developed as a 12 year old in an aged body, you need to catch up but don’t underestimate motivation.
Hiding behind a label will kill you, at least metaphorically, but in a predictable way. No doubt you are complex and need support, direction, strength, and encouragement, but you won’t find it in a condition or the seedy world of mental health.
Remember, always, the potential reverse of feelings and experience. You have tried with this label, it didn’t work, was never going to, but if you can survive with it you can certainly survive and flourish without it. Step away, don’t ever make excuses for yourself, and take your own life back from the diagnosis you’ve been told to carry.
Narratives are well-integrated patterns of thought towards yourself, others, and your relation to the world. They’re likely destructive and the steady stream of them are at the root of much of our pain and dysfunction.
By default, we seem to form an anti-self view that discourages us from acting in our best interest.
Narratives become an internal enemy affecting every aspect of our lives, from our self-esteem and confidence, our personal and intimate relationships, to our performance and accomplishments personally and beyond. They encourage and influence self-defeating and -destructive behaviour. Hostile and judgmental we are warned against our ability with other people and the world.
Negative thoughts affect us by undermining our positive feelings about ourselves and others and fostering self-criticism, inwardness, distrust, self-denial, addictions, and a retreat from what we should do. Forming early some common lines include ‘You’re stupid,’ ‘You’re not attractive,’ or ‘You’re not like other people.’
Accomplishment is important to all of us on many levels, for many reasons, and when a bad run can set in, speared with thoughts like ‘You’ll never be successful,’ ‘There’s no way you’ll ever get that,’ or ‘You can’t handle simple stress or jobs.’
How narratives form
They begin from early life experiences that strike us and encode as ways we think about ourselves. New scripts form along the way but the ones that take hold grow, build, and extend on those early poignant ones.
Most of our negative voices come from ourselves and our parents, we picked up on the negative attitudes they held not only about us but also toward themselves and their place in the world. Softer voices can also come from interactions with peers and siblings, or influential adults.
How to recognise them
Easy once you are aware and listen. Narratives are long, insidious, degrading, and punishing and lead us to make poor, unhealthy decisions (notably refraining). They usually have themes to them. Instinct, by contrast, is more somatic and immediate. Negative thoughts increase our feelings of self-hatred without motivating us to change undesirable qualities, refute them, or act in a constructive, healthy way.
You need a new story
You cannot just stop, remove, or block out narratives, they are within you, there is no direct access. To change them they must be broken down, understood, and replaced. To start, first accept you have them and there’s likely plural. The two most important thoughts to replace are, the one that caused you to be less than what you are and the one that’s keeping you there. Square up to them, they are flimsy, identify the thought, and pinpoint the negative actions they advocate (scripts are verbs).
Directing your narratives
Even just becoming conscious of them is a change and potential circuit breaker. Pause, they are trying to protect you from or prevent you from doing something. What? Find the advice. When you pinpoint the actions that it advocates, you can resist. Reject attitudes that oppose your interests and diminish your self-esteem. They are wrong. So too, is self-defeating and -destructive behaviour, stop it all until you have some holding.
Three absolute non-negotiables
Underpinning all narrative is a broken, failed woman with a long history of sadness and misunderstanding. We hold to hopes and dreams, they fill our day, but deeper, underneath, we know our lives can’t be wished into something else. Confidence, poise can’t be fabricated. But, equally, we know reversal is real and possible, we see lives turned around, know the futures available to people. So what we want, can happen, we have where we currently are and the feelings of the life we want to be in. We have a real beginning and end point, it’s the direction through the middle that loses us.
If other women have completely reversed their lives and come into what they want, you can too, and the best way I know is to use your mind. Swat down your narratives one by one, challenge and replace them, and know you’ll be deciding to accept them while there’s a lag as you update.
To achieve this only requires three simple things, but I understand they are easy to write but incredibly hard to do.
You need to like: who you are, how you behave, and what you stand for. That’s it.
