Whispers Of Love: Baby Boomers Don’t Give Up

So, the third book in my Golden Series is now available on pre-order. If you want to know how Claudia is getting on with a ten-year-old orphan she’s taken under her wings, make sure you get a copy of WHISPERS OF LOVE. After the 20th of November, the price will return back to ‘normal’.

Life is what happens while you’re making other plans…

Connor Anderson leads a charmed life and knows exactly where he’s going. Men want to be him, women want to be with him, and Hollywood simply wants him. When he crashes his car in the backwaters of New Zealand on his way to the location of his newest film, it’s just an inconvenience. Right? Continue reading “Whispers Of Love: Baby Boomers Don’t Give Up”

Message From Your Past

When we find an old bottle with a message inside on the beach, we get immediately excited and expect at least a romantic love note if not a hint to sunken treasure. I remember as a child I waited for the postman, convinced he would bring a letter from a forgotten uncle in America, telling me I inherited a fortune. Needless to say, it never happened.

I want to talk about the other messages, those that cause heartache and pain for years on end. Messages we carry with us–sometimes from early childhood on–that cause deep scars and can get in the way of a happy, fulfilling life. They are often given through hurtful words and actions or through the absence of caring and nurturing words and behaviours. They are emotionally crippling and can cause gazillions of problems. Continue reading “Message From Your Past”

Men And Women React Differently To Stress

There are many areas in life where it can be noticed that men and women respond differently to some situations. Recent research with brain imaging has shown that each gender responds differently to stress.

The main difference seems to be that stress caused changes in men’s right prefrontal cortex and their left orbitofrontal cortex. These areas are usually associated with what is known as the ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction. Thus it can be expected that men deal with problems that cause them stress by going into ‘fight-mode’ that could in some instances involve aggression, or they respond with avoidance and withdrawal.

This is very different for women under stress. For them, changes were noticed in their limbic system, the part of the brain that is mainly involved in relationships, attachments, and emotions.  This indicates that women may respond to stress with changes in mood (depression) and with what is known as the ‘tend-and-befriend’ dynamic by becoming nurturing and seeking connections with others to maximize support.

These two very different coping styles seem to be rooted in the evolutionary past of humans when the division of responsibilities had males hunting, fighting and protecting while females tended to the well-being and functioning of the group or community.

Nowadays the nature of stressors people face has changed and both styles of coping with stress create a distinct set of problems if people unconsciously act as if they are still living in the Stone Age. Most stressors today have to do with people’s relationships or the lack thereof, how they compensate for their insecurities, and how they follow their ambitions.

These modern stressors require strategies that are much more complex than ‘fight-or-flight’ or ‘tend-and-befriend.’ Following the Darwinian insights of evolution, it can be expected that those people will be successful who can adjust to modern stressors with strategies that use both male and female strengths of problem-solving.

This article was inspired by the following research:  University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2007, November 20). Brain Imaging Shows How Men And Women Cope Differently Under Stress. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2009

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Impact Of Early Childhood Stress

Child AFor psychotherapists working with people who struggle with the
legacies of an abusive and/or traumatic childhood, it is no news that people are affected way past their childhood years. It’s good to see that research is coming to the party and provides scientific evidence for the long-term struggles people have.

“The immune system is not present at birth. The cells are there, but how they will develop and how well they’ll be regulated is very much influenced by your early environment and the type of rearing you have.” We know from trauma research the same to be true for people’s self-capacities involved in distress tolerance and emotion regulation.

Indeed, even if the life circumstances improve people show that early childhood stress has a negative impact on their learning capability, on their behaviours, and on their immune system.  Thus they are disadvantages with regard to their future careers, to how they integrate into society, and with regard to their health status.

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How To Get Over Childhood Stress: The Process Of Getting Hurt

broken heart 2This is the first of two articles about how to get over childhood stress or – how does therapy work – in which I will explain how people get hurt by childhood stress (1st article) and how they can recover from it (2nd article “Healing from Childhood Stress and Abuse: How Therapy works”).  I have included the impact of childhood stress seen through neurobiological eyes because it shows clearly the pathways to how the healing can take place.

I have often been asked by colleagues why I use neurobiological concepts instead of psychological concepts to explain what is going on. My answer to that is: often psychological concepts are way out there and hard to follow by people who are not totally into that side of things: take for example Freud’s or Melanie Klein’s work – very exciting … but you have to bend over backwards and jump through a needle’s eye to follow their line of thinking.
Whereas neurobiological concepts can be ‘seen’ on MRI scans and we become more understanding of how our brain works. I find that exciting.

So why is childhood stress (hardship, abuse, neglect) so damaging? Why can people not follow the often given advice and just ‘GET OVER  IT’? She short answer is: Because the stressful experiences become part of who you are! Let me show you how that works: (Disclaimer: I am not a neuroscientist and don’t claim to be an expert. I’ll give you my ‘lay translation’ of hundreds of research articles and books that I have studied).

Continue reading “How To Get Over Childhood Stress: The Process Of Getting Hurt”

Why Am I Passionate About the Three Principles?

Often people ask me why I am so passionate about the Three Principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness. Obviously, understanding the principles is not a fool proof safe guard from life’s disappointments:

  1. The understanding doesn’t protect us from making mistakes,
  2. getting overwhelmed by strong feelings
  3. misunderstanding people,
  4. or becoming disheartened by circumstances in our lives.

