Update & video on Dependent Personality Disorder

Just a quick post to update you on what I am up to at the moment. I am currently studying my first Counselling module with the Open University alongside my work. I am very excited about this and hoping to complete a whole Diploma in Counselling or a full on Bachelors. I am studying separate modules at a time, which enables me to be more flexible in my choices.

I am still making youtube videos on my channel and also still taking on new clients for coaching.

I have a few new coaching options now, which include 30 min coaching sessions instead of hourly sessions. You can find these new options here: https://couragecoaching.net/availabilitycost/

My latest video is based on Dependent Personality disorder.

A lot of survivors of narcissistic abuse can sometimes develop this disorder or at least have a lot of the symptoms present.

Infantilization by parents and/or early loss or abandonment can cause Dependent Personality.

If you can relate, then please feel free to comment or share this video!

Much love to you all!

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here

 

The importance of being emotionally intelligent

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.

Emotional intelligence is the one part of the human psyche that we can develop and improve by learning and practising new skills.

  • People with higher emotional intelligence find it easier to form and maintain interpersonal relationships and to ‘fit in’ to group situations.
  • People with higher emotional intelligence are also better at understanding their own psychological state, which can include managing stress effectively and being less likely to suffer from depression.

My newest video on my youtube channel, talks about emotional intelligence in more detail.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Do I have C-PTSD? New video questionnaire which will help you identify this!

A lot of research has gone into this video which has a questionnaire about helping people identify whether they might be suffering with CPTSD. I set up a poll on my youtube page, asking my subscribers to choose a video topic out of 4 options and this video was the most popular choice.

As I myself have answered ‘Yes’ to around 34 out of the 40 questions on this questionnaire and have also been diagnosed with CPTSD from 3 different therapists, I know that this questionnaire is very accurate. I created it to help my clients feel validated and to provide a stepping stone in the right direction towards their healing journey.

It is highly important to stress that there are 2 different types of abuse that a child can suffer in their family home. Overt abuse and covert abuse. Most abuse survivors, who have experienced a combination of these 2 types of abuse, will answer ‘YES’ to all 40 questions and will have all CPTSD symptoms, as well as visual, physical and other sensory flashbacks, along with extreme dissociation. Those survivors who have only suffered from covert abuse, also score high on this questionnaire (as much as 38 out of 40). This proves the severity of both types of abuse and sadly many therapists don’t take covert abuse seriously, when they should.

I wholeheartedly hope you find it helpful and if you think others will find it useful and validating, then please share this post as much as possible, .

Also please feel free to add your answers in the comments below this post, or on my youtube channel! Please specify whether you experienced overt abuse or covert abuse or both.

Thank you!

Love Athina ♥

 

How to outsmart a narcissist once and for all!

Outsmarting the narcissist is important for your sanity and so you can feel in control of your life. Narcissists are experts at controlling your life with different manipulation tactics and they are very skilled at turning empaths into codependents.

This video will help those of you who deal with a covert narcissist, to feel empowered and strong again. The ‘deflect’ technique that I talk about in this video is especially good when dealing with a covert narcissist however isn’t advisable when dealing with a physically abusive narcissist.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

How to heal from childhood abuse

A lot of my followers on this blog and also subscribers from my youtube channel keep coming to me with the same question ‘How do I heal from childhood abuse?’.

Although this is something I have already addressed previously, I have decided to actually explore this in as much detail as I possibly can.

I will address this with reference to my own recovery journey and also by looking at research done by psychologists, psychotherapists and trauma specialists such as Pete Walker, Wilhelm Reich, Dr Bessel Van Der Kolk and many more.

Healing from childhood abuse isn’t a simple process. It takes a huge amount of courage, inner strength & resilience. It requires a willingness to become more self-aware of our own dysfunctional coping mechanisms, that we may have learnt from our primary caregivers.

If our parents were high on the narcissism spectrum, we will have endured years of all or some of the following:

  • neglect
  • hypercriticism
  • parentifying
  • infantilising
  • pathological envy
  • blaming
  • patronising
  • mood swings
  • pathological lying
  • aggression or passive aggression
  • gaslighting
  • controlling behaviour
  • emotional blackmail
  • scapegoating
  • silent treatment
  • shaming
  • invalidation
  • isolation
  • intimidation
  • verbal abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • physical abuse
  • engulfment

Living in a household with abuse, causes the child to develop Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Complex post traumatic stress disorder is a more severe form of PTSD and has the following 5 features:

  1. Toxic shame
  2. Self-abandonment
  3. Emotional flashbacks
  4. A extremely harsh inner critic
  5. Social anxiety

Emotional flashbacks are the most characteristic part of CPTSD. They are sudden and sometimes prolonged age regressions to the overwhelming feelings of being abused or neglected as a child. Emotional flashbacks don’t have a visual component. These flashbacks do however include an overwhelming feeling of fear, shame, alienation, abandonment, depression and emotional pain. They can range in intensity from subtle to unbearable.

