Thursday, 17 November 2016

Anger management Auckland

Anger management Auckland

With Anger Management Auckland I regularly see clients at either site in Birkdale or in Remuera due to this being such a major theme and common issue.  Often clients come to Counselling and speak about want to 'control anger'. The key thing in Counselling which is important is to remember that we do not in fact try to 'control our anger'. Trying to control an emotion is what leads to it becoming trapped and distorted and coming out at points in a way which may not be appropriate. It is important rather to look at the ways we 'manage our emotions' and in particular 'manage our anger'.

Anger is often a frowned upon emotion as seen as something we should control or in some way try to curb. Whereas abuse is always wrong there is nothing wrong with the feeling of anger or any other feeling. Throughout my work with clients working on this issue we often speak of anger to be seen like it is at the start of a hill. If you picture a hill and on one side of the hill there is anger which is absolutely fine. Any feeling of anger is okay, it's healthy and is nothing to be concerned about. An emotion like any other which is to be managed and used constructively. Anger can build however and if not managed well can go up over the hill and down the slippery slope of the other side and turn into abuse which is never okay.

In Counselling sessions we often look at this analogy and then work with the feeling of anger. I often emphasise constantly how the feeling of anger is absolutely fine and encourage clients to bring whatever anger they have to the sessions so we can work with it. Clients often feel enraged and notice how outside of sessions in the real world they are triggered by the smallest things. Exploring the emotions and what these things that trigger them remind them of can be key to getting to the root of the anger and rather than it become our enemy, be our friend we can embrace as part of our lives.

Anger can often be mixed with other strong emotions. Sometimes self therapy exercises such as writing or actual rigorous exercise and keeping an overall healthy balance can help us to keep our emotions well regulated. Through working with our emotions in therapy we can come to a state of greater balance. If we picture someone carrying buckets, one on each side, on a piece of wood over their shoulders. In the case of anger management we are often stumbling around and the water (symbolising our emotions) is pouring out and going all over the place. Through accepting where we are at and that there is an issue with the emotions pouring out and perhaps becoming abusive, we are able to create routines and explore the emotions to become happier and more balanced. Cognitive behavioural therapy can also help here in moving forward to make goals for the future.

The key thing here is always acceptance acceptance acceptance.  Do not feel like Counselling will make you less passionate or take your strong emotions away.  If you have issues with anger rest assured that with Anger management Auckland I will only be encouraging you to bring all these strong emotions to session.  With the right nurturing these can be chanelled to support you to create the life you want.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Compassion, appropriate commemoration for Anzac day, and moving on.

Just before I was about to start writing a friend made a comment that maybe a good thing in relation to ANZAC day is to let the commemoration happen then perhaps wait until the day after for ways we can evolve to move on from it.  I thought that was good advice.

I read some really good posts today from Facebook friends and also some shares.  A Facebook friend posted how the lesson we must remember the futility of war of how rulers are able to manipulate the working class for their benefit.  This makes a lot of sense and links in a lot with work I am reading at the moment such as David Icke 'Lifting the Veil' and '9 11 Why the official story is a monumental lie'. 

The post described above also says how we are never taught to question why and only to commemorate those fallen.  It becomes difficult as these people have paid the ultimate price.  Later relatives must fairly only remember as a time when great Grand dad whoever lost their life fighting for their country and this is fair.  It's important we keep our strong compassion but at the same time search for ways to truly move on to a better world.

What's concerning is that in this non questioning attitude about the nature of war and continuing this hero worshipping of people lost is that we are not really addressing how we can move on so it doesn't happen again.  It seems we are as a whole accepting the current paradigm that war is just an inevitability and when there is one there are certain heroes who are willing to give up their lives for their country.  This seems to fail in that as well as not looking at the bigger picture we are not looking at how the people who are going to war are often just manipulated into believing this is a justified thing and to go to war is the right thing to do.  We just become lost in this patriotic sense of 'standing up for your country' which is created by those who have created the way.  Patriotism can be a dangerous thing.

I am not necessarily anti- war.  I believe maybe we all have to be in touch with our nature for potential violence should it really be necessary but isn't there a sense that we need to be working to understand the powers that be and why it happened?  Then we can work forward so such a thing doesn't happen again?

In the current climate we see the constant 'war on terror'.  A skillfully manipulated game we can all see if we look under the surface.  We are conditioned to keep feeling afraid and into seeing an enemy 'out there'.  We are then conditioned to feel sad if people in what we consider close countries die but those in the others somehow deserved it or are less important.

