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Hi everyone,

My name is Olivia Guerini and I am a registered counsellor at the Transform Your Health Network.

Now, I’m sure you are wondering; what is a registered counsellor? Well, a registered counsellor is a relatively new term. We started this qualification in 2010, and what it means is that we offer psychological support and interventions to anyone. You can be an individual, a group or a family member. And what we do is to help people going through a stressful life event,  a traumatic experience, or if you are just going through a difficult life change. We are able to help any person who wants to help set goals and navigate complicated, everyday life.

Today, I would like to talk about a topic that is very close to my heart and I like to call it emotions and change. Emotions are things people really struggle with. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling and sometimes we avoid feeling emotions.

Now, to help you picture it, I want you to picture an upside down triangle. At the point is where we want to be and where authentic people are. This is a very difficult space to be, so don’t panic if you are not there yet! What happens at the point of our triangle is what we call our core emotions. Fear, happiness, sadness and extreme anger are examples of these core emotions. Every human being experiences this and what it is, is a very physical response. Think of a time when you were scared; normally your heart would race, your pupils would dilate and your palms might even start sweating.

A lot of the times, these emotions are very stressful to feel because they are very raw and very real. So people don’t like to be in this space. Instead people normally gravitate to the top right or the top left of this triangle.

On the top right corner of the triangle, we find our inhibitory emotions. Now this is just any kind of secondary emotion.

Now this diagram is a counselling technique. You see, this change model has been coined by Hillary Hendel. Now, in counselling we use many different techniques and tips in order to explain emotions or other kinds of difficulties.

Right! Now back to the secondary emotions…  Shame, guilt, anxiety and embarrassment are examples. We normally feel this as a knee jerk reaction to fear, sadness or anger. Think about people who apologize for crying during a movie. They may not be very comfortable with showing their true, authentic emotions.

Now, if you are not there at the inhibitory emotions, you might be someone who looks at defences. Defences are any thoughts, actions or habits that we do to stop us from feeling a very true, raw and vulnerable emotion. Think about a time when you slept when you were feeling very sad, threw yourself into work or used humour as a defence mechanism in very inappropriate or stressful moments.

This is normal. Not everyone is comfortable feeling sad or being in an extreme state of anger.

Now, why is this important? Well, when we are able to look at our core emotions and when we are able to feel it, we are a lot more authentic and we are true to ourselves. As soon as we start using our inhibitory emotions or our defences, we stop feeling our authentic self and this causes emotional distress

You see, our core emotions are a compass and if we do not make use of this compass, we get lost in this emotional turmoil.

Now, if you are somebody that this talk really resonated with and if you are quite messy emotionally, I would love to get involved.

You see, as a registered counsellor, I am not the expert in your life. I am somebody that wants to meet you exactly where you are and journey with you to where you need to be.

If you would like to book an appointment, there is a number above, with me at the Midrand and Parkmore branch at the Transform Your Health Network.

Thanks everybody!

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