The Relationship Maze
Relationship advice and exploration. Two experienced and passionate therapists talking about all aspects to do with building fulfilling relationships. All successful relationships start with a good look at yourself. We explore challenges that you might face in your life such as stress, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression or loneliness and even your physical and mental health in general. We consider how you can build more hope, resilience and strength. And we provide you with plenty of insight and advice on building a long lasting and successful relationship whether you are currently single, just set out in a relationship or are in an established relationship or marriage.
Successful relationships during the pandemic
November 29, 2020 • 28 MIN
In this episode we're talking about how to improve relationships during the pandemic, both for people in relationships and also for single people wanting to date. If you're stuck at home with your partner for weeks, it often leads to conflict. We're talking about ways to help you deal with that conflict and save your relationship. We also talk about how social restrictions could actually be a way that could help you find a fulfilling long term relationship if you are currently single.
How learning about attachment styles can help you understand your relationship
December 6, 2020 • 25 MIN
In this episode we're going to be talking about attachment styles. Your attachment style can have a huge impact in your finding and creating a great relationship. It also determines whether you're going to be happy in your long term relationship. Understanding your relationship style and another person's style will help you find better relationships and also help you improve your existing relationships. So tune in to find out about this really important topic.
Interview with Derek Clark - how teaching riders to develop better relationships with horses can improve your relationships
December 13, 2020 • 31 MIN
In this episode I'm talking to Derek Clark, one of the founders of the Holistic Equitation Centre and creator of the Schooling Made Simple online coaching programme. In this fascinating discussion, you'll learn about how change and amazing relationships really come from developing a deep level of understanding and empathy. Derek Clark has been helping people achieve their dreams in sport and in business for nearly 40 years. After enjoying success in rowing at school and university, he became one of the first professional rowing coaches in the UK and helped his athletes achieve success at all levels - from complete beginners to world champions. In 1996 he was a coach of the Swiss Rowing Team that won 2 gold medals at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Then, as ‘Technical Consultant' to the Oxford University Boat Club he helped them turn a 7-year losing streak into 7 wins from the next 10 years in the annual Boat Race against Cambridge. Derek also has a strong entrepreneurial and business background. He has run his own businesses for over 20 years and delivered coaching and training in leadership and communication skills to managers and directors of some of the UK’s best known companies. Just over 20 years ago, Derek discovered a whole new angle on life when his wife Jo (who was also a rowing finalist at the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988) bought her own horse for the very first time. But the dream quickly turned into a nightmare when they discovered her new ‘dream’ horse, Perry, was actually a very unhappy, frightened and dangerous creature who hated anything at all to do with humans. Convinced that he must have been drugged when she had tried him out, Jo was unwilling to resell Perry or have him put to sleep and so, while Derek was learning all about horses for the first time, she had to let go of everything she thought she 'knew’ from a lifetime of riding because her own horse told her it all stank and there was no way he was going to put up with it! Fortunately, Derek and Jo’s search for a better way uncovered some almost forgotten, centuries-old knowledge and wisdom that has been kept alive in the modern day only by a handful of teachers. After immersing themselves in years of study, they learned how a different approach can enable any caring rider to develop a deep relationship of trust with even very sensitive or ‘difficult' horses, while at the same time being able to train and educate them to a high level. Since Perry’s turnaround, they've been inundated with requests for help from people who care what their horses think about life. They’ve spent the last 15 years showing other people how to make riding and training their own horses more productive, more effective and more fun for both parties.
Stop the fighting - dealing with relationship conflict
December 20, 2020 • 26 MIN
In this episode we're going to be talking about how to deal with arguments and conflict in relationships. In particular, over the last few months there have been even more strains on relationships. The majority of relationships don't last and a huge part of this is because people don't know how to deal with conflict. Learning how to deal with conflict is crucial to build long term and fulfilling relationships.
How hope can help you and your relationships when things seem challenging
December 27, 2020 • 34 MIN
Have you ever felt like you've tried everything and nothing seems to work? Maybe if you are single, you've been on dozens of dates or spent years looking for the relationship you know you deserve, but still haven't found it. Or maybe you've been arguing with your partner for months and it feels like it is never going to get better? In this episode we're talking about hope. Hope is essential to help motivate you and give you energy to keep going at those times when things are challenging. In the darkest hours, hope gives us the mindset and emotional resources to keep going until we find a solution. Hope provides us with agency and pathways: it enables us to have the will and determination to achieve a goal and to find ways to get there. Over years of working with clients, one of the most important factors that prevents someone from falling into helplessness is hope. So in this episode, we're going to explore what hope is and how to find it.