I read an excellent article which sums things up really well which I would recommend anyone take a look at here:

I will quote a point from that here to show some insight into the tragedy of war itself as well as the fighting soldiers which could be good to keep bringing awareness to.
'When our politicians lay claim to the sacrifice and bravery of our soldiers on Anzac Day, let's not forget most of these men didn't have much choice. New Zealand troops were a conscripted army and our then government allowed British firing squads to execute New Zealanders who wouldn't fight. Many members of the first Labour Cabinet in 1935 actively opposed this war and went to jail for it. Several prominent Maori leaders were also imprisoned because they actively campaigned to stop Maori being conscripted. Much of the bravery shown was by people who refused to join this insanity and suffered mightily for it. It's a reflection of the real mood of New Zealanders when, after the war, they elected these war opponents to Government.' (Matt McCarten)

A second important point is that the way we are taught that certain events are so historically important and not others.  Ignorantly on my behalf I had not until a few days ago heard about the Armenian genocide which took place the same date in 1915

Apparently there is a push to get this more documented in text books so people actually grow up knowing about it.  It would be great if we could know more about this so children could grow up actually learning about the overall travesty of war and how we can go about creating true democratic societies so it doesn't happen again.

Another post here's-other-wars

discusses New Zealand land wars at this time and the loss of life of 3000 men and women again on almost the same date, barely covered at schools.

I think that respecting those who died is definitely a good thing and having a good bit of remembrance.  I think it is important that this is with some combination of looking at the nature of war as a whole and overall losses of life and how we can create less chance of wars in future.  We need to become more questioning.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Gary Yourofsky : an example of a bad vegan role model

I felt compelled to write this blog post following a discussion thread which took place on Vegan New Zealand Facebook page yesterday and also following on from an unpleasant altercation which happened to me two days before on the Vegan humour Facebook page.

Gary Yourofsky is an example of a bad vegan role model.  Someone who for reason of some likely high level sentimentality towards animals and convincing rhetorical arguments about the value of being vegan has gained something of a 'cult' following.  I'm not saying there is anything bad about being vegan, since I am one myself and I think there is wonderful potential for self development in this and making a positive impact.  I think good healthy Vegan advocacy is also a great thing as and when appropriate.

What concerns me about Gary Yourofsky is he would seem to fall into a category of person whereby Veganism becomes such a leading force to the exclusion of all else.  As if someone who drives an electric car for example while at the same time doing some thing noble would somehow be able to get away with doing whatever they wanted, criticise and show such disdain towards the rest of humanity who for ever reason don't want to do that.  This is a stance which in my view and I feel in many people's views hurts the movement.  This is in the sense of Vegans being seen as a bunch of maddies and also not promoting Veganism in a healthy way which is devoid of such things as sexism, racism, homophobia etc etc.

It was 3 days ago when I posted on Vegan humour in response to a post where people were putting across and commenting that everyone should be vegan since rice and beans is obviously so cheap and it was nonsense to say it was too expensive.  From memory I may have even liked the post then in my comment wrote how I thought the post contained some truth for sure although we needed to be aware that Veganism was very white male in how it is put across.  I quoted my friend who lived in Tuvalu and how there it was impossible to be vegan due to almost a standard dish of rice and fish.  My friend said it was one time she swayed on veganism and felt ultimately it was of the best compassionate choice.  After saying that I was immediately hit with comments of calling me 'narrow minded' twice as someone started telling me how true the original post was.  Their post was immediately hit with several likes.  They then started to say how Thailand had a lot of Vegan selection of food so therefore I was incorrect.  I wrote a coherent response referring to how white privileged Veganism can be as we know it and promote it and it is important to check that. I referred to an article I found very easily through a google search to display this.  I was then called 'a fucking idiot' by another poster.  A third poster then joined in talking about how I was implying that a black person couldn't be vegan and that what I was saying made no sense since there were more female than male vegans in America.  I eventually had to bow out and block 3 peoples as I felt I was being bullied then someone else stepped in and supported my perfectly reasonable point.

