Have you ever been taken advantage of, had your trust betrayed, or got stuck in an unequal power relationship?
Trust – it’s a slippery little sucker.
What causes us to trust someone?
Do you trust people implicitly or does it take a long time to build up and develop trust that is quickly destroyed?
What do you trust people with – your secrets, your money, your heart, your life?
Trust and vulnerability are a cornerstone of connection.
It starts at birth.
Babies trust their mothers to feed them, pick them up when they cry, cuddle them. Responsiveness and predictability are key to attachment and connection.
As a psychologist, the relationship between myself and my client is inherently trust based.
My clients trust that I will do the right thing by them. That I will listen and seek to understand without judgement. That I will value and respect their experiences, their goals, their vulnerabilities. Within the clinic space they can let down their guards and don’t need to be strong. They trust that I will guide them using proven methods and honour their journey. That I will work within my expertise and the ethical and legal boundaries of the profession.
Did you realise that 50% of ‘success’ in therapy is due to the relationship between therapist and client. And when you think about how important trust is, this totally makes sense.
Many years ago I sought out counselling through the services provided by my then work, and began seeing a therapist. This person crossed boundary lines. They crossed boundary lines in a number of ways. I followed their behaviour up with a complaint, but that too was unsatisfactory.
This incident totally derailed the therapeutic process for me. