New beginnings & change

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Before I talk about today’s topic, I just wanted to remind you that I have released my first PDF course which is aimed at helping you become more assertive and stop your people-pleasing habits.

To view the contents of this course, please click the link below:

Assertiveness course introduction

There are 5 places left for the discounted price I am offering so if you are interested then get in touch now by leaving a comment below.

In today’s post I wanted to talk about the challenge of new beginnings..

As much as they can be exciting and refreshing, new beginnings can sometimes be very tough. The fear of the unknown can be very daunting.

When things don’t go as we planned, how do we deal with the fallout?

No matter how perfectly we may have planned everything and thought everything through, the uncontrollable will always be there..

What if we moved to a new location and then our dream job ended up being a nightmare?

What if our new partner cheated on us?

What if we changed careers only to realise that it isn’t what we thought it would be?

How do we cope with life’s unexpected challenges?

After the initial disappointment or grief, how do we keep moving forward?

What if we get very scared and anxiety starts creeping in to our daily lives?

Owning our fears gives us control over our worries rather than our worries and fears controlling us.

Asking ourselves ‘What am I scared of?” can be very helpful. Writing down our fears can also help us clarify things a bit more.

Trying to change our negative thoughts into more positive ones, can make a huge difference in the way we feel. CBT works wonders for this!

If we think to ourselves that ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, then we can give ourselves a temporary boost of hope.

Having supportive friends or family around us can also greatly help..

Sometimes though we can feel more down than we had anticipated and sometimes we may feel so unmotivated that all we want to do is stay in bed and hide all day! That is also okay, as long as it doesn’t become a habit!

The following quote is one of my favourites regarding change:

“When we make a change, it’s so easy to interpret our unsettledness as unhappiness, and our unhappiness as a result of having made the wrong decision. Our mental health and emotional states fluctuate madly when we make big changes in our lives, and some days we could tight-rope across Manhattan, and other days we are too weary to clean our teeth. This is normal. This is natural. This is change.” — Jeanette Winterson

When we look back on the tough times in our life, do we ever find that they taught us something useful?

I have had 2 of these moments..The 2 toughest times in my life, helped me make huge changes in my life for the better and for those times I will be forever grateful!

As Freud once said:

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” — Sigmund Freud

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.

 

New assertiveness PDF course-How to communicate effectively & stop being a people-pleaser

My new assertiveness PDF course is finally ready to buy.

Being assertive isn’t something that comes naturally to all of us, especially for those of us who grew up in dysfunctional homes. As I myself, also struggled with this due to my background, assertiveness training helped me immensely. For this reason, I wanted to create a course that would help others as much as my assertiveness training helped me!

Being assertive as a child with narcissistic parents meant that we would get punished or have love and affection withdrawn from us. Protecting ourselves didn’t usually go down well with such disordered individuals.

As adults, we continued having trouble being assertive as we may have felt frightened of peoples’ reactions or we may have at times felt guilty that we were letting people down.

Assertiveness however is important in many ways, especially as it encourages respectful & honest communication and promotes equality in relationships.

Here is a sneak peak of the course cover and its’ contents.

assertiveness front cover

In this assertiveness course, I will include the following things:

  • What assertiveness is and what it isn’t.
  • When & how to be assertive
  • The 4 different ways of communicating
  • What rights we have in our interactions with others
  • The differences between aggressiveness & assertiveness
  • How it feels to be assertive
  • Examples of assertive communication
  • Handing criticism assertively
  • Handling anger assertively
  • Expressing criticism assertively
  • What changes when we become assertive
  • The inner critic and how it affects us
  • Emotional Flashbacks
  • Practicing assertiveness with some exercises

If you are interested in this PDF course,

then please click here: —–>>>>>     ASSERTIVENESS PDF COURSE

The PDF is 30 pages long, so it has enough material to help you become an expert at assertiveness.

This course is ideal if you are an introvert or an avoidant! It is a great first step before you actually attend an assertiveness training class!

The course will be priced at £12.00 but since WordPress doesn’t offer me payment in British pounds, payment can be made in dollars for $16.00.

Thanks so much for your attention and I am very much looking forward to sharing my knowledge with you!

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.

 

 

Relocation back to the UK and new Youtube video – ‘Signs you are dating a narcissist’

After a long absence, due to my recent relocation back to the UK from Germany, I am ready to start working again and embrace the world of change and healing.

I have just created a new video for my youtube subscribers and I am very grateful to be back home, so I am able to take on more face to face clients. Although Germany was very international, not everyone I encountered spoke English well.

Now that I am home, it is truly lovely to be able to communicate effectively and clearly and to not have to worry about the language barrier. There are many more opportunities for me in the UK and I am very much looking forward to getting involved with charities that support narcissistic abuse survivors.

In this new video, I talk about the most common signs that you are dating a narcissist.