We are human beings after all and subject to our limited ability to perceive ‘what’s out there’

and to keep our own stuff, our ‘diving bell’* out of any equation as much as possible.
However, understanding the principles is showing us the pathway to improved or restored
mental, emotional, and physical health. With increasing awareness of how the principles
work within ourselves and others we are able to
  1. be more often and longer ‘in the zone’ of peace of mind and well-being
  2. are more compassionate with ourselves and others
  3. get quickly out of low moods – or even avoid them altogether
  4. reduce or eliminate stress, depression, and anxiety
  5. are healthier allround
  6. enjoy warm and loving relationships
If you want to deepen or refresh your understanding of the principles, Raeburn House is
starting the courses on the 18th of February (there is no date set yet for the Relationship
course but hopefully that is clarified soon).
As some of you know, I have retired and will move to Wellington in April this year. Term
one courses are your last chance to come to one of my courses. It is not clear whether
Raeburn House is able to secure another Three-Principle-Facilitator to continue the work!

Lesley, participant from last terms self-confidence course is interested to set up
a discussion group of people who would like to meet and discuss their understanding of the Three Principles to keep things fresh. If you are interested to participate send me a note and I forward her details to you.

* The diving bell is one of my favorite metaphors for how we get in our own way. To
know more about it, you’ll have to come to one of my courses run by Raeburn House
or get my book(s).
Credits Photo: Title: 255871551752875   Owner: alleyntegtmeyer7832

How can I stop negative Feelings?

I am running about 15 courses each year, basically addressing how we think, feel, and behave often in ways that don’t serve us – instead getting us into some form of trouble. And each time we unpack how negative feelings, feeling bad, stressed, or depressed actually harm not only our physical body but our relationships, our careers, our mental, and our emotional health, I am asked the same question over and over again: Then how can I/we stop negative feelings?

So let me turn the question around to see if I am making sense: What happens to your when you look at the picture below?

Title: Cut lemons     Owner: Helen in Wales

You saw the picture and …….? Salivated! Could you have stopped it? I don’t think so. You saw the lemons, your personal mind went into your memory bank confirmed “it’s lemons” and associated smell and taste and your body reacted to these recalled thoughts. This is not much different with all feelings we have, either negative or positive. All we are dealing with is THOUGHT. We ‘think’ lemons and our body reacts. We think we are lost or abandoned, we react with fear (unless we are Indiana Jones, then we might get excited).

Can we stop feeling fear? No, not as long as we are thinking fearful thoughts. That’s just how we are built. Only when our mind gives us the ‘All Clear’ signal will the fear subside.

You can’t stop negative or bad feelings you have. When you become conscious of them they are already there. You have already thought them and thereby brought them into existence. All you can do is to know they are just thoughts and not take them so serious. That might be easier when you look at the lemon above than when you are lost in the jungle, but the principle is the same. We always feel what we think.

The next question would then come as predictable as the night follows the day: How can we stop thinking these unhelpful things. That will have to be covered in future posts, because we need to do some groundwork about thinking first.

Those of you who want to know more about it (all in one place) can read up on it in my book Delicious Love Forever: Recipes for Lasting Loving Relationships or the 2nd in the series: Delicious Mind, Body, and Soul: Recipes for Pampering Yourself Back to Health. Both are available as downloadable kindle version and now also as paperback.

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Interview: Relationships and the 3 Principles

When you feel passionate about something you probably like to talk about it. Well, I certainly do. So it was a great day for me when Donna K. Fitch, author of ‘Second Death’ interviewed me about writing the book ‘Delicious Love Forever’, what made me write about relationships and combine my understanding of the 3 Principles and recipes.

We had lots of fun – You can listen to the 2-part interview (each about 15 minutes) by clicking on the links below!

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Photo by Beverly & Pack

Part 1

Part 2

3 Main Areas of Stress and How to Deal With Them

origin_3345896050Today I am visiting my friend Jan Moore’s blog on my virtual book tour and talk about the problem of STRESS. Jan’s passion is an interesting one: How women from the baby boom period can still be productive yet work in a job that is ‘right’ for us. Working on our own terms! It’s worth having a look at her work and, while you are there, check out my guest post about stress and how to deal with it, make a comment, have a chat and a cuppa! 🙂

In our modern world, everyone seems to struggle with stress. Stress is perceived when people are stuck on the motorway, have to see their boss, when the TV breaks down, the favourite sports team loses the championship, a meal is ruined, a dress torn, a neighbour’s dog relieves himself in one’s front yard, or when they have to give a public speech.

And even though those incidents are not life threatening situations, people often act as if. Their bodies are drowning in the same chemicals our far far away ancestors experienced when they were in danger to be eaten by a sabre tooth tiger. And while our ancestors stress response would go down to normal as soon as the danger was over, that is not the case for today’s people. Many don’t get back to baseline but experience stress chronically…….. Read more here! 

photo (6)Gudrun Frerichs, PhD is a therapist, author, and life-long explorer of the mysteries of the human mind. She is retiring from mental health and trauma work and has published now her first book Delicious Love Forever.  She is passionate about applying the Principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness, as formulated by the late Sydney Banks, not only to her books but also to everyday living situations.

Stress – the Killer Disease

boat sinkingStress is practically unavoidable, isn’t it? How damaging stress really is, most people are not aware of it. And many of those who are aware of it are rather at a loss of what to do about it. When we google STRESS, there are 234.000 thousand websites that offer some commentary on the topic of STRESS. Given that it is becoming more and more of an epidemic, these commentaries and advises don’t seem to make much of a dent in the problems stress is causing people. So what are we doing wrong?

Continue reading “Stress – the Killer Disease”