My work isn’t easy to explain because it’s complex and complicated but in essence, it’s all the same thing. Whether it’s your narratives, finding who you are or who you could be or should be, repealing what you’re not, or stopping what’s undoing you, the intention is always to unlock you and your life.
Basically we critique your thoughts and feelings. Our thinking shapes our reality. In our mind we constantly tell ourselves stories about yourself, others, the world, based on what you’ve seen, you’ve been told, or deduced from experience. These narratives foster your reality so that is what we talk about.
Your circumstance don’t ever define you, it doesn’t work in that direction, they are just the ramifications of who you are. So don’t look at your life and deduce who you are, it’s the reverse, you are living who you believe you are. For many of us there are clearly massive walls to come down. But come down they will, and they can, it just feels they can’t and that you are too far from where you should be.
There is a process to follow, an order to this, and we do it piece by piece deliberately, otherwise it’s overwhelming. Always the intention is to connect with who you are and what you need to set up your life. Primarily that involves understanding your thoughts and updating them.
Remember you have always been looking outward for yourself and your life, when the entire time they were right inside. It was the wrong direction, you couldn’t see the clues, uncover the information. Who you are, who you long to be and live as, equally wants you too, that’s how her life starts. She has been left, frozen, unable to be. That’s the disconnect, desperation, and heartache you feel. You both want and need each other. Uniting will unlock you both.
Also, we will list your strengths because you’ll have more than you think. Knowing their extent not only balances a poor view of yourself but shows you the strong platform you have to build on. What you can do supports the strategies we use. (Note: some of your best strengths will be underneath what you resent and distrust about yourself, there’s always something behind what you dislike about yourself, but we don’t go there so never find them).
The objective isn’t to be a better version of you right now, that won’t be what you want and that’s not what I do, who you’ve become is false and your life belongs to her. Nor is it to feel good and happy all the time; such goals are not only whimsical and superficial but unrealistic. It’s about being you. When you know who you are and have decided what you’re about you can withstand any feelings and experiences.
Each step unlocks and releases you from a different angle. The intention is all the same but to do so there are five main things that must be done. For example, recognise and reconnect with yourself, update your thinking so it’s onside, decide how you will position yourself, establish control, and find direction and options.
Following a neat process makes this not only doable but simple and straightforward. Unlocking you and your life is abstract and loose, the sequence crystalises it.
- Recall who you are
- Extracting your false self
- Recognise, locate, and dismantle your barriers
- Update your underlying beliefs to empower rather than disable you
- Define and decide what you’re about
Real examples of them in practise are:
- Out from the corner of what you ‘can’t’ do you regain control. With openness, freedom, and lightness pursue who you and what you want.
- Get to using your potential by standing behind it and updating your thinking. You can always do more than you think, many parts of you are untested and have never been called up, and they largely get you what you want. For example, what you presumed wasn’t ‘in’ you (i.e. while depressed, anxious, frantic, confused) you’ve missed. Feeling silent and unable is less likely caused by inability than under-development. You have more to work with, many parts that can help, find them. They form the beginning, what you want is the end result, then it’s about filling in the middle.
- Unlocking who you really are, the person who’s trapped, and starting. I know I say that plenty.
- Realising the person you thought you were, your memories, or others’ opinions don’t inform or represent who you are. See your innocence, you didn’t understand yourself, how to be, or what you were trying to do. Much of your past won’t fit, put self-criticism and -rebuke down like a heavy bag. Don’t carry unnecessary judgement.
- Understanding your addictive leaning, what’s behind it and why, and how to curb it, otherwise it’s a grave destroyer.
- Intervene and manage the feelings, behaviour, reactions cycle so that they become conducive to and sustain your life.
- Overcoming anger, shame, despair, and other difficult feelings.
The steps are independent of each other in the sense that they deal with specific points but they each relate to you. It’s hard to break them up. There isn’t just one lock on the women I see, nor just one trouble for them, i.e. they are only lost and confused or wanting to know why they are always on the outside or have a penchant for addiction. The women know there are many aspects to them, parts that are wrong and that it’s layered, but stems from the one problem. The steps can be sectioned like a cake; they each give you a piece of the same thing.
