Metaphysical Freedom

Psychotherapy, Spirituality, Mindfulness, Intuition, Wellbeing


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Who Do You Trust?

“I trust you”

I believe that these three words can have more weight than “I love you”. For instance, I love people in general and I love my cat. Based on a previous definition I gave of love (Love…Anyone?), it is impersonal but also delightful.

Trust, on the other hand, is very personal. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines trust as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Sounds quite personal to me. Trust can be developed, or it can already be established, depending on the situation.

Either way, it can be lost.

Someone can love another person but feel he or she cannot trust that person. Trust is a delicate gift that requires vulnerability.

In my profession of healing and transformation, the people I serve must trust me. They trust me to keep their best interests in mind. They trust me to be knowledgeable and experienced in the services I provide. They trust me to honor their sacredness and respect their privacy. Most of my clients do not say the three words out loud, but their actions and willingness in the sessions speak to this truth.

Ultimately, when you trust someone, you are allowing yourself to be in the vulnerable space of innocence and complete surrender. One of the most detrimental things that can happen in this line of work is for the healer to violate or break the trust of their client.

I could go further into this issue, but I will focus more on things you can do (as a client) to see if someone is trustworthy. These suggestions are geared towards the healing profession; however they can also be applied to personal interactions as well:

  1. Do your research (Is the person qualified? What do others say about their experiences with the person? What skills/characteristics are you looking for?)
  2. Listen to your gut (Intuition supersedes intellect; Do you feel safe? Do you feel heard? Do you feel respected?)
  3. Ask questions (Get clarification on whatever you need to.)
  4. Express yourself (Make your requests and needs known. Then refer back to number 2.)

In a society that promotes selfishness and self-centered gains, it is important for those of us in the healing profession to be selfless and genuine about providing the service the client needs.

The MOST VITAL part of any healing relationship is TRUST.

 

Be trustworthy.

Dana (Intuitive Dana)

www.MetaphysicalFreedom.com


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The Reality of Suicide (From a Therapist’s Perspective)- Updated Post

Therapist Poem Ann Eaton

“Therapist” poem by Ann Eaton

As a psychotherapist, one of the last things that I want to hear is that one of my clients has killed or taken the life of himself or herself (or someone else). It is not because of a personal feeling of failure, but because of a sense that somewhere in the process, my client has lost hope. As therapists, one of our most powerful intentions is to instill hope. It is not a starry wish, but a sense of purpose and encouragement.

When I was in graduate school, I was drawn to the more intense subjects such as traumatology, addiction, and crisis stabilization work. I loved them! I remember sitting in a crisis intervention class and hearing my professor clearly state, “In all your years as a therapist, all of you will lose at least one client to suicide. Be prepared for it. It will happen. Oh, and those of you who are working with trauma and addiction, you can definitely expect it to happen.” He spoke those words with a matter-of-factness that revealed long years of personal experience. I did not want to believe him, but I also knew that there was some underlying realness to what he said.
Even with this warning, I pressed on and continued down the path to become a licensed therapist. I did not and could not lose hope in the long-lasting positive impact of the work we do. I believed that following my passion and helping others to see their inner light was worth much more than living in fear of those who might not see it.

For a little while, I even worked for a crisis hotline. Some of the callers were blatantly at the point where they had chosen to end their lives. I encouraged some to rethink their situations and to see that life might actually be worth living. However for some, I do not know if they did or did not take their lives…the calls simply just ended.

Ironically enough, I didn’t feel disappointment, but gratitude. How might one be grateful for such a thing? I fully understood that the conversations that I had with the callers may have been their last conversations ever. I was at least thankful to talk to them in the present moment and be some type of positive, loving voice before they departed (or decided to live).

And here I am… 8 years and 2 client suicides later.
I will not get into too much detail about the 2 client suicides; however I will say that both were very sobering experiences for me. I re-learned that suicide shows up in many forms.

A spiritual reality about suicide came to me as well:

A person’s exit from this world is not an accident. The way we transition may serve a greater purpose, just like the way we live. It is true that sometimes a person’s life purpose may not be easily understood or clear. But be aware that every life, no matter how short, undoubtedly leaves a precious legacy on this planet.

Every day that I choose to continue working as a psychotherapist and addiction counselor, the possibility of losing a client to suicide, overdose, or something exists. Yet, if a little piece of hope surfaces, then I believe there is a chance that the person will see tomorrow. I Know the power of hope. It starts as a glimmer, and then it becomes a belief. Belief is when the person sees more light and direction. Then a belief transforms into Knowing. Knowing (in this context) is when the person is aware that Life Is.

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, or self-harm, please Know that There is Hope.
For nationwide support in the United States you can contact: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Your life Is valuable.

With love and compassion,

Dana Robinson (Intuitive Dana)

http://www.MetaphysicalFreedom.com

 


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Speak from Your Heart (Mindful Communication)

How well do you communicate?

Communication is the most important aspect to any and every relationship. There are different types of communication: Verbal, Nonverbal, and Paraverbal. PLUS, your Energetic Space/Aura/Overall Vibe communicates to others as well.
As a counselor, coach, and speaker, I am constantly communicating. However, I too have made the mistake of misjudging or making assumptions while communicating with others (especially in my personal life). These mistakes can be costly…leading to hurt feelings, lack of depth, and even loss of the relationships.

