Anger: Inward and Outward expression

Part of being human is to feel anger at times, it is a normal, healthy emotion. It isn’t necessarily a ‘bad’ emotion and can be very useful. Feeling angry about something can help us motivate us to create change or to achieve our goals, it can help us to stay safe and enables us to defend ourselves if we experience danger. Most people will experience bursts of anger which are manageable and don’t really impact their lives.

Anger becomes a problem when it gets out of control and could harm you or can harm another. We can express our anger in unhelpful and different ways such as:

  • Inward aggression, telling yourself that you hate yourself, withdrawing from the world, not providing yourself your basic needs (like food)
  • Outward aggression, such as shouting slamming doors being physically or verbally abusive towards others.
  • Passive aggression such as ignoring people, refusing to do tasks, being sulky or even sarcastic but not saying anything directly aggressive or angry.

Learning healthy ways to recognise your anger and importantly how to deal with anger is vital for our mental and physical health.

Our therapists are experienced and accredited counsellors and psychotherapists and can help and support you.

Carol Duffy, Psychotherapist 

Image (c) Carol Duffy 2019

That repetitive loop of anxiety

That repetitive loop of anxiety

Anxiety can take over a persons life often to the point that it becomes overwhelming, and exhausting. A person can be plagued by persistent thoughts and critical self commentary that can undermine self esteem, and instead creates self doubt and fear. Anxiety can then make it difficult to feel confident as a person, to feel happy with accomplishments, and interrupt our ability feel relaxed in social settings.

The repetitive cycle created by anxiety can lock us into to withdrawing from social interactions due to a fear of exposure. This creates a loss of potential support and sense of belonging, and instead we can be left with a sense of disconnection and isolation.

Addressing anxiety requires getting to know what way it is being experienced, and exploring a way to move beyond its associated symptoms, emotions, behaviours, and thoughts, towards feeling more at ease with ourselves and free to engage with others and with life.

Carol Duffy  Psychotherapist 

Image © Carol Duffy 2018

What happens when stress becomes intolerable?

Everyone experiences stress at some point in their life, and most of the time we can manage the feelings that go along with stress. While it is uncomfortable, we do know that it will pass. 

But what happens when stress becomes intolerable? 

Many of us will have periods in our lives when we are experiencing an excessive amount of stress, that begins to affect our daily life: worrying thoughts, self doubt, indecisiveness, even sleepless nights, changes in appetite, and days filled with anxiety. 

Often, the people around us notice that we are stressed, but we may not even notice or realise ourselves, that our stress levels have gotten out of hand.

Here is a list of some of the signs and symptoms:

  • irritability
  • frustration
  • angry outbursts
  • inability to relax
  • trouble concentrating
  • feeling anxious
  • difficulty sleeping
  • headaches
  • drinking too much
  • racing heart
  • stomach aches
  • eating too much or too little.
If you are experiencing symptoms like headaches, racing heart, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or stomach issues, it is always wise to seek the advice of a GP to rule out any underlying medical issues.  

In counselling, by getting to know what your personal symptoms of stress are, what factors contribute to increased levels of stress, will help you detect when you are getting overstressed. Therapy will also bring a focus to identifying what measures to put in place before you arrive in a place of overwhelm, and help you get back on track to well being.

Carol Duffy Psychotherapist 

Only Then

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Only Then

To know the meaning of transformation,
I must embrace all the grief that lies within me.
Only then will I be shown the true meaning of change.

To use all of my senses in my every experience,
I will then desire the richness of real living.
Only then will I know what it means to be passionate.

To embrace everything in my being and let go of my mind,
I will open my heart and pure light will radiate through me.
Only then will I experience the essence of true love.

To dare the risk of exposing my vulnerability and step beyond the illusions of fear,
I face the challenge of embracing the truth of my existence and death.
Only then am I bound by nothing and will I experience real freedom.

To dive into the river that is my soul,
I will swim with everything that lives within me.
Only then will I truly recognise the depths of simplicity.

To open my very essence and become one with all that surrounds me,
I will feel time slow down and be filled with the wisdom of all eternity.
Only then will I understand true stillness and smile with enlightenment.

© 2006 Carol Duffy

Published 2015:  Inside Out: The Irish Journal for Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy, Issue No. 76.

The Trauma of Childbirth

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All women want to go through a beautiful experience giving birth, with many expectant mothers having hopes that the birth of their child will be a relaxed and calm experience. However, this is not the case for many women.

In fact, it is estimated that almost three percent of all vaginal births and six percent of cesarian section births result in PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), and up to a third of unplanned cesarian section births may result in birth trauma.

Giving birth is not the only cause of birth related trauma. There are many women who will experience a miscarriage, a stillborn child, a premature birth, or a child being born with a disability.

When a birth experience has been difficult, whether that was through a lack of support or feeling safe,  or was overwhelming, disappointing,  negative or traumatic, the effects can be devastating.  

All too frequently, birth trauma often goes unrecognised, with many women feelings 'depressed', when in fact, they could be experiencing the symptoms of trauma.  Trauma related symptoms can include: anxiety, panic, feeling overwhelmed, feeling bad about the birth, feeling depressed after the birth, replaying memories of the birth, flashbacks, nightmares, fear of getting pregnant again, and a range of other symptoms.

While these symptoms can be sometimes debilitating, and can create disruption to day to day living, finding help can the start to recovery. Speaking about the experience of a traumatic birth can be validating, as well as creating an opportunity to bring a reduction in symptoms and improve overall wellbeing.

© 2017  Carol Duffy