Eight sessions is the average to covering you, the step, how it relates, and how to apply it. I will not prolong a step or run you through what you don’t need, we simply keep moving with what you need. Note, with the steps you keep doing them, every day. It is always easy to fall back into what we shouldn’t, not test, or lose sight of what we want. The payoff comes with gaining distance from who you were.
People can be nervous to proceed alone, but cost, other needs, factor in. It’s intense and focused but once you know what you are doing and why you don’t need me at all, it’s just challenging what threatens you.
The workshops are free, the initial session I always recommend starting with is $100 AUD, the standard program is $2000, and the more supportive one $4000.
I share what I know openly. I don’t keep the ‘how’ or method parts of my work back for private clients, there’s no need for it. The web is full of information, that’s not what anyone pays for, ever. It’s guidance, direction, support, ease, and speed they want.
There are probably many ways you can unlock yourself and your life. I just know when it relates to these specifics; stinging dichotomy between who you are and who you’re being and feeling unrelated to your life, potential dormant in your body, and like you could be and should be so much more if only you knew how. The how is key; you are capable and smart enough but you have never been able to break in, convert on it, kept to the outside.
I only save you the heart-ache at dead ends, the astronomically high risk that you’ll find this too late or give up before you do, trial and error, and wasted time. Failing to change your life or know what to do is disheartenment and defeat. It doesn’t have to be that way, it’s often just a shift, a different view, and challenge to what you think that gives you direction and change.
Read my free 10 Pathways To You PDF, watch my videos, or attend one of my workshops. It’s all free and will give you ways to coax and channel out who you are.
I get that it can be hard to even start or think this can realistically happen. Many people are overwhelmed by sadness and confusion. Garnering the how, confidence, and motivation may feel light-years away. This work took me years to uncover, unravel, and piece together alone. Even knowing what I was dealing with and why it was still a slow rebuild. I share what I discovered and have learnt. However, knowing and doing are very different things.
I often help raise the courage to start, offer that first flicker of hope, and provide the sequence and method to support what you want to do. If you’re unable or hesitant to pay, try independently; there’s nothing to lose.
Change is often hard because it confronts us and with the unfamiliar. It doesn’t matter where you are right now or how damaging that place may be. This isn’t about logic. People know what drinking does, for example. There’s a feeling beneath that behaviour that you need to identify; it’s the clue. What are you scared of? It’ll be a fear or desire to flee something.
Ease in gently; even the most damaging situation can be difficult to let go. It may elicit unwanted thoughts, memories, or feelings, but they are the clues to the feelings we need to recognise and replace. Any resistance or doubts about you are false.
You need to balance and judge the cost. It’s difficult to monetise feelings and knowledge, but you know how painful, empty, and confusing right now is and you know who you can become. There can be no harder void.
Please understand that I don’t provide free consultations or discounts, or negotiate price, regardless of personal circumstances or financial situation.
Understandably, it would me too. I try to keep my work accessible and if the cost is difficult, I recommend the following:
Read my free 10 Pathways To You PDF and start on your own. I share what I know freely and try to make sure it’s up enough.
The pathways making up the steps intertwine and build up, like a process, so bear that in mind if you wonder where to start. Always start with the first step, reconnect with yourself, she’s the most important channel, then work through the order.
Only you can balance and judge the cost. I tried for years to get answers about who I was and sometimes what I was told was so far off I couldn’t even relate and felt more alone, isolated, and lost. This is all about confidence. You’ll quickly know if you’re confident in me understanding you and my approach.
If you want to unlock yourself and your life, please start with attending both a workshop (or watching) and an initial session, please don’t go straight to a program.
I work face-to-face either in person or online (usually Zoom). After a workshop there is time to talk further.