Achieve your dreams through finding your inner compass - interview with Floyd Woodrow
January 3, 2021 • 33 MIN
Have you ever dreamed of things you'd like to achieve in life, but never took action on them? We all are full of potential and capable of so much more than most of us ever fulfil. So what stops so many of us from achieving that potential? In this episode I am talking with Floyd Woodrow. Floyd has spent his career achieving at the highest possible level and has developed a unique approach to helping people achieve their potential. Having served in the SAS for more than 20 years, Floyd Woodrow MBE DCM has achieved at the very highest levels. Inspiring his men in the most demanding of situations, he drove his team to success, ultimately being awarded the UK's second-highest award for gallantry, the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Floyd Woodrow is Managing Director and founder of Chrysalis Worldwide, a world leading values-based organisation, and owner of Quantum Group, recently winning an innovation award for 2018 in the Fintech sector. Floyd has an excellent track record of success as a Military Leader, Director, Non-Executive Director, Consultant and Negotiator. Floyd is challenging, supportive and totally committed to developing elite teams and individuals as well as offering practical and commercial value in strategic planning and execution. Floyd has established an international reputation for designing and running leadership and elite performance training in sports, business, government, police, not for profit organisations and education.
How projection can make or break your relationships
January 10, 2021 • 26 MIN
Have you ever felt blamed for something you didn't do? Maybe even when you know the person blaming you is the one who behaves in that way? Or have you ever been attracted to the 'wrong' type of people? If so, it could be influenced by projection. Projection is where we attribute our unwanted thoughts, feelings, motives and desires onto other people. Some signs we may be projecting are when we feel overly hurt or defensive about something someone has said or done. Or when we allow someone to push our buttons in ways that don't happen with other people. We can also project positive qualities onto other people that may not be there, and lead us getting into relationships that aren't good for us. In this episode, we're going to talk about projection and some of the things you can do to become aware of it and positively influence your relationships.
How to transform your mind through body awareness
January 17, 2021 • 49 MIN
In this podcast I'm talking to Thomas Kampe, Professor of Somatic Performance and Education. Thomas was born in Germany and moved to the UK in his twenties. Thomas has worked as a performing artist, researcher and educator across the globe. He has worked with a number of well known choreographers, dancers, play writers and artists. In this interview you will witness Thomas' passion for and commitment to his work: he loves witnessing change in the participants he works with. For example, students learn how a focus on small movements helps us to tune in better to what we are experiencing internally. Thomas is a qualified teacher of the Feldenkrais method which informs his work greatly. Students learn to go through a sequence of movements that they repeat and explore, gaining insight into internal sensations. Shifts can be achieved by moving differently. Moving differently in turn will impact not only on physical sensations but also on a person's thinking and feeling. In this work Thomas has witnessed his students becoming more self-aware and confident, moving differently through the world. This podcast will help you learn more about the body and mind connection. There is room for all of us to pay more attention to our bodies and the kind of repetitive movements that are not serving us well.
Anxiety and how to manage it
January 24, 2021 • 27 MIN
We all experience anxiety at times for a number of reasons, for example because of stress at work, concerns about our health or worries about our friendships or relationships. Currently, anxiety levels generally are very high because of COVID-19 concerns. We experience anxiety when we feel that we are under threat and when we are dealing with uncertainty. Anxiety leads to challenges in relationships and vice versa. If you feel worried about your partner this will impact the relationship; if the relationship throws up difficulties, you may start to feel anxious. Generally speaking, you are more likely to experience anxiety if you have an insecure attachment style and interpret other people’s intentions or behaviour in a way that is not favourable towards you. In this podcast we talk about the biological reasons for feeling anxious sometimes as well as the different forms that anxiety can take. When anxiety gets out of hand it can manifest as Generalised Anxiety, Health Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Panic Attacks, OCD or PTSD. We experience anxiety in our bodies and in our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Managing anxiety is crucial: we will talk you through one exercise that you can do to calm your body and your mind. Working effectively with anxiety entails a focus on relaxing your body, challenging your thoughts and addressing the underlying causes to change your behaviour.
Toxic Relationships - interview with Sarah K Ramsey
January 31, 2021 • 26 MIN
In this episode I'm talking with Sarah K Ramsey. Sarah K Ramsey is a Toxic Relationship Specialist, Life Coach and NLP Master Practitioner who helps amazing women remember how amazing they are after enduring the pain of a toxic partner or parent. She works with women who have experienced toxic relationships and who remain stuck in a cycle of pain and confusion transform their minds and lives by taking back their power, recreating a life they are excited about living and bringing renewed energy, clarity, and excellence into establishing careers and relationships they love. Her podcast Toxic Person Proof has been ranked in the top 5% of podcasts globally and was rated the best podcast for getting over your ex. Her work has been featured in the Emotional Abuse Recovery and Resilience Summit, Healing Narcissistic Trauma Conference, Medium, Thrive Global, The Elephant Journal and The Courageous Woman Summit. Contact Sarah at sarah@sarahkramsey.com or www.sarahkramsey.com/contact.
Loneliness and isolation
February 7, 2021 • 21 MIN
Loneliness can affect almost anyone. During the pandemic the experience of feeling lonely has become an even greater issue. More and more people report that they are struggling with feeling isolated. Loneliness has become a major source of emotional and mental health concern. We can experience loneliness when single and when we are in a relationship. You can have a large family but still find yourself feeling alone and disconnected from everybody. There are different degrees of loneliness. Some people feel lonely some of the time; others have a more profound and continuous experience of loneliness. If you experience profound loneliness there are good reasons for this. It helps to understand the underlying reasons for this experience and to consider how to overcome associated challenges. In this episode, we are going to explore loneliness and isolation. We will explore the experience of feeling lonely and explore some strategies that may help you on your way towards more connection.
Living with a narcissist? How to spot the signs and know what to do.
February 14, 2021 • 36 MIN
In today's episode I will be talking with Dr Mariette Jansen, author of 'From Victim to Victor - Narcissism Survival Guide'. Mariette trained as a psychotherapist and later on as a life coach focusing in particular on issues related to stress at the workplace or personal life. Mariette has had her own experience of having narcissists in her life: her mother is a narcissist and Mariette was in a relationship with a narcissist. She has written 'From Victim to Victor' from the perspective of surviving these relationships. If you have a narcissist in your life - be it a partner, parent, friend, work colleague - this podcast will help you to learn how they operate, how they impact on you and what strategies you can develop to move away from the narcissist. If you aren't sure whether a certain person in your life is a narcissist, stay tuned to find out whether they show signs of narcissism like grandiosity or not being able to handle criticism. Her best selling and award winning book 'From Victim to Victor' is available on Amazon.
Challenging times and how to deal with them
February 21, 2021 • 26 MIN
Everyone faces challenges at some point in their life. Recently with the pandemic, there have been more challenging times than ever. In this podcast are talking about permanence and pervasiveness: the idea that a challenging situation feels like it will never end and the idea that it colours all of your life. Often we may feel that we are helpless in the face of a challenge, we may feel that we have no control over our life. In the podcast we are also talking about projection: feeling worried or stressed with challenges often leads to passing on that stress and frustration to the person who is closest to us. Many relationships in the last year have been affected in this way; partners struggled with taking on the other's stress on top of their own. We explore how anger with the current situation plays out in relationships with our partners, colleagues and the public at large. There are times when it can feel like we don't have the strength we need to get through the current situation we face. However, everyone has resources within them that they often don't realise exist. Learning how to deal with challenges can help build your strength and resilience. In this podcast, we explore all of the above challenges and consider what you might be able to do to address them.
Relationship insights with the Eneagram
February 28, 2021 • 30 MIN
In this podcast I'm talking with Dr Henrie Lidiard, where we are talking about how the Eneagram can help you have deeper insight into your relationships. Henrie began her career as a research scientist, and has spent the last 20 years helping people improve their relationships at work through self-awareness and communication skills. She is a master trainer of NLP, an Enneagram trainer and is based in West Yorkshire where she lives with her partner of 26 years and a cat who adopted them during lockdown. In this podcast she is talking about the Enneagram, which is a powerful and profound model for understanding archetypal patterns in human nature. It is sometimes described as “A map of the human soul”.
How to use Transactional Analysis to communicate better
March 7, 2021 • 27 MIN
In this episode we will look at one of the most commonly used models of Transactional Analysis, the Parent/Adult/Child model. Transactional Analysis is a form of therapy that looks at the way that we talk to each other. At any given point in time we are in either in a Parent, Child or Adult state of mind that determines how we receive and respond to other people. When we are in a Parent state of mind our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are those that we learned from parental figures in our life, e.g. telling someone else what to do or not or looking after someone else. When we are in a Child state of mind we may be playful, compliant or throw a temper tantrum. In an Adult state we mediate between Parent and Child. Transactional Analysis helps us to examine which state we are in and to understand what happens when your partner is in a Parent state and you are in a Child state or vice versa. The insights that can be gained from these interactions are hugely helpful in understanding difficulties in our communication and how to address these.
