Counselling

How to deal with narcissism

Whether it’s a co-worker, friend and family member, almost everyone knows someone with a narcissistic personality. Those with a narcissistic personality have an elevated sense of self-importance. They have a sense that they are in charge (at work and home), believe their ‘uniqueness’ can only be understood by a select few, and can require excessive admiration.   For those who work or live with the narcissist, life can become so complicated; you wish the narcissist would just “quit it”. Unfortunately, that’s not an option. As hard as it is to hear, narcissism is something to be dealt with – not necessarily something that can be overcome.   The good news is armed with the right strategies; you can learn to co-exist with the narcissist(s) in your life.   Lower Your Expectations – As you’ll never receive total emotional nurturing in a narcissistic relationship, ensure you keep your expectations realistic. When you’re with them, try to magnify their good qualities, while understanding they are somewhat emotionally limited. Accepting this truth will help you stop asking for something your family member, spouse or co-worker is unable to give (e.g. unconditional love, emotional support, etc.).   Strategise Your Needs – Due to a lack of empathy, narcissists have a lot of troubles focusing on the needs of others – even loved ones. So, ensure you don’t bother them with every little issue that crops up. When you need them to do something for you, ask for their help. To achieve a good result, ask for assistance in areas they are interested or gifted in.   Never Make Your Self-Worth Dependent on Them – Whatever you do, don’t get caught in the trap of trying to please a narcissist. […]

How To Avoid Burnout

Are you constantly looking toward the next deadline? Do you have trouble saying ‘no’ and continually find yourself over committed? If so, you may be suffering from burnout. Burnout can turn even the most routine of problems into a seemingly insurmountable mountain. This state of mind causes havoc with relationships, work and health. However, with the right motivation and coping strategies, burnout can become a thing of the past.   The term “burnout” was coined by Hebert Freudenberger, in his 1974 novel Staff Burnout. Burnout is a work-specific syndrome, which is becoming commonplace with constant workplace changes. Burnout is mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive, prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. Burnout reduces productivity and steals energy, leaving you feeling hopeless, cynical and resentful. Eventually, you feel you have nothing left to give.   The adverse effect of burnout spills out into every area of life – home and social life. Burnout causes long-term bodily changes, making you vulnerable to infections (e.g. colds). The primary causes of burnout include: feeling one has no control over one’s work, lack of recognition and unclear, overly demanding expectations. The condition is supplemented by lifestyle and personality outside of the workplace. Factors include:   Lack of sleep Absence of close/personal relationships High expectations from too many people Working to the point of having no relaxation or social life A pessimistic outlook While burnout sounds a lot like stress, they are entirely different issues. Stress is characterised by over-engagement while burnout is characterised by disengagement. Burnout produces helplessness, a loss of motivation, ideas and hope.   By adopting the right coping strategies, you can significantly lessen the impact of burnout on […]

Pre-trial Counselling

Many of us, have no experience of the courtroom. Courtrooms are worlds of their own, in that they have processes and language that are second nature to those who regularly inhabit this world, although as incomprehensible to those of us who don’t. For those who are a victim or are a witness giving evidence in a trial, the court can be quite an emotionally distressing experience. For example, the process of a cross-examination, where the opposing lawyer attempts to discredit the witness, can be very intimidating. Lawyers do not care if they intimidate you or come across aggressive; they simply want to find a weakness and create uncertainty for the jury to doubt the validity of the witness’s testimony. Unfortunately, there is no support system offered by the courts to help deal with the rigours of going to court. However, there are external services available. Alegna Solutions has a pre-trial counselling service to help improve self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as prepare victims and witnesses for the experience of court. Pre-trial counselling is a way of preparing. It covers basic things like the roles of the different people within the court and basic information about legal processes, so you are not walking in blind. Courts can be confusing places although if you go into them with a little knowledge it can be much less daunting. Pre-trial counselling will help make sense of the process and be aware of what is expected of you as a witness, and what to expect as a witness. Alegna solutions recommend pre-trial counselling especially for people, who are vulnerable, intimidated or who have experienced trauma. In the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service is reviewing its stance towards pre-trial counselling in […]

Coping with the Sudden Death of a Loved One

After experiencing the sudden death of a loved one, it can seem impossible to feel remotely human during the grieving process. Grief impacts every facet of one’s personal life; including your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, physical and mental health. It can feel as though there is a storm raging around you no one else is affected by. Rest assured you’re not alone. Everyone’s experience with grief is unique; it is a process, not an event. Although it seems cliché, everyone does grieve differently. Your unique experience depends on many factors, including: Your relationship with the deceased Your spiritual beliefs Cultural practices Level of support from family and friends, and; Associated stressors i.e. financial hardship, relationship breakdown, etc. When impacted by the sudden death of a loved one, it is important to remember there is no right or wrong way to grieve. You may react in any number of ways, including anger, feeling anxious, panic, change in beliefs, depression, sleep disturbances and inability to cope, among others. While reactions to grief are unique to the individual, grieving styles tend to fall into two broad styles. Your ‘grief style’ depends on your personality; however, many people experience a combination of both. INTUITIVE: The grieving person concentrates on the emotional aspects of their loss and seeks out social support to process their feelings INSTRUMENTAL: The grieving person focuses on the cognitive aspects of their loss. Grief manifests itself by dealing with the practical issues surrounding the loss i.e. handling funeral arrangements, legal issues, etc. Instrumental is a solitary style of grief in which the individual processes his or her feelings alone. While in the throes of grief, it may seem impossible to cope. The truth is, there are […]

Recalibrate your life

You know that feeling of wanting to bash your head against the wall at work? It’s a feeling that we all experience from time to time. A problem arises; a solution is argued over and eventually found and then you move on. Only, what if you cannot find a solution? What if you become bogged down in the same arguments going round and round, and you are no further from moving forward.   Outside of work, if an issue were preventing you from living your life then you would consider seeing a counsellor to help you re-evaluate, and gain a new perspective. Inside the world of work, you can do the same thing. You can recalibrate your life.   What is recalibration? Recalibration is the process of getting you to understand that there are many different points of view. If you are stuck in a routine, you only ever see enough to get through the day. Recalibration is about getting you to recognise your limitations and acknowledging that there are different interpretations of the same reality. It is not a simple thing to acquire, and you cannot achieve it instantly, but there are exercises you can do to train your brain.   Firstly, remember the saying ‘Look before you leap’? Take a moment before you react to something. If you are in an argument or discussion then actively wait before you respond. It is not just about stopping you from saying something in the heat of the moment, but waiting for what that person has said to sink in before you react.   Secondly, reassess the way you respond to mundane every-day situations. For example, the next time someone irritates you, think about why they […]