Online please select an initial session or the standard program. I will then contact you, to say hello, arrange a time for your first session, and I will send you a details document, containing my office address, terms of service, and a Welcome Questionnaire, to complete and email back. The questionnaire gives me sense of where you are now, where you want to be, and what you want. There are no intrusive questions or a request for your history or medical information.
I won’t provide consultation in response to complex behaviours because I’m not equipped to, I cannot help you, and sustainable change and freedom aren’t possible when you’re cycling. While the medical community views addiction as a psychiatric illness largely outside a person’s control, my view is different. I agree that addiction is a deeply complex issue, but I believe, in part, from start to finish, it’s an active choice. Therefore, I can’t work simultaneously with mainstream treatment either.
I think the quickest route to stopping requires repairing your relationship with your real self. In my view, addiction is not the problem; it’s a symptom that’s problematic for at least you but likely others close to you as well. The core issue is a split centre, detached self, living as a broken woman and trying to feel okay and push her pain away. Relieving a symptom is not real treatment with lasting results. I know the call of addiction and the fight to resist, the actual choosing is not the problem, that’s why we can bounce. Trying to eradicate and control it is like going after just the fever.
Be cautious of professional instinct and easy solutions. Mental health can’t be as sharply defined as physical illness, and health professionals can put a lot of weight on their interpretation and plow ahead. Be weary of ready answers, other explanations not being considered, and you being neatly tied up with a simple cause and effect. Shortcomings are glossed over or denied and some think their authority as doctors gives them clearance. Treatment for mental health issues is contentious and the options are many because there’s still a lot to learn.
That’s why many disorders are vague; we don’t know the psychological origins or triggers. For example, science doesn’t know why we dream, they’ve tried but it remains baffling and beliefs about it wide. Here is an example of range, there is some Eastern thought that dreaming in effect resolves madness and some Western that unprocessed feelings and emotions are behind dreams. Nobody knows themselves well, let alone you.
Don’t be panicked into receiving treatment that addresses the symptoms but misses the point. You may end up cycling in and out of therapy and relapse. If you eventually drop conventional treatment, few options will remain. Consider that most programs for addiction have low success rates. Those claiming otherwise don’t factor long-term bouncing. Their interests seem to lie more in soliciting business than in freedom and control for you.
There are differences between the methodical addict and the pure one. The pure addict often identifies themselves by the substance to which they’re addicted, which gives it all the power. People who are methodical about it, regardless of how committed they are to their addiction, are separate from it. It’s the feeling, the impact and speed of the high they enjoy and what weakens them, not the means to it. That’s why some are almost contracted to a substance, while others bounce, and also playing a part is disposition. Some people are just geared for it.
This approach is not a repetition; it’s fundamentally different from conventional treatment and any other treatment I know.
Whatever you tried previously all depended on the intentions and makeup of the people involved. At least one of you may have been innocent to what was going on, misguided, or misled. Your objective was likely to find an identity you could value and to take you (fill you, give you someone to be), there can be no failure in that. But that’s a high stake to set, and besides, it’s never ‘out’ there to be found, people just presume it is.
While defeating and demoralising this also feeds panic, of never knowing, never finding out what to do or who to be, so you vigorously approach the next idea or treatment terrified. It’s just a bunny hop for a home. This is how we get caught up spinning in every direction and trying on endless ideas.
Feeling lost is terrible and the strain accumulates. Just stay separate and don’t fall for the arms of causes, activism, politics, religion, supporting movements, campaigning etc. Broken, lonely people are their bread and butter and you’re not a tool for use. There is no care or concern for you and afterward you’ll just be lost but in a different place.
Don’t look outside yourself for the answers and be careful what you stand for. The way out is in.
Define and decide who and what you're about and how you're going to happen
You can make who you are your reality
Don’t come to nothing. There’s a portal to yourself and your life that can take you far away from where you are currently to where you should be. You’re not powerless, and nothing is preventing you from becoming who you are, yet you’re silent. In spite of your potential, you’re unable to access the life you want. Why? Let’s answer that question together.