Rebuild your career after having had a baby
March 14, 2021 • 31 MIN
In today's episode I will talk to Judith Plastow, counsellor, psychotherapist and coach. Judith had worked at as a senior manager at Sky and Yahoo in her previous career. In addition to working as a lecturer on the MSc Integrative Counselling and Coaching at the University of East London, Judith runs women's groups in companies where mothers returning to work can discuss the challenges that they face. Women frequently struggle with issues like low confidence and impostor syndrome. Returning to work after maternity leave brings up additional concerns for many mothers: guilt about leaving the baby behind, worries about being deskilled at work or juggling the demands of home and work. Judith discusses what it means to be 'good enough' in both roles and how to manage these multi-faceted demands. We start off the episode by looking at the recent challenges faced by parents whose children were at home during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and we are also discussing the impact of having a child has on fathers.
'I'm ok, you're ok' - the foundation of healthy relationships
March 21, 2021 • 29 MIN
Following on from episode 15 we explore further ideas from Transactional Analysis. In this episode you'll learn: - how to be more empowered in your relationship - how to help your partner feel more empowered - the drivers behind our behaviour - to understand why your partner behaves and communicates in the way they do Discover how transactional analysis can help you and your relationships in this episode.
Unfinished business - when you haven't said what needs saying
March 28, 2021 • 25 MIN
In this episode we will be talking about unfinished business. Is there something that you wish you had said to a friend/family member/partner or colleague? We will be talking about.... ...communication that has been left hanging. Frequently, we don't tell another person what we think or feel because of an underlying fear that the other person may not like what we say. Our unexpressed feelings or thoughts may stay with us for hours, days or sometimes even years. Why is it to difficult to say certain things to our partner? In relationships some partner struggle to say what needs saying. They may prefer to sulk. We explore the challenges that people face in expressing what they need to express and the impact it has on us in the short and long term.
Let's talk about sex: understanding your on and off switches
April 4, 2021 • 23 MIN
In this episode we're talking about some of the factors that influence the quality of your time in your bedroom (or wherever takes your fancy!) with your partner. In most relationships partners experience their level of sexual drive in different ways from each other. Relationships change over time; this includes the sexual dimension of your relationship. What starts off amazing can fade away and be an often unspoken source of dissatisfaction in relationships. Learning about the dual drives that determine arousal can help you improve your relationship in and out of the bedroom. Many couples struggle to have a dialogue about sexual issues in the relationship. Often this is related to feelings of shame, of low confidence, worries about not being 'good enough' or simply not knowing what language to use. Gaining an understanding of you 'turn ons' and 'turn offs' can help you gain more confidence in your own sexuality, help you communicate better with your partner which in turn creates closeness and mutuality. Do you know what gets you in the mood and receptive towards having sex with your partner? And do you know what gets in the way of your desire for sex?
mBraining - get more out of life by using your multiple brains
April 11, 2021 • 31 MIN
This week I'm talking with Reb Veale about mBraining - which is all about how to use your multiple brains to do cool stuff! Reb is an mBIT Trainer and Master Coach and NLP Master Trainer. She is also a coach supervisor, occupational psychologist and is psychotherapeutically-trained. Reb is also a Yiayia (which is Greek for Grandma), a gardener and maker of chutney. She has always been passionate about what makes people tick, what makes us different and what we share in common. This fascination is what led her down a wormhole in the internet back in early 2013 and how she came across the field of mBraining. Reb has so far trained and certified almost 300 mBIT coaches in nine countries in four continents and her personal mission is to bring mBraining to as many people as possible during her lifetime.
Have you been Kondo-ed? Dating terms and their deeeper meaning
April 18, 2021 • 28 MIN
You might be familiar with ghosting, but how about Kondo-ing? There's a bizarre world of terms used in dating now including dog-fish & being zombied! Today we're exploring some of these terms in a fun and lively episode. We're also looking a little deeper and exploring what drives people who are 'guilty' of these behaviours and how to cope if you are the innocent victim.
When you feel irritated with your partner
April 25, 2021 • 17 MIN
In this episode we talk about moments when you get annoyed or irritated with your partner. You may get irritated by a number of small behaviours that can over time build up to a more serious frustration with your partner. These irritations tend to arise at a later stage in the relationship, once the honeymoon is over. We talk about bringing these behaviours to your partner's attention in a way that feels ok for both of you and that can lead to behavioural change.
Approaches to addressing and treating depression
May 3, 2021 • 25 MIN
In this episode we're talking about depression. According to Word Health Organisation, depression is the most common illness worldwide: in 2017 264 million people were affected. In the UK 10% of the population will have had an experience of depression in their life time. Depression is characterised by persistent low mood, lack of motivation and a loss of interest in activities that are usually experienced as pleasurable. Depressive symptoms vary in their intensity depending on the severity of the depressive episode. Symptoms may include a lack of appetite, insomnia, morbid thoughts, feelings of hopelessness, restlessness, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or lack of concentration. We are talking about clinical depression if more than one of these symptoms are ticked and a person's life is impacted to such an extent that it interferes with their daily life. In the field of therapy there are different ways of thinking of depression and how best to work with it. Psychodynamic approaches focus more on understanding and addressing the underlying causes of depression due to adverse life experience whereas cognitive behavioural approaches are mainly concerned with addressing faulty thinking and behavioural changes necessary to bring about change. Humanistic approaches are mainly concerned with offering emotional support and looking at the obstacles that get in the way for lifting the depression. In this episode we discuss the different approaches to depression. Depending on how you think about depression - as a cause or as a symptom of more complex underlying difficulties - will depend what therapeutic approach may suit you best. If you are unsure you may want to consider a more integrative approach which would consider root causes of the depressive symptoms as well as look at cognitive and behavioural changes.
Building resilience - identify and utilise your strengths
May 9, 2021 • 21 MIN
In this episode we explore your inner strengths that get you through difficult times in life. Are you aware of the strategies that you employ to manage challenges? Most of the time you go through life managing obstacles without even thinking about it. Bringing these strategies into your awareness will enable you to creatively employ them in situations which are more demanding and stretching for you. These situations may include challenges at work, in your relationship or in other areas of your life. Developing more resilience will also enable you to cope better with your partner's distress or frustrations. In this podcast we discuss Padesky and Mooney's Four Step Strengths-Based cognitive behavioural model. The focus is on helping you discover the positive qualities you already have and to consciously apply your strengths in all areas of difficulty in your life.
Change your thoughts, transform your relationships
May 16, 2021 • 24 MIN
In this episode we explore the connection between thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviour. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been useful at helping us identify how our interpretations of a particular event, rather than the event itself, determines how we feel about it. It is our reaction to situations that make them problematic, not the situation itself. Most of the time something happens to us and we assume that the thing that happens to us makes us feel sad, upset, angry etc. What we often fail to pay attention to is that we have an underlying belief or belief system that assesses a situation and comes up with an interpretation. These interpretations frequently don't serve us well. This is true in relationships where our partners says or does something that we interpret as disrespectful, annoying or hurtful. Subsequently we may fight back or sulk and lick our wounds. It is also true in dating scenarios where you may chose to interpret another person's lack of response as a lack of interest. Understanding our underlying beliefs gives us more control over the outcome of a situation that we find frustrating. We have a choice in being offended for example. Thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviours are in constant interaction with each other. For example, I might think that nobody likes me. I then feel sad or angry. I notice a sinking feeling in my stomach. As a result, I may decide to stay at home in order to avoid feeling bad about myself. This is in turn will generate thoughts that I am not worthy of liking and so on and so forth. In a CBT model the idea is to break this cycle. You can start for example to change the behaviour by going out more often. This might make you feel a bit better about yourself and can positively influence thoughts and feelings.
Understanding yourself - the key to fulfilling relationships
May 24, 2021 • 19 MIN
'Know Thyself', this ancient saying encourages us to go in search of a deeper level of self-understanding - In today's episode we explore why knowing yourself matters in the context of relationships. Couples are often surprised that their partner 'changed' over time. One or two years down the line you may think that your partner is not the person you thought they would be. You may notice that they are not as patient, cuddly, understanding or present as you want them to be. The ideal partner from the honeymoon days seems to have disappeared. The disappointment with the partner frequently results in a mutual blame game. What many couples fail to acknowledge is their own perspective and their own expectations. It helps to know your own starting point. What are your thoughts about relationships? What do you expect from your partner? And how do you respond to disappointments? Your ideas about relationships have been formed over a long period of time, starting in your childhood. You would have learned how relationships work (or don't work) and you would have developed all sorts of ideas about other people and the world in general. There would have been some disappointments along the way and an unconscious desire to find the one person who can make everything alright for you. For example, if you struggle with low confidence you may wish for a partner who reassures you and makes you feel good about yourself. If you partner struggles to do this all the time, you may feel disappointed and over a long period of time you may get very frustrated. We often choose our partners (unconsciously) to heal old wounds from the past. We have expectations of our partner that may be realistic or may be completely impossible to meet. Bringing our wishes and expectations into our awareness can help us to articulate what it is that we need and enables us to review our expectations. Can your partner really over everything to you? Are there some expectations that may need reviewing? So, ask yourself, what you want and need from a relationship? How would you know that you are in the relationship that you need?