I say that in background because although Gary Yourofsky had nothing to do with that conversation it was his type of rhetoric which is certainly linked to this terrible Vegan militant closed minded way of viewing things that we need to move away from.  An image of the race horse wearing blinkers comes to mind (apologies for the non vegan example).  It was yesterday when I came across a post this time on Vegans New Zealand.  It came from a comment supporting Gary Yourofsky and a series of respondents followed it.  There was incredible amount of evidence showing things he had been saying of a terribly negative nature.  Now to be clear these were not cherry picked items like someone cutting and pasting that someone called someone a 'dick' on a Facebook post and using that to discredit someone.  These were absolutely incredibly distasteful pieces of rhetoric showing the way he feels and thinks about people and the world.  I will give some examples here and I want you as the reader to really take a breath and search inside yourself what you actually think of someone who says these kind of things. The first here was presented by me to someone as I discuss more below.  There were other examples on the page.  The rest were posted the day after on a facebook friends page who I assume was still annoyed from the blind following this man seems to have.  Now I'm just presuming here (unless he's made huge apologies) he does not see anything wrong this.  Keep in mind this is a public figure on Veganism speaking about things.  There are many but here are just a few for the purpose of this.  You may get the general idea after the first. It's not necessary to read them all which is why I have closed them off but they are there if you want to really read them all which do seem from all I have seen to really just be a snapshot of what he is like.

Exhibit 1: From a facebook conversation in which a poster says that he had a friend over who started to go on about plants having feelings.  Gary's response is 'Next time SPIT in her face and kick her in the cunt'.  I'll add that his comment here was liked by numerous people.  Here is the link

A beautiful collection of others posted by a facebook friend.

"Deep down, I truly hope that oppression, torture and murder return to each uncaring human tenfold! I hope that fathers accidentally shoot their sons on hunting excursions, while carnivores suffer heart attacks that kill them slowly. Every woman ensconced in fur should endure a rape so vicious that it scars them forever. While every man entrenched in fur should suffer an anal raping so horrific that they become disemboweled. Every rodeo cowboy and matador should be gored to death, while circus abusers are trampled by elephants and mauled by tigers. And, lastly, may irony shine its esoteric head in the form of animal researchers catching debilitating diseases and painfully withering away because research dollars that could have been used to treat them was wasted on the barbaric, unscientific practice of vivisection."

"I am a proud advocate of violence as EVIL people deserve NOTHING but evil in return. Only a fatuous fool who is concerned about politics would advocate pacifism."

"While my lifestyle and lectures are based on compassion, those who refuse to stop harming animals force me to support 'eye for an eye' and 'by any means necessary' philosophies."

"Rapists, murderers and child molesters should be vivisected, executed and dissected, allowing researchers the opportunity to gather useful information that would actually benefit human health for a change."

"I think his penis and balls should be seared off with a cuticle remover slowly, and then I think two skewers should be shoved into their eye sockets, dragged into another room. And then I think their penis and balls should be dipped into diarrhea and puke. They should be given the option of eating that and then they can save their lives. And if they do eat it, I want to take a gun, put it between their eyes and say ‘I was just kidding’."


What I found amazing on the Vegan New Zealand page which I linked back to what had happened to me on the Vegan Humour forum a few days before was this incredible following for him and this almost transfixed militant nature around Veganism.  As if somehow he could just say whatever he wants and that's okay.  I quoted the first post I put above to a female poster to show what he was like to which she said 'What do you find wrong with that?'  I directed them to the very well thought out posts of a strong feminist friend of mine and a well worded post by another friend on the thread because to be honest I barely knew where to start.  Also I did not want to be involved in the drama I had on the other forum prior.  The person then wrote 'I'm with Gary all the way !!!!'  Again this was liked by several people.

It seems important again to say that being Vegan and saying good things about Veganism does not make someone a good person.  Being Vegan is a positive thing, maybe not for everyone but certainly for some people and  a path for personal growth. Being Vegan itself is not an end point. To identify it as such to the exclusion of all else is incorrect in a sense of a developing a healthy personality and being able to advocate properly.  I'm sure every Vegan including me have been through an angry phase.  We can't believe what people have done and we want others to wake up to and lift the veil and to join us.  That's all fair but it's a phase that in my view should become integrated into character where we can be well managed and to promote Veganism in a way that is constructive and healthy and inclusive.

There were some quotes on the forum yesterday that said that some people may respond to Gary's approach who can't be changed by more 'hippy' kind of way of relating.  Well there is something to be said that a more narcissistic attitude can cause political shifts to happen quicker. I ultimately disagree however that such an approach really over time does overall good.  If you think of a grounded person, someone centred, talking and discussing they simply do not have that kind of Narcissistic nature.  Being grounded too and compassionate is not 'hippyish' but is actually centred and is a way in my view to have the most and best influence and the way to be a true role model.  If we take for example Gandhi (actually a vegetarian) who was able to create so much positive change through kindness and compassion.  Veganism is a movement of compassionate living.  It would seem to me in the case of Gary Yourofsky that he isn't particularly compassionate at all.  It's more of a sentimentality and anger around the abuse of animals which charges him forward and he gets this following from people who don't have a solid sense of themselves and really think through the kind of person he actually is and what he is actually saying. 