Maybe you just celebrated Valentine’s Day or an anniversary of some sort. Good job, you’re on the right track! Now, take a step back and see what your partner, friend, coworker, etc. is communicating to you.
We can dive into the different types of communication here:

Nonverbal Communication– Most of our communication is nonverbal, meaning it is not what we say, but everything else. You may have heard this before, but let’s break this down into 2 main parts of nonverbal communication.
1. Proxemics-This is a fancy word that describes how physically close the person is to you, or you to the other person. Typically, the more physical closeness indicates more intimacy (emotional, mental, physical, etc.)
2. Kinesics-This is the fancy word to describe what most people would call body language. This includes movements, gestures, and facial expressions

Paraverbal Communication– Our vocal part of speech, which is our tone, volume, and how fast or slow we talk.
I am often a fast talker. Get me excited, and I talk faster. When I work with the people I serve, I am mindful of this, and I adjust. It makes a world of difference to have an even pace and a calm tone.

The way you say something matters!
Examples: “I didn’t say you were dumb.”– Say this with an even tone. Now try this one, “I didn’t say you were DUMB.” -Emphasize the last word. If you say this out loud, you can see that one of them is not meant to insult, whereas the other may cause conflict.

Of course, the other type of communication that I will address here is…

Verbal Communication: It is the use of words to relay a message or express an idea.
This is where many of us get caught up. In the emotional tornado of a moment, we might forget to pause and use mindful communication instead of emotionally driven words.

Let’s tie this in with conflict resolution. If there is conflict, I ask that you try these two things: Be willing to be wrong. Be willing to apologize.

Just an FYI: Conflict is a natural occurrence. The term has been blown up into great proportions meaning war, fighting, and death, but in reality, conflict is a simple, and organic process. Conflict arises because there are different perspectives within the same situation or regarding the same topic. It’s just that simple. We are individuals, so by default, there will be times when we do not have the same point of view. That is the core of conflict. It has been over-sensationalized through media. (That may be for another blog).
One of the keys to facing conflict and communicating effectively is to use Mindful Communication.

7 Core Guidelines for Mindful Communication:
1. LISTEN (And appear like you are listening)-As a counselor, I have gone through several hours of training to be more present with others as they share with me. We call it active listening. You don’t have to be a therapist to actively listen. The concept is simple: Make eye contact, don’t speak-unless you are affirming or encouraging the other to continue sharing, keep your body open, LISTEN FOR FEELINGS, and SEEK to UNDERSTAND what is being said.

Mindfulness Tip for #1Detach emotionally. Keep in mind that the person you are listening to has something that he or she needs to express. Think to yourself, “Let me be here now. There is something that this person needs to say. I am listening.”

2. REFLECT or RESTATE WHAT YOUR HEARD-Do this BEFORE you share anything about your point of view.
Sometimes this step gets lost. Unfortunately, I have been guilty of this at times.
For example, if your partner says, “I worked really hard to get those things that you wanted taken care of, and you don’t appreciate it.”

Be mindful and attentive to these things about your partner: Tone of voice, Energy level, Facial expressions, and mood. Notice…how close is the person to you physically?

Before you start saying your response, do this:
A) Listen for the feeling being conveyed; B) Make eye contact (non-threatening); then
C) Start with a statement acknowledging what you think you heard. “I hear you saying that you don’t feel appreciated for the hard work you did for me.”

3. CLARIFY: After you restate, check in with the person to make sure you got it right. “Did I hear you correctly?” Truth of the matter is that the person will let you know what’s up and if you got it right. This part is VALUABLE. Clarifying gives you the opportunity to understand the other person. At the very basic level, we communicate in order to express ourselves and to be understood. Understanding someone does not mean that you agree with what is said. It means that you are grasping the view of another’s perspective. Once you have gained clarity, then you can share your point of view from a more accurate perspective because you are identifying the real “issue.”

Mindfulness Tip for #3Be patient and BREATHE. Take a moment to reflect on the person’s underlying message. Do not get swept away in emotions or the person’s emotional response. Ask, with the sole intention to get clear on what the person is saying.

4. OWN YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS, and share them: Use “I” statements instead of “You did this…”, “You make me…” etc.
Example: “When you say that I do not appreciate you, I feel hurt. I understand what you are feeling and what made you feel that way. I did not see it that way, and I was not aware of your disappointment. I have been working several extra hours each day and I feel more tired than usual.”

Mindfulness Tip for #4Take a few calming, deep breaths and FOCUS ON YOUR HEART chakra. This is the space where you have affinity for others (and self). Speak from this place.

5. CHECK IN AGAIN AND SUMMARIZE: Allow the person to reflect back to you for clarity. (Make sure to use all the other skills mentioned above if needed.)

6. COMPROMISE/RESOLUTION: Remember the main reason for conflict? It is because different perspectives are related to the same situation. Often, there is a common ground or a space for compromise. During this step, request or offer a solution.
Example: “What would you like for me to do differently?”
Apply the skills from steps 1-5 again. Stay on the same topic! Focus only on 1 thing at this time.

Mindfulness tip for #6BREATHE and remember that A SOLUTION IS ALREADY PRESENT

7. RE-ADDRESS the concern later on: This step might not be needed every time. However, if you and the other person aren’t able to address the issue well enough at the time it is presented, set a date to come back to it.  A refreshed point of view about a conflict can make it easier to resolve.

Take these steps into consideration every time you are communicating with someone. This is the practice of mindful communication. It aids in developing healthy communication styles, preventing or resolving conflict, and developing a greater level of understanding.

Mindful Communication

Communicated with love,
Dana D. Robinson (Intuitive Dana)