Managing The Emotional Environment

Managing the behavioral environment is seen in daycare and other institutionalized environments. There is a structure, a set of processes and routines that get set up in such a way that results with the best possible outcome. People working together know the structure, can self regulate their behaviors within the expectations, and communicate in a united field of expectations. Now take that idea and apply it to the unseen arena of emotional projection, transference, bullying, shut- down or withdrawn behaviors and then there is this whole other awareness to work within.

Managing the emotional environment. You can learn to anchor, ground yourself so that, like a duck- water can run off of your back. What is not your emotion to manage you do not engage with. Just like the duck, there is a Spiritual immunity system that comes into play: the oil in the duck feathers create a boundary so that the water does not penetrate and effect the body temperature or condition of the duck. It can remain in cold water and not get iced up.

Create your filters: working with your own energy in a mindful way. Learning to observe, catch yourself and redirect your own thoughts helps you to be your own best friend. Change is an inside job. What is the internal conflict? How does your unresolved past issue show up in behaviour now? How do you integrate past, present, future? How do you bring compassion and forgiveness into your own life?

Within your body: manage the self talk. This tool can be used for self awareness and deep tissue healing within your body. Learning to listen to your own body sensations and body language you better read what your intuition is telling you.

Part of Emotional, Spiritual, Mental and Physical balance is to be able to refuel your body with energy that nourishes all of your systems. rest, nutrition, meditation. You also need to recognize toxic energy and either shift it or remove yourself from it.

In working with other people’s energy; You do not take on other people’s emotions as a statement about yourself. When you have learned how to work with, redirect, choose your own healthy self care; then you can use tools to boundary set. When you can separate your issues from other people’s issues, you can then use your power to clean up attitudes and choose behaviors with great outcomes.

Mindfulness, meditations, prayer, music, Reiki, martial arts, yoga, tuning into nature, are great ways to work with energy systems that we constantly live in. As a Reiki Master Teacher, Reiki experience and knowledge inform my practice. Heart coherency meditation, Ho Opono Opono, doing proxy healing work, helps with grief and loss. Awareness’s can be a lot of fun and easy to use, and helps manage anxiety and depression symptoms.

Within Families: with awareness of patterns, and energy signatures, you can choose what you want to interact with, and allow into your experience. Using boundaries, assertiveness, you can speak your truth, and redirect projected energies back to the sender. With awareness, you can monitor and screen for acceptable ways to treat family members and to shift the family structure of rules and awareness’s to reflect that. When someone is projecting oppression or scapegoating or simply not dealing with their own crap and expecting others to do damage control for them- you can effectively confront the issues and ask for a shift.

Within Workplaces: oppressive practice, bullying, lateral violence is still so common in many work environments. Both employers and employees need to own their own behaviors and emotions so they can be more capable of dealing with clients or work demands. Having a healthy environment is part of making employees feel safe, productive. When you have a happy, productive staff, you attract more customer satisfaction.

Mindfulness and Energy medicine in the workplace looks like building safety and support into the environment. Do you have times for people to eat their lunches together? Do you have team or employee support? Is the environment safe, relaxing and homey? A healthy way to debrief and acknowledge contributions helps a lot. Depending on the business- having a buddy system to look out for each other helps too. Being aware of emotional energy, attitudes emitted in the workplace is the first step in shifting it- to be beneficial. Awareness of your emotions, others emotions and the impact the emotional experience has in the workplace is so important in a healthy work environment.

Calming The Body and Emotions

Calming the body and emotions is essential to reworking neural pathways in your brain from a primitive knee jerk automatic response to one of choice. We have been in the habit of reacting to our primitive brain, our amygdala, hypothalamus, our instinctual brain. Trauma memories get stored in our amygdala part of the brain, in our cells, in our sensory memories of our experiences. When we put our self regulation on automatic, we often default into negative reactions, amygdala hijacks, triggers of previous traumatic experience.

Mindfulness is when we can be diligent, pay attention, self monitor our thoughts and emotions, our consciousness stream, pay attention to thoughts received and sent. Some of the thoughts are connected to our intuition. When we can focus on our peaceful, or calm, loving thoughts, or even in our excited, eagerness- we can make more room to live in our peace, our bliss. When you can get back to your intention, to what you want to create, to your plan, you are halfway to creating a better outcome. YAY!