Take a think about role models and qualities you value in a person.... 

I personally think of honesty, kindness, compassion, integrity, strength.  It would seem that our man here is showing little or none of these.  Certainly not on my role model list anyway.

A facebook friend today said that Gary Yourofsky is like the Donald Trump of Veganism.  I felt this made total sense. Similar to Donald Trump it seemed that his mentality was not based on guiding through example and being a role model. Rather it was based on latching onto people's fear and weak points which I feel is why we get this cultish tunnel visioned following who are not actually stopping and thinking for themselves.  It seems to me the same as the way Trump latches onto a concern people have about immigration then saying 'Well lets build a wall' !!! Then his following are like 'Yeah!!!!!!!!'  .  It's not based on a grounded heartfelt viewpoint which therefore makes him as a role model totally inappropriate.

If you are following him I would encourage you to seriously take a step back and question how he talks.  He should take responsibility to be a good role model if he is in that position and so far he has shown he is anything but.  Take your own power back. 

In therapy we often talk about the relationship between the narcissist and co narcissist.  The Narcissist prays on the weak points and insecurities of others and that is the kind of following he has and the way people I feel are being mislead to think this is okay.  There is some element of 'Stockholm Syndrome' taking place where people protect and defend him in an unquestioning way.  I encourage you to research into that too. Take your power back.  Recognise what a great thing you have done in becoming Vegan and then demand and challenge role models to behave in a socially admirable manner, something our man 'Gary' here is clearly not doing.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Learning to love yourself is still a good thing

I just saw this pop up on my feed and thought was appropriate to say what I think of it. I'm sure the author has good intentions and overall makes some alright points. The idea of loving yourself and that being required to love other people is a well intentioned idea clearly which is acknowledged.
The start of the dialogue on this issue i have to say irritated me somewhat is showing what I felt was a clear misunderstanding and made a relationship of this to Feminism, Patriarchal society and capitalism and how somehow conforming to those things was what the statement provokes. Perhaps in a way the term has been abused that could be true but in true Humanistic Psychology and the person centred movement the idea of loving oneself and this helping us to become our true selves has absolutely nothing to do with any kind of conformity at all. In fact the absolute opposite would be true. It's about being able to find the seed inside to value ourselves as we are then to become the person we want to be and to be happy. It's about digging in to how we may have been conditioned (yes in fairness by society and certain expectations of whoever else) and breaking free of this and being able to just feel good about being you. It is certainly not about being a pawn in society. Truly actualised people are rather highlighted as people who are very much protagonists for positive change in society. That was the main issue.
The author then goes further into this confusion in talking about the physical appearance of others and how it is easier to want yourself to fix yourself rather than want others to fix themselves? Sorry what? Therefore concluding that it is possible to love how others look without loving how you look yourself? Sorry but I don't know where to start with that one. This has nothing again to do with just loving yourself and why reduce this to appearance?
I felt then the clip improved and she spoke about a mental connection and how her and her boyfriend stayed together despite her mental health issues and how the term 'love yourself before loving another' is therefore damaging as she still loved him and could feel love to him and others while not feeling good about herself and just couldn't express it the same. Yes I respect where this is coming from. The author says to how the love felt for others gave that connection and strength to continue etc etc.
I would say that in any true loving relationship it is wonderful to stick with one another in times of hardship and it is completely fair that someone who is mentally not in a good space can still feel the love but yes can't really express it in the same way.
There seemed an emphasis though in the talk as if this term 'you can't love others until you love yourself' was somehow being rammed down our throats as if it is damaging. If people feel this then it is an abuse of the term brought to us by yes maybe capitalism but not the notion at its' purest.  A relationship is made in the talk about fashion industries saying this. I personally have never related the term in this way as someone who has studied therapy so I feel therefore the understanding of the essence of the statement has been distorted by both perhaps industries and consequentially the writer.
The actual idea of loving yourself before loving others does in fairness have something to do with a capacity to be able to give and not just feel. So here I agree a bit with her and that's what it misses but we need to figure that out for ourselves.
Teaching people to love themselves is just about working on ourselves so we are able to feel good about who we are and live the life we want to live. From that we are then better able to not just 'feel' love, agreed we can feel it, but to actually be able to express it in a positive constructive and helpful way.
To say love yourself before loving others is never meant to be a harmful shameful statement to block growth and shame on anyone to use it this way.  At its purest it has nothing to do with fitting in with capitalism or a patriarchal society. It's about being us as the best we can be and therefore having the best possible constructive impact on others.