How to sleep like a child
May 31, 2021 • 27 MIN
Trouble with falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night affects most of us at some point in our life. We talk about insomnia if you regularly have problems sleeping. In today's podcast we talk about the importance of sleep and how problems with sleeping impact on your life. For example chronic sleep problems can lead to weight gain, memory performance decrease, depression or anxiety. Sleep problems are caused by a number of different factors such as stress, excessive worry, bad habits, environmental factors or shift work. Want to sleep better and more regularly? Find out more about what you can do to develop healthy sleep patterns and to improve your sleep if you struggle with insomnia. We talk you through sleep hygiene and developing more sleep efficiency, that is improving the percentage of time asleep in bed. Ideally you would want to spend roughly 85% of your time in bed asleep rather than awake. Following the guidance on behaviour around sleep can really make a big difference. Are you aware for example that what you eat or drink can have a big impact on the quality of your sleep? There are drinks and food that can contribute to you sleeping better, and drinks that do the opposite. We also address some of the common myths about sleep such as needing eight hours of sleep at night.
Increase your self-esteem
June 6, 2021 • 28 MIN
In this episode we talk about self-esteem and building more confidence in yourself. The terms self-esteem and self-confidence are often used interchangeably but are slightly different. Low self-esteem manifest as having a generally negative opinion of yourself , talking negatively to yourself and judging or evaluating yourself negatively. Overall you struggle to see yourself in a positive light. We discuss how self-esteem manifests and impacts on a person who struggles with having a healthy self image. Generally speaking, if you have low self-esteem you tend to have a very strong inner critic, telling yourself that you are not doing well, not likeable or not doing as well as other people. The impact can be mild to quite devastating. It can lead to withdrawal, isolation, depression and anxiety or to excessive drug and alcohol use. We discuss the causes of low self-esteem, for example negative messaging in your family home, bullying at school or experiencing an abusive relationship as an adult. There are often a number of factors that contribute to developing low self-esteem. We briefly discuss ways of addressing low self-esteem, developing more compassion for yourself and having a healthier belief in yourself.
How to starve the anger gremlin
June 13, 2021 • 23 MIN
We all feel angry at times, frequently because we feel an injustice has been done or another person is being hurtful to us. Anger itself is a completely normal human emotion. As a fleeting feeling it is relatively harmless and unproblematic. However, if anger starts to control your life and affect relationships with others it might be good to examine what the underlying causes are and how to manage your anger better. Anger has been a necessary feeling that helped our survival. In its biological function anger is a response to a perceived threat. The instinctive way to express anger is through aggression. This would allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when under attack. Physically the body responds by showing an increased heart rate and blood pressure. In this episode we discus what to do if your anger remains unrestrained, very intense and frequent. We talk about anger as serving useful function in terms of propelling you to take action and stand up for values that are important to you. Anger can be expressed outwardly through shouting for example or it can go inward. When anger does not find expression and goes inward it can create a range of problems - it can turn into depression or self harm. Often anger is simply the tip of the iceberg and there are many underlying emotions beneath it, for example sadness, loneliness or shame. Many people struggle to express their feelings - the result Anger that cannot be safely expressed is often coming out in a passive aggressive comments where the frustration is not quite openly voiced but the person is under attack. How was anger managed in your family when you were growing up? In relationships there are often difficulties if one partner is used to expressing anger while the other learned to suppress it. In addition to the underlying causes of anger, we talk about strategies to manage it better, specifically in your relationships with others. We also discuss how to respond to your partner's anger in a helpful way.
Under pressure - managing stress through understanding your nervous system
June 20, 2021 • 26 MIN
In this episode we explore what happens to you when you are feeling stressed, how stress impacts on your life and what needs to be done to managing stress. When we are stressed our sympathetic autonomic nervous system gets activated. We go into fight or flight responses. Polyvagal Theory, developed by Stephen Porges, has expanded the understanding of the nervous system offering useful insights into the processing of situations that we experience as stressful. In addition to fight and flight responses Polyvagal Theory identifies a third type of nervous system response that Stephen Porges calls the social engagement system. This is the part that is relevant in particular to our capacity get on well with other people. Stress or burnout are not medical terms- they describe a series of emotional and bodily experiences. We talk about positive (eustress) and negative (stress); stress that mobilises and motivates us and stress that is chronic and causes all sorts of questions in the long run. Stress is a cluster of responses to feeling threatened. Understanding our autonomic nervous systems helps us in understanding what happens when we are feeling threatened. Polyvagal Theory talks about what happens in our nervous system when we are in a situation that we experience as threatening. The focus is on the vagus nerve - the largest cranial nerve that connects the brain stem with our gut. We discuss the three different states we can get into and how we process stress. Chronic stress affects relationships. When we feel safe and in a good state of mind generally we are able to connect with other people; we can be empathic and ascribe good intentions to other people. When we are not feeling safe but either mobilising for fight or flight we are in an anxious, hyperactive frenzied state that takes up all of our energy. The third state we can be in is further down the ladder when we are getting into shutdown - we are playing dead. In this state we may feel hopeless, ashamed, stuck or immobilised. Frequently this state is described as 'burn out'. Chronic stress often gets unnoticed - we may not even realise that we are constantly in a state of hyperactivity and mobilisation as we have become so used to it. The result are often a series of physical or emotional responses of dis stress. Chronic stress needs to be recognised first and then regulated. Once it can be managed, for example through breathing exercises that tell your autonomous nervous system that you are safe, we can look at the underlying causes of stress. Reflection on the reasons for chronic stress can only help to regulate stress once we dealt with our bodies first.
Under more pressure - stress and connecting with others
June 28, 2021 • 26 MIN
Following our last podcast episode which has been exceedingly popular, we decided to delve further into stress and the polyvagal system. The focus of our session today in on connection with other people. When we are feeling stressed we struggle with being close to other people. Being connected to others on the other hand can help us with managing stress. Polyvagal Theory offers us a good overview of the three different states that our nervous system can be in: we can feel connected others and feel safe; we can feel threatened and fight back or avoid a situation by running away from it or we can be completely overwhelmed and shut down, playing dead so to speak. Other people can help us to co-regulate our emotions, in other words, if I am feeling stressed a friend, partner or colleague can help me to manage my feelings around being stressed better. People who are very isolated often struggle with regulating their emotions because they can't co-regulate with others. Often this goes hand in hand with being in a state of frozenness, helplessness and low self-esteem. The signals that are sent out to others often sadly indicate that this person does not seek connection. Some people manage stress much better than others. What is their secret? We explore how you can manage stress in a way that helps you to calm your nervous system and to be able to build connection with others.
Stress & Anxiety: Resistance is futile - ACT now
July 5, 2021 • 24 MIN
In today's episode Tom explains what insights we can gain from Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), in particular when it comes to stress and anxiety. Unlike other therapies where the focus is on regulating difficult emotions, ACT is not concerned with telling us how we can manage these feelings better but with allowing for these feelings to be present. Rather than trying to get rid of the feeling as soon as possible, we learn to allow to be with it. Many people spend a lot of time trying to 'deal' with stress and anxiety. We might get caught up in a cycle of trying to avoid difficult situations, or trying to 'lessen' feelings of anxiety. As a result, we spend our time and energy trying to regulate difficult emotions and get distracted from the things that are really important to us. Positive and negative emotions are a part of life, and with ACT we learn how to experience the full spectrum of emotions whilst heading towards the things that are most important to us.
Being a people pleaser: why we do it and how to change it
July 12, 2021 • 19 MIN
Are you always concerned about getting it right for other people, frequently to the detriment of yourself? In today's episode we look at the signs that show you that your driver in life and in relationships might be to please others. We discuss the underlying thinking of a people-pleaser and the root causes that get people into the idea that they need to please all the time. People-pleasers are usually parent-pleasers; we learn how to interact with others initially when growing up in our family of origin. In this episode we briefly talk about the the link between an anxious attachment style and the need to be 'good' with others at all times. While it may be pleasant for people around you that you always try to please them, there are also some draw backs that are experienced by the people at the receiving end of being pleased and appeased. Your people pleasing may affect your friends and partners in ways that were unintentional. How can you change your behaviour? How can you move from the idea of 'having to' please others to 'wanting to' please? We discuss how you can move in the direction of building more authentic and balanced relationships with others.
Essential skills for healthy relationships - how to create and maintain long lasting love
July 19, 2021 • 27 MIN
In today's episode we consider the skills that are needed to develop long lasting, fulfilling relationships. When people are asked about their wishes for a good relationship they usually talk about being supported, loved and feeling content and happy. However, often it is not clear what skills are required to create these fulfilling relationships. We are not taught in school how to go about creating strong relationships. We are taught in fairy tales that a prince or princess arrives and everything is hunky dory. But what happens next once you've got your prince or princess? In this episode we talk about the skills that we have identified as crucial for successful relationships: - Self-awareness: generating insight into understanding what makes you think, feel and behave in a particular way and why - Empathy: understanding your partner and their way of thinking, feeling and behaving. What makes your partner tick and why? -Mutuality: understanding how you impact on each other and why. Learning how to communicate more effectively with each other and to be present for each other - Sustainability: developing more capacity for intimacy and vulnerability. Learning to grow and develop together as a couple
Being more assertive - how to express what you think and feel in a safe way
July 26, 2021 • 21 MIN
There is often confusion in people's mind about what it means to be assertive; often there is an underlying assumption that assertiveness equals aggressiveness. In today's episode we define what we mean by being assertive: expressing your rights, feelings and thoughts without violating the rights of others. We can all be assertive in some situations and less so in others. Our ability to disagree openly depends on our sense of safety. If I feel safe, I can express myself more readily. In this episode we look at your underlying concerns and assumptions about saying what you need to say: where did these come from and how do these impact on your life today? We discuss how you can slowly work on becoming more assertive. This practice involves developing different ways of thinking as well as using your body to experience yourself as safer and more secure in situations that you experience as challenging.