A lot of the time, our bodies are “Resting” at a high threshold of adrenaline thumping, cortisol pumping, pseudo alertness. In other words, we haven’t let go of the stress in a day, and have banked it, collecting interest, and adding to the emotional and nervous pressure. The more this pressure builds, the less capacity we have to manage our emotional and body responses to situations. It is like being held hostage to our anger, when we can no longer lower our alertness rate, we can become habituated into an anger response. Long term situations tend to lead to dis-ease, the body breaks down. Anxiety and nervous responses, over reactions become the norm.

Resetting the emotional and anxious responses brings the body back to balance. Deep breathing, slowing the heart beat, meditation, mindfulness- check in with the self talk, activities in nature, moving into music with song or movement or both all are helpful. It is important to be able to let go of anxious energy to exercise and release endorphin’s. Making decisions in a calm deliberate way leads to better outcomes.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse – Relapse Prevention

In addiction recovery, we also have to look at where you left on your developmental track in the first place. While you numbed out, developmental pieces in your life got put on hold. So, now that you are getting your life back on track, being sober, doing what you need to do; you also have to look at what it was in the first place that you were avoiding dealing with. Was it some pain? Trauma?

A drug addiction counselor can help you get past the numbing or desire to hide from pain. Something like abandonment, or rejection, not feeling lovable is enough to get everything of dramatic response going. You can settle it all down with support. Working with the emotions, healing the underlying grief and loss issues, looking at inner child unmet needs allows you to move forward into health and balance.

A Helping Hand

Most people need a direction, a road map to get them from one point to another. The recovery steps build into long term life management. With supports in place, better coping skills, practice at working through problems that everyone experiences, life can be manageable in most situations.

Relapse is when something catches you, and you go into triggers of woundedness, despair, and lose sight of yourself as capable of sobriety and addiction- free living. I have heard clients talk of a heartbreak, a job loss, or some significant change that seems bigger then what they see themselves as capable of coping with. Sometimes even after decades of sobriety and addiction free living, there is a relapse!… Again, the recovery steps are put into place.

The Prevention is to keep the supports in place, the 12 step group, the community supports, the creative, social pieces of life that make life enjoyable. Checking in and balancing with psychological tuneups is part of well-being. Some safety sensitive jobs require ongoing monitoring with a therapist for up to 2 years, reports are sent in as part of compliance steps required by the employer. Whether it is self -initiated or the employer initiated, I can do long term sobriety and recovery monitoring. By looking at risk reduction, personal coping skills and supports needed; you can live the life you want.

Substance Abuse Counselor – Education and Recovery

Know what you are up against. There are different stages of recovery. Many people find comfort and motivation in a 12 STEP recovery program like AA, or Wellbreity. Individual and group support on a social level in the community is precious.

Some people can go “Cold Turkey” and just endure the discomfort of withdrawal from the addiction. In some cases it is recommended that you be in a medically supervised program like the Phoenix Center in Kamloops. There is a Methadone program in Kamloops, for those who need a gradual reduction of drug, and to reduce risk. It is best to have a family doctor oversee severe addiction management. There are prescriptions available to support the body in detoxifying. Most treatment programs require a doctor’s examination as part of the application process.

Recovery steps start with an awareness of where you are functioning in your life. Addiction severity can go from pre-contemplation- where you think there may be a problem, to a severe addiction going into full blown mental health sickness, with some or many symptoms.

Talk to Someone About it

As a substance abuse counselor I can screen you and we assess how severe your addiction is. Depending on what steps you are willing to take, we plan recovery steps together. You can get your life back on track, get your supports in place and live sober.

At the severe addiction level, health, family, job and other aspects of “Normal” life fall apart for an individual. The addict’s family are often in despair and traumatized at the severe level. Often at this stage the addict’s life starts to crumble: loss of job, divorce, loss of $ financial stability, maybe bankruptcy, loss of friends and estrangement of extended family, as well as immediate family. Level of violence, poverty, sickness, and further loss of personal control. Because of an inability to self regulate, there may be a police or criminal activity record, or pending jail.

Often there are psychological issues that need to be worked through as part of recovery: grief and loss, inner child and trauma work, sexuality and self image, proper use of personal power, managing conflict before it gets to rage, use of emotional intelligence skills.

I work with clients in various stages of addiction, and support them to balance their bodies, their lives and to build relationships in their lives. It starts with you.

Crystal Clear Energy Medicine
Phone: (250) 852-1580
750 Fortune Dr #32
Kamloops, BC V2B 2L2

Creating Stability & Reducing Stress

Creating Stability in your life allows you to reduce and manage stress, and thus be able to cope in daily life tasks.

1. Safety and physical needs have to be addressed to bring your body to balance.

We need safety, basic physical needs to be met, a sense of belonging, loving support, opportunities to learn and develop so we can grow, mature into healthy balanced people. Some people cope with sickness, developmental problems, injuries and poor environments. In which case, how do you adapt to the physical requirements, how do you make it all work out in the best way you can with what you have? What other resources are available to create a better outcome?

2. Structure and healthy support systems help you on an external level.

Resources within an individual and within the family can be pulled together for mutual benefit. Having family working as a team, helps you to feel that someone is protecting your back. Community support used to be easy- now we move around so much, we do not necessarily even know our neighbors anymore. Many of the community supports have become commercialized.

We still have family based religious organizations and churches, community events, and friends and family to call upon in times of crisis. When you are part of community, making secondary relationships, socializing with others, you can anchor yourselves more, this is part of stability we can generate for ourselves. Volunteering, being part of something bigger than ourselves is good for us to have a healthy world view.

Getting outside, playing, making friends, developing interests and hobbies can enrich our experiences. Having a garden, an animal to connect with gives us inspiration. Watching children play, participating in sports helps us feel good about ourselves. Keeping in contact with neighbors, secondary business people like doctors, dentists, shop keepers helps us feel like we belong in the community. As we age, the routine of going to the coffee shop for the same order becomes an important part of moving, visibility and part of socializing.

3. Valuing and loving yourself helps you on the self management- the inner level.

Finding ways to express gratitude, and compassion for yourself and others is a good start. Feed yourself healthy food- not just chemicals, over processed food like substances. Alive foods actually nurture our nerves, our brains, organs, allow our bodies to function properly. Finding something in your life to share has benefits for others. Do you have some humor? A compliment? A service you can do that generates good will for others?

Spending time playing with animals is so fun, helps you to enjoy and love yourself as well. What was the best thing that happened to you today? The more you put your attention on what is going right, the easier it is to get momentum for positive change in your life. Paying attention to your self talk is so important. Be gentle with yourself.

4. Find healthy ways to participate in an adult role within community, to build relationships.

I have noticed that even taking a dog for a walk, you can generate conversations with passers by. Being outside doing gardening, there are people who will start to comment, smile and encourage you. Saying hello to the store clerk, taking an interest in their day- all helps you feel connections to others. Invite someone out for a walk, a bike ride.When you share loving kindness, it comes back to you.

5. Find personal balance within the aspects of Emotional, Mental, Physical, and Spiritual experiencing in your life.

Meditations, getting out in nature, bike riding, reading, doing my business, earning an income, picking weeds, hosting family suppers are some of the things I do for balance. Getting out and having adventures, kayaking and hiking are important to me, help me keep my balance.

During an intake, together we can assess where you are, and what your life goals are, and what your addiction recovery can look like. What does recovery or stability mean to you?

Empowerment and Leadership Skills

Everybody needs to be in their power at some time in their life. But what does it mean to be in your authentic power versus bullying someone under false pretenses or a false power?

In order to look at empowerment, you have to look at the loss of power, or control and abusive patterns. The 2 aspects fit together to create a pattern and keep it going; the power and control. So, in order to shift the pattern you have to have balance, wisdom, timing, insight to shift the pattern into something more useful, healthier, and more manageable. This is not usually done overnight, rather it is done in steps, as awareness and practice allows. The starting point is to set the intention of being real, connected to your heart, and looking to create what you need.

Mindfulness

From the mindfulness perspective, being in your power means to be in the flow, balanced, centered, connected to your heart. When you are operating from your heart, generally decisions are based on wisdom, grounded in reality. Decisions are often intended, reflected upon, and set into action steps as is possible.

In counselling, empowerment is often a process of really listening to the heart of the matter, observing the situation played out, reflecting on it, engaging the intuitive mind, and choosing a course of direction, engagement that is meaningful to experience.

Empowerment can be referred to as an attunement within yourself. Paying attention to your self-talk, your attitudes, your core beliefs, helps you to include the 95% of the unconscious and subconscious thought streams. Often when people have experienced a lot of toxic core beliefs and attitudes, values; they have unconsciously internalized them, and have become numb to them. We operate at about 5% of conscious awareness. That is all! The good news is that we can access the other 95% , with our intention to focus and pay attention.

Empowerment is the process of choosing our preferred outcome, and putting it into action. Stepping into your leadership can be so satisfying and enjoyable when it is balanced power. Counsellng can help you fine tune what you need and desire in your experiences. You can do it. You can be authentically in your power.

Knowing When to Embrace The Inner Child

Through out life, we experience traumatic events. In childhood, we are more vulnerable, have little power, and resign ourselves to not getting our needs met and then try to survive the situation, the best way we can. This can look like watching a family member get beaten up, or directly experiencing the violence. The helplessness and fear experienced in the trauma gets triggered later in life.

Being put into situations that you haven’t been prepared for, or that hurt you, going through severe neglect, or endangerment, can have an effect on your ability to function in future social situations. Without loving support, safety, or personal needs being provided for, a child can feel unloved, unworthy, and fear rejection or more violence when being addressed.

Children can learn to dislike themselves, to put themselves down, to even have contempt for themselves. As the child was treated; the child internalizes the attitudes and values about themselves. This epi-genetic process can become a multi-generational pattern that continues until someone says, “Enough! No more violence!” When one person starts the healing, ripples of compassion, love and forgiveness can begin a new story. Counselling helps you recover from harmful toxic patterns of childhood trauma.

Embracing the inner child is all about making room for safety, dignity, and personal needs to be met, of loving yourself. To love yourself in the past, when you were a child, is to also love yourself in the present. Taking time to listen to your self, self parenting, even a few decades later, is part of healing. Counselling can help you do this, show you how to change your self talk to reflect loving yourself. It is never to late to have a happy childhood, it just looks different.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is available for the childhood experiences that were preverbal, is great for children and adults of childhood trauma. No words are needed to start interacting with the figurines, and start the stories. Art work, music, playing the Tibetan singing bowls, the didgeridoo, the keyboard or setting up the montages, all lead to expression of self. It is powerful to have a witness of the story process validate your human experiences. Attunement to the story process, and the storyteller, allows the feelings of compassion and healing.

When Trauma and Crisis Management is Needed

There are times when life throws you a curve ball. All of us at some point in our lives have been in crisis, where our coping skills are overwhelmed, and we need a lifeline to be able to breathe air again.

In the case of medical crisis, go to the medical teams, and get the first level of need dealt with. When you are ready, you can call up for grief counselling to be able to go through and process the emotions, cipher out the needs, and make a safety plan, choose again.

It is helpful to have someone attend your appointments with you, hear what the doctor’s have to say, ask the questions. A patient is likely in shock, and is probably going to miss a lot of what is said. Note pads, written notes all help. The journey through the medical process can leave a patient feeling powerless as so much control often gets turned over to the experts. When you do speak up, participate in the decisions, it becomes your experience choices again.

During a cancer experience now 8 years ago, I found that I went deep into my resources, found strength I didn’t know I had. The inner journey became a turning point in my life. I am grateful to those precious few who were able to support me. This experience informs my work about the loving compassion and power of forgiveness; the need to let go of the anger in the midst of longstanding lineage trauma stored within the body. Healing crisis can effect entire families and communities. Counselling can help you navigate through all of the emotions and process from your heart.

In the case of violence, extreme domestic issues, go for safety first. Police, emergency needs get met first. When there is time, counselling can help you debrief, and move into normalization. What needs to be different? What do you want to experience? Get to safety first, then you can call for counselling support. There are Women’s shelters for the purpose of short term safety.

When you are ready, call for counselling to explore why you are in a pattern that keeps repeating. What life do you want? In many cases, friends and family can help. When we can build safety into our homes, our communities, everyone benefits.

In the case of addictions, substance abuse, immediate safety needs – have to be put into place. Then you can call for counselling, find out what is available, what you can do. In Kamloops the Phoenix center supervises your detoxing, this can help you feel safe and taken care of. There are treatment programs for gambling, and substance abuse. Counselling with me can help you assess where you are, get into treatment, and do the follow up with you.

In the cases of suicide attempts or concerns, again put safety into place, then call for counselling and support. Hospitalization may be part of the recovery plan. Support teams can be great, and successful.

Extreme poverty and homelessness situations can be helped through ASK Wellness services, the foodbank, the hostel, Emerald House, social services.

When we can turn away from apathy, and reduce or eliminate suffering, the world is indeed a better place.

Identifying and Working With Emotions

Rage and Anger management are basic in emotional literacy and self- regulation.

How do you know if you are in your personal power, or in abusive use of power? Learn how to read the signals within your body, the context of the situation and to pay attention to the information in the conflict. Learn how to use your awareness of anger without getting swallowed up in a dangerous emotional tsunami, that is out of control and destroying everything. Underneath blind rage is incredible fear. In order to work with the roots of the anger and rage, you have to look at the woundedness, the trauma, the grief and loss that has not been dealt with. Inner child recovery work can help you reclaim who you are at your best. If you feel that is something you need, then call a professional and set up time to work on your anger issues.

All emotions can be put into the categories of Fear or Love. To break it down further: Fear category includes jealousy, fear of loss, shame, guilt and disconnection. Love category includes gratitude, compassion, empathy, joy, happiness, connection. Of course there are many more descriptive emotional words that can be put into each category. Many time emotions are experienced in overlap, and all at once. In order to identify what emotional experiences are going on, you need to be able to observe behaviors, impacts of behaviors, and to be able to choose to manage your experience.

Be Aware of Your Emotional Responses so You Can Manage Them

Rage and Anger. Anger is a learned response, that probably started when you were still in diapers, couldn’t speak well, got frustrated and needed help, or to call on your personal power.

With parental intervention, the teaching, and correction of behaviour- most people can deal with frustration and irritation before it gets to the rage situation. However we have all experienced loss of control, and had freak outs. Sometimes the frustration builds up over a long time of suppression or disregard of emotional information. In some times the tension, irritation overrides the potential to experience peace and calm.

Anger is a Secondary Emotion

This means that there is an underlying issue that is triggering you. When you can identify what the fear is, you are 1/2 way to managing it. When you can identify the emotions you are experiencing, then you can more easily move into the situations you want to create and choose your responses. You can meet the unmet need yourself, do some self- nurturing to bring what is needed to the situation or shift the entire experience to fit you and others better.

There is Conflict in Every Relationship

The goal is to get to the information about the conflict and find solutions to get your needs and other people’s needed in a win/win situation. To many times people repeat the patterns of dysfunction and get stuck in Fear Traps, getting exhausted, and frustrated and more angry and stuck. This can feel like walking on egg shells, and get increasingly more dangerous. If this is happening to you, I can help you build a safety plan, to shift this experience, show you how to work with it all.

Working With Multi Generational Addiction Patterns

How many times have you been told “you are just like your mother!” or your father? Many times we see multi-generational trauma patterns passed down the lineage. A great example of this is war post traumatic stress disorder untreated, that then gets experienced through lack of calm, attuned parenting to the children. The mental health of the parents makes a huge difference in their ability to parent. Mal-adaptive coping and parenting gets passed down by experiences to the children through epi-genetics, role modeling and internalization of values and beliefs.

Addictions

Having one addicted parent increases the likelihood of children getting caught in the addiction cycle. The more chronic, and the more extreme the breakdown of family functioning as the result of the addiction- the more difficult it is to break the pattern. Yet, I know many wonderful people who have been sober for decades because they chose to live differently.

To be sober requires being real with yourself and with other people in your life. There are 12 step programs that offer amazing support within community, so you can experience yourself more fully. Counseling is a great step to get you started at looking at the darker sides of the addiction pattern, helping you to move through it. Addiction recovery is a lifelong focus.

Violence is the Misuse of Power

Violating someone’s personal boundaries is an intrusion, a violation of their safety at some level. In the face of working with violence in the home, safety rules have to be enforceable. Creating a safety plan with others is always the first step in dealing with the violence. Violence can come in the form of verbal abuse, physical abuse or threat of and destruction of property or threat of.

When children see others get beaten up, it is just as devastating as if they had been beaten up directly. If facing violence, establish safety rules first, even if you have to call in police or someone to help you. Counselling can help you set up healthy boundaries and safety plans to help you get back on track. Healthy communication, emotional literacy skills, self regulation creates peace.

Bully Power

This is mis-using your personal power, not appreciating or understanding how to work with personal boundaries. Being indifferent to the impact of your behavior on other people’s or animal’s experiences. A false sense or exaggerated image of yourself can get in the way of fairness, and being appropriate in social or work situations.

When there is a distorted image of yourself, other people ‘s dignity is sacrificed for perceived short falls. Intentionally causing shame, humiliation, and suffering of someone else is sick. What is the pay off from mis-behaviour? What benefit keeps this pattern going? Counselling can help you get this pattern shut down.

Servitude and Sacrifice

This has to be looked as part of gender roles and family, cultural expectations. In the short term a person can go on the sacrifice wheel, and maybe work overtime, or go without resources that other members of the family get. There are times when the family needs to rally around the specific care needs of a baby, young children, or seniors. In these cases, resources are available to help, to support the family, the individual.

A short term process means that there can be a balancing, a recovery and a normalization. When there are long term servitude and sacrifices required it can have effect on the personality and function of the individual. Anxiety, depression, loss of personal power can degenerate into mental health concerns.