Toxic shame is the when an individual has an overwhelming feeling that they are flawed, loathsome or stupid. It completely destroys a person’s self-esteem and causes the person to abandon themselves emotionally. This creates a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness.

The inner critic is the internalised punishing voice of our abusive parent. If we had a parent who was a bully and constantly called us names such stupid, pathetic, too sensitive, ugly etc, then we will have this voice within us, even if our abusive parent isn’t in our life anymore. It will be a habitual inner bully that punishes us instead of supports us.

Other symptoms of CPTSD are:

  • Feelings of loneliness and abandonment
  • Fragile self-esteem
  • Attachment disorder
  • Developmental Arrests
  • Relationship difficulties ( Fear of forming relationships or forming relationships that are too dysfunctional)
  • Hyper-arousal / extreme flight/fight response
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Oversensitivity to stress
  • Dissociation
  • Exhaustion
  • Body armouring  (which involves tensing of muscle tissue whenever stress or emotion is experienced. To protect itself, the body takes a defensive, tight, and stiff stance. On a tissue level it enters into a muscular holding pattern that resists change and release. Unexpressed emotions such as anger, fear, and grief are common causes of this phenomenon. This was first described by psychologist Wilhelm Reich).
  • Impulsivity
  • Inappropriate anger

 

The stages of recovering

To recover from abuse and trauma, we must first educate ourselves on a cognitive level. We must understand that we most likely suffer with CPTSD and that it isn’t our fault that we are suffering. We have to put the blame where it belongs – to our abusive primary caregivers.

Secondly we must find a qualified therapist/specialist coach that will help us with the very difficult task of shrinking the inner critic. The inner critic can be a very difficult part of recovery to tackle, as the negativity from this critic has become automatic over our lifetime. It may take a long time to stop the inner critic from affecting us. Constant awareness of when the critic is present will help us stop him in his tracks and try and replace the negative criticisms with positive affirmations and self-compassion.

The next step in recovery is verbal ventilation and the very painful process of grieving our childhood losses. Verbal ventilation is when we speak in a way that releases our painful emotions with a safe person. Grieving our childhood losses means that we actually allow ourselves to cry, be angry and really feel the deep pain of not having had healthy parents. Grieving can take a long time and can sometimes last for a couple of years. In grieving, it is important for us to also grieve our loss of self-esteem and safety.

Once we have successfully grieved, we then must deal with the feelings of abandonment via somatic healing and via learning how to become self-compassionate in moments of depression or anxiety.

Lastly, we will need help with dissecting all our defences, especially those that no longer serve us. We may have picked up defences and behaviours from our abusive parents that are dysfunctional and we will now need support in stopping these defences and practicing more healthy ways of coping.

A very important part of recovery is to learn how to be patient with our progress, as sometimes it isn’t straightforward. Recovery is a journey and self compassion is crucial.

A great mantra according to Pete Walker, is

‘Progress not perfection’

Expecting perfection in recovery isn’t going to help us move forward..

Progress however is key!

Thanks for reading!

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Happy New Year!

5 tips_Fotor

 

Narcissists can give you fleas

What does it mean when narcissists give you the fleas?

Fleas comes from the adage “He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas”, which has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin.  According to Wikipedia, the quote has an almost universally agreed meaning of “You should be cautious of the company you keep. Associating with those of low reputation may not only lower your own but also lead you astray by the faulty assumptions, premises and data of the unscrupulous”

When a victim has the fleas, it means that they have picked up behaviours of the narcissist. This is mainly because they have been exposed to the narcissist’s behaviours for a prolonged period of time and have ended up feeling helpless and hopeless.

The victim will look for ways to escape and sometimes will resort to behaviours which are not characteristic but serve as a way to demonstrate their anger and alleviate the powerlessness they have been feeling.

The good thing is, that victims that use narcissistic behaviours against their abusers, quickly back down and feel ashamed and remorseful. This shows that they don’t need to be afraid of turning into a narcissist themselves.

Some examples of getting fleas can be when a victim shows passive aggressive behaviours when feeling cornered or triggered by someone close to them.

They could also at times become aggressive towards a narcissistic partner or parent.

Lastly, they may even shout at their parent or partner and even end up calling them names.

These are just maladaptive behaviours that can be changed by being self-reflective and by asking a therapist for support. Victims of narcissistic abuse live with C-PTSD so they will not always be able to cope in a healthy way. They just need the right guidance to makes changes by turning unhealthy coping mechanisms into healthy ones.

Thanks for reading!

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.