Love and intimate relationships - an interview with Dr Nash Popovic
August 2, 2021 • 49 MIN
In this episode our guest is Dr Nash Popovic, who will be discussing love and relationships. Dr Nash Popovic is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of East London. He is also the author of Personal Synthesis, arguably the most comprehensive personal development source on the web. You can find there how to deal with emotions, how to make sound decisions and motivate yourself and others, the best ways of increasing resilience and, of course, how to have good close relationships. In today's talk on this topic, Nash will be drawing from the Personal Synthesis materials as well as from decades of research and experience as a Personal Consultant and Couples Therapist.
Truly, madly, deeply - The four stages of relationships
August 9, 2021 • 18 MIN
In today's episode Angela talks about the different stages that romantic relationships go through. Relationships change over time and each stage of the relationship offers developmental opportunities. Can you identify where you currently are? Or can you work out which stage you usually get to in your relationships? While each relationship is different there are usually distinct stages that couple relationships go through. This process is not necessarily linear and frequently one partner may be in a different stage of the relationship than the other. In this episode Angela explains what each stage of the relationship looks like, the challenges that you may be presented with and the developmental tasks of each stage. In summary the four stages discussed are 1. The Spark - the honey moon phase. At this stage partners usually think of each other as wonderful, gorgeous and delightful. You two are one and the rest of the world is seen through rose tinted glasses. 2. The Chasm - reality check sets in. You notice that your partner may not be quite so perfect as previously thought. After all they don't wash the dishes as often as you want to... 3. The Power Struggle- trouble in paradise. Your individual difference are more pronounced and you realise that you may have different expectations of each other and the relationship. This is the make-or-break stage of the relationship and the stage at which most couples present in couples therapy. 4. The Union - maturity in the relationship. At this stage you feel safe and secure with your partner. There is interdependence as well as independence in the relationship.
The mind, nutrition & weight loss - talk with Lowri Turner
August 17, 2021 • 21 MIN
In this episode, I'm talking with Lowri Turner. If you have ever tried to lose weight, or been on crash diets and ended up putting on more weight than before, then this episode will help you understand about effective and long lasting ways to sustain weight loss. Weight loss is difficult or impossible to maintain purely through restrictive dieting. Having a balanced approach combining proper nutrition and also working with the mind to find strategies and approaches to change our relationship with food is essential for long term results. Lowri turner is a nutritionist and hypnotherapist who specialises in weight loss. Tune in for a fascinating exploration about achieving the weight loss you want.
What the Greeks can teach us about relationships - seven types of love
August 23, 2021 • 32 MIN
In this episode, we are exploring the seven different concepts of love described by the ancient Greeks. We often think about love in the context of romance, but there are many types of love including the love you have for a friend or family member, love in the sense of loyalty, passionate love and self love. The seven terms for love used by the ancient Greeks can help us gain deeper insight into love and relationships and explore areas to develop to experience richer love and relationships in our lives.
Social anxiety, dating and relationships
August 30, 2021 • 25 MIN
Social anxiety can be a problem for most people at some point in their lives. When it comes to dating, social anxiety can be the biggest hurdle to overcome when you are trying to find a relationship. Social anxiety makes even creating a dating profile, let alone meeting someone nerve wracking. In relationships, social anxiety can cause problems when one person finds social situations awkward and can disrupt an otherwise good relationship. So in this episode we are exploring social anxiety and some ways to help solve it.
Ain't No Sunshine Anymore - 9 of the biggest relationship problems
September 6, 2021 • 30 MIN
In this episode, we're exploring nine of the most commonly rated relationship issues that people experience and the steps you can take to address these issues. You may experience one or more of these issues at different times in your relationship. We'll explore these issues and also strategies to help you overcome them.
Let’s talk about you and me - Effective communication in relationships
September 13, 2021 • 30 MIN
In today's episode we are talking about effective, verbal communication in relationships. While there are many ways of expressing love and care most relationship experts would agree that talking effectively to each other is crucial in any form of relationship. We discuss how to set the scene for effective communication, how not to communicate and what you will need to address when communicating effectively. Learning to listen to your partner and expressing what you are experiencing are the key blocks of any form of communication.