If you have had experience dating a narcissist, then you will relate to this video. If you are currently in a relationship and feel undermined and confused, then this video might help answer some questions.

If you need support, then please feel free to contact me or another mental health professional. Leaving a relationship where the other person may be a narcissist, is not the same as leaving a healthy relationship. It has to be done very carefully, with reliable support and a clear plan. Victims tend to develop signs of C-PTSD and can suffer greatly with depression & anxiety.

Some narcissists can become dangerous and physically abusive.

The relationship dynamics although similar in most cases, can have unique circumstances, where the abusive partner may also be physically or sexually abusive. In worst cases, the abuse is so severe, that the narcissist may even kill their partner.

Last but not least, trauma bonding makes it very difficult for the victim to leave their abuser so the right support is absolutely necessary.

Please share this blog post or video, if you think it will help someone!

Thanks for reading and watching!

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.

Vulnerability & the dangers of predators

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There are countless times in my own personal life, where my own vulnerability got me into trouble.

At times where all I wanted was genuine comfort & love, I met people who took advantage of my vulnerable state of mind. Those people in particular had narcissistic traits and I only realised this of course when it was a little too late!

If you are in the middle of grieving, or fresh out of a bad relationship, be sure to tread carefully.

If you grew up in a dysfunctional home and now live with Complex PTSD, then you will always be vulnerable to the wrong person. Unless you have had a chance to work through your childhood trauma and come out of therapy healthier, choosing the wrong people to associate with, will be familiar but dangerous.

The trauma bond is what makes survivors of abuse more susceptible to predators in sheep’s clothing. Especially when it comes to romantic interests or intimate encounters.

A lot of survivors of abuse will settle for sex when in reality they really want love and a sense of acceptance.

Narcissists are experts at hiding their true colours at the beginning. They are also attracted to empaths & sensitive people like magnets.

If you have had an experience like this that has affected you, then please feel free to share it in the comments below.

Feel free to re-blog this post, if you think it will help others.

Thank you

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.

Narcissistic selective amnesia

There are so many occasions from my own personal experience, where I have witnessed this type of amnesia. In most of these occasions, it was with a parent.

Narcissistic selective amnesia is real and extremely damaging.

If you have not heard of this before, then my latest youtube video below, will hopefully help.

When you are in the depths of emotional despair, it can be extremely upsetting dealing with this sort of reaction from the narcissist in your life.

Before you are aware that you are being abused by a narcissist, you are usually blind to the narcissist’s ways of abusing you. You have no idea that you are a dealing with a very harmful individual.

When the narcissist practices selective amnesia in response to something you have pointed out, you feel completely at a loss. The frustration can be infuriating to not feel heard & and to not be understood.

The narcissist isn’t always conscious of their selective amnesia unfortunately, but this doesn’t make it any less harmful.

If you have had experience with a narcissist’s selective amnesia, please share it in the comment section below.

Feel free to share this blog post, if you think it will help others.

Thank you

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.

Narcissistic fathers & their sons

In my latest youtube video, I discuss the relationship between narcissistic fathers and their sons. This was requested by some of my viewers.It is just as important to raise awareness about how damaging a narcissistic father can be towards their son.

Thanks for watching!

© 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.

Love Athina ♥

The child within you

Beautiful 🙂

Emerging From The Dark Night

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Don’t walk too far away from the child within you,

and never abandon the sense of wonder

that magnifies the smallest of things into mountains of joy.

For one day, when you lose sight of happiness,

that child within can guide you back

to the things

that once nourished your heart.

Dodinski

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Narcissistic mother types

Awhile back, I wrote a blog post on my other site about the effects of narcissistic abuse and the different narcissistic mother types out there, according to respected psychotherapist Michelle Piper. You can find this blog post here:

https://mychildwithin.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/narcissistic-mother-types/

After reading through Michelle’s website, I wanted to share the information she provides with my subscribers on youtube. With a growing audience, I felt it was the right thing to do.

In the following video, I talk a little bit about the roles children take on in a dysfunctional home and I list the 53 types of narcissistic mother that Michelle came up with. Most people can relate to quite a few of them, with their mother fitting into many different types.

If you find this blog post or video useful, then please feel free to share it.

Love Athina ♥

New youtube video-I have discovered my parents are narcissists.What now?

It is important to know the steps of what to expect after realising your parents are abusive. It is crucial to finally understand why and how you were & are affected by narcissistic abuse. Giving what you have been through a name, is the beginning of your healing journey. It allows for validation of your feelings and to finally KNOW that it wasn’t your fault – It was your parents fault!

To actually work through the emotions, the acceptance of not having had healthy parents and the grief that goes with it, is a whole different challenge however. To reach a better state of mental health, you have to dig deep and allow a lot of painful feelings to come to the surface. Only after working through these painful emotions, will you then have the opportunity to look at your life through a different lens. To look at yourself with more self-compassion & understanding and to learn to set boundaries, takes practice and you need an experienced therapist on your side.

A psychological coach, which is what I have trained as, can support you in changing self-defeating thoughts or behaviours and can support you in the present to move forward with goal setting. A coach is not qualified to guide you through your grieving or acceptance in depth. That is a therapist’s job.

I have had a lot of teenagers watch my youtube videos and I am very much aware that I have to post videos carefully and support these children appropriately.

With empathy & unconditional positive regard, a child can feel a little bit better.

I know that if I had had this support as a child, it probably would have made a world of difference to my mental health.

This is the main reason I am passionate about supporting young people. They need someone to have their back with no strings attached. With narcissistic parents/step-parents, there are always strings attached. There is always some nasty remark waiting to be used against their child/step-child.

Children deserve unconditional love, acceptance, validation of their feelings and a safe environment to call home. This has to become a priority in our society.

Thanks for reading/watching!

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.

 

Somatic experiencing-Trauma

 

Somatic experiencing, helps restore the natural energy balance in our bodies. It helps with restoring the energy flow in our bodies, in places where it is stuck due to stress, injury or trauma.

 

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Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) was developed by Peter A. Levine, PhD to address the effects of trauma. Levine developed this approach after observing that prey animals, whose lives are routinely threatened in the wild, are able to recover readily by physically releasing the energy they accumulate during stressful events. Humans, on the other hand, often override these natural ways of regulating the nervous system with feelings of shame and pervasive thoughts, judgments, and fears. Somatic Experiencing aims to help people move past the place where they might be “stuck” in processing a traumatic event.

The Autonomic Nervous System and Somatic Experiencing Theory

The autonomic nervous system (ANS), which includes the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), and the enteric nervous system (ENS), is triggered into action when we’re faced with adversity and it governs the fight, flight, or freeze instinct. Although designed to be self-regulating, the ANS can become dysregulated, particularly when full expression of one’s response to trauma is repressed. As a result, the body continues to respond as if it is under threat. Somatic experiencing contends that negative symptoms of trauma—such as anxiety, hypervigilance, aggression, and shame—result from denying the body the opportunity to fully process the traumatic event.

Though many people who experience traumatic events recover completely, for those who do not, unresolved trauma can lead to larger mental and physical health concerns, such a post-traumatic stress (PTSD),sleep problems, mood swings, or immune system problems. Somatic Experiencing aims to restore the body’s ability to self-regulate in order to achieve balance and integrity.

Method of Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing sessions involve the introduction of small amounts of traumatic material and the observation of a client’s physical responses to that material, such as shallow breathing or a shift in posture. The therapist will frequently check in with the client to assess and record somatic sensations that may be imperceptible to the practitioner, such as feelings of heaviness, tightness, or dizziness. Practitioners proceed carefully and cautiously to avoid retraumatizing or triggering the client, and they help people to develop and employ self-regulating strategies. A key component to enhancing one’s ability to self-regulate is the practice of alternating, or “pendulating,” between the sensations associated with trauma and those that are a source of strength and comfort.

The SE practitioner will help the client find places of safety, whether that be a place in the body that is not activated by the trauma, or a physical place to retreat to in one’s mind. Experiencing the sensations related to the traumatic event in a safe way allows a person to fully process the trauma. Clients also achieve heightened awareness of their physical responses to stress, and this skill can serve them in everyday life.

The above text is from the goodtherapy.org website and is the best explanation I have found on somatic experiencing.

As somebody who lives with muscular armouring, which is a result of my CPTSD, I know how uncomfortable my body feels, especially around my neck, chest and back. Due to high stress throughout most of my life, this has resulted in a feeling of tightness in my chest, headaches, clinched shoulders, tight upper back and more. I also notice myself neurotically holding my belly muscles, which in turn disrupts my healthy diaphragmatic breathing. Sometimes, I have to remind myself to relax my breathing and in turn relax my muscles but unfortunately this isn’t enough in the long run, as my painful symptoms always return.

Muscular armouring causes Myofascial pain. Myo stands for muscle and fascia is the connective tissue that holds everything together. In more simple terms, when someone is stuck in a hyper vigilant state, this causes intense muscle tightness (muscular armouring) which results in Myofascial pain. Fibromyalgia is also a condition that can develop from prolonged trauma and is very difficult to diagnose in a lot of cases.

For those of you who have suffered trauma in your childhood or any other sort of trauma, it is worth paying attention to your physical symptoms, as body and mind are connected. If you have only tried talking therapy but haven’t tried somatic therapy, then I highly recommend that you consider it.

The theory behind somatic therapy is that the mind, body, spirit, and emotions are all related and connected to each other. Talk therapy is combined with physical techniques, such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, and meditation. Other techniques used include dance, exercise, yoga, or other types of movement, vocal work, and massage.

It is important to be in touch with your body and to practice self-care as much as possible.

If you found this post useful then please feel free to comment, like or share.

© 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.

Love Athina ♥