What’s your “LABEL”?

labelsIts not unusual for a client to announce first thing, when sitting down with me, that they have been diagnosed and labeled as a: “depressed person”, “angry person”, “anxious person”.

Yet when I ask them what THEIR diagnosis of themselves is, they reply:

“I don’t think I really know – it’s true I often GET angry, but does that make me an angry person?” or  “I am WORRIED about my relationship and my job, but does that make me an anxious person?”

To help someone who is struggling and unsure of what is going on in themselves, a diagnosis with a “label” is given.

BUT, “labels” are only meant as a guide – a possible reason for why you could be feeling like that.

Don’t let it be a SENTENCING!


When next you receive a diagnosis and a “label”, remember it is ONLY to be received as a STARTING POINT! It’s a place to begin your exploration of the possible source of your struggles.

And who knows – you might even want to come up with your OWN “label”?

write here1)



DIVORCE – what to tell the children?

It is so sad to hear small children blaming themselves for their parents divorce.

divorce stick

When asked why they think their parents are getting divorced, many reply:

“because of me”

The question estranged parents often ask is: “why would our daughter/son think that?”

The answer: “because they have no other reason available to them”

Am I suggesting we tell our children the nitty-gritty of our divorce reasons, no.

But its important to give the children a reason for the divorce that is acceptable because it is both reasonable and understandable. If parents give no reason then the children could assume the “default” reason:

child and divorce

“because of me”


*Be clear what reason you are wanting to give them – if possible discuss this with your ex.

* Tell your children when you are calm and not in anger nor pain.

*Present them with a reasonable, age appropriate explanation for the divorce.



Q: Why is it difficult to keep boundaries in relationships?

dfrawing line

When you make boundaries and find they are being broken, ask yourself why?

If YOU feel your boundaries are unfair and you feel GUILTY for making them, you will allow them to be BROKEN and ignored.

crossing over line footprint

When you allow this violation of your boundary, you are in effect saying to the one crossing the boundary, that it is okay, because the boundary wasn’t good to start with.

This causes confusion and will affect all other boundaries you have or are setting up.

On the one hand you have declared your boundary line and on the other hand you almost welcome the violation of it, because that boundary made you feel GUILTY 😦

GUILT-FREE  boundaries are strong and can withstand much !!!


Remembering = EMPOWERING!

When we meet people, who are struggling with a painful event in their lives, and are feeling powerless, the temptation is to offer the following advice:

“just forget about it.”

“Just put it out of your mind.”

But does this advice really work?


Empowerment doesn’t come in forgetting, empowerment comes in REMEMBERING what STRENGTHS you have! If you have been victorious once, you can be victorious AGAIN!

old ribbons



Many people box their disappointments or issues that they feel unable to confront at the time it occurs. double-wall-boxes_1

They tell themselves that they will open the box when they are feeling able to examine its contents, and make any decisions.

This can be a very helpful method of coping with emotional issues when you are not in a place of strength.


This “boxing” method is meant ONLY to be a TEMPORARY storage method and not a permanent one!

If you leave the boxed issues in permanent storage, you will soon discover that you have run out of space and you are no longer able to store any other boxes.

storage full of boxes

  When your storage facility is full, you can be left in a very precarious position and panic can set in …panic

): “I’ve run out of space, what now?”

): “which box do I throw out without examining?”

): “Do I have to examine this box even though I know I am not ready?”


My suggestion:

*Slowly work through your boxes that are in temporary storage. Don’t let them build up!

*Get support and find a trustworthy confidante or counsellor to be with you when you work through the really painful boxes. 😊

Does the TRUTH … HURT?

You are probably familiar with the phrase: THE TRUTH HURTS”?

But it is NOT the truth that hurts, it’s the HALF the truth that hurts!

If you need to tell someone the truth, remember to tell the WHOLE TRUTH, or you will unintentionally state inaccuracies and leave the listener feeling hopeless. You will, unintentionally, pass judgment by speaking only half the truth.

Example of a HALF truth spoken:


“Your relationships always end poorly, so don’t expect to have a happy marriage!”

The Listener is left with the idea of there being little chance of a successful marriage and feels hopeless

Example of a WHOLE truth spoken:

happy conversation

 “Your relationships that have ended poorly can be due to a number of factors, and because you are expecting to have a happy marriage, its best to discover these factors.”

The Listener can acknowledge the quality of his/her past relationships and realize that there are factors to consider if the expectation of a happy marriage is to be achieved, and feels HOPE 🙂

So…. Tell the TRUTH…


Starting “BIG School” ADVICE!

In South Africa, many children are starting “BIG SCHOOL” (grade 1) for the FIRST time this year, and parents are wanting to give their children some ADVICE before sending them off to school.

Listed below are my 1-2-3  words of ADVICE:teaching-strategies-positive-classroom


Enjoy building up GENERAL knowledge about DIVERSE topics at school. Be a SPONGE and soak up all the info! (specializing at too young an age can restrict learning)


Don’t follow the crowd, you might get lost in it!

#3 The teacher is NOT your MOM/DAD!

What makes the teacher happy is NOT THE SAME as what makes Mom or Dad happy.

Mom or DAD might enjoy hugs & kisses, BUT a teacher would like you to do your homework!



INCREDIBLE lesson from Violet

violetIf you’ve seen the movie “The Incredibles” (way back in 2004), you should remember Violet? She was the teenage daughter with the long black fringe of hair that hid most of her face – she was incredibly shy and lonely.

I remember an occasion when I used Violet to help a teenager I counselled a while back. This teen suffered – as Violet did – from social insecurities and thus found it incredibly difficult to make friends.

I explained to this teen, that part of Violet’s inability to make friends was because she made others afraid.

“others afraid”? YES – exactly that.violet by wall

You see when we try to make contact with others, in the aim of making friends with them, we need to reassure them that we are “friendly”, and “safe” to befriend.

When people came into contact with Violet, they felt confused and afraid because of her body language – hair covering face, body slouched and no eye contact. People interpreted this as she was hiding something and could not be trusted.

I suggested to the teen to make eye contact with the person she is befriending, thus she will reassure them that she is a “safe” friend and had nothing to hide.

SO….if you are struggling to make friends….

TIP #1: Imitate the “NEW” Violet: (see the end of the movie)


Clip your hair back, stand tall and make eye contact – reassuring others that you are a “SAFE” and potentially GREAT FRIEND to have!


GUARANTEED 100% New Year’s Resolution for 2018


new years res list

Tradition has it, that we should make a New Year’s resolution at the beginning of each year – it’s usually a decision and a promise (to ourselves) to make a change or to start something new.

BUT, because so few of them are fulfilled, we are often left feeling a little disappointed in ourselves early in the new year.

SO, I would like to propose a “100%, guaranteed New Year’s resolution

This is how it works…100 guarentee

This New Year’s Resolution is a decision and a promise that, in 2018 you will accept that nothing is set-in-stone and that life is dynamic and changing.

This resolution is NOT the usual once-a-year promise that effects only 1 issue at the start of the year, but it is a promise to accept the FLUIDITY of your life and thus decisions and promises will be based on this acceptance and liable to change THROUGHOUT the year 2018!

A 2018 New Year’s Resolution:

“I promise to ACCEPT my dynamic life and l shall make the best decisions

AT that time, FOR that time!!”

Make 2018 New Year’s resolutions a  ” 100%, guaranteed New Year’s resolution”

STOCK UP your TOOLBOX for Christmas!

The best gift you can give yourself this Christmas is a WELL-STOCKED TOOLBOXtoolbox

Have you noticed that all successful DIY people have a well-stocked toolbox, which contains a variety of tools – general ones, and more specific ones?

Each person should have a well-stock psychologicaltoolbox”, that will contain “hammers” for fears, “screwdrivers” for security, “drills” for stability, etc.

Knowing that your “toolbox” is well stocked, empowers and brings hope of success 😊

fillig my toolbox rock


Note, its important to talk to someone who knows about stocking a “toolbox” thus you can make sure, all the tools are there when you need them.

A WELL- STOCKED “TOOLBOX” will be the best gift you can ever give yourself, because it will fill you confidence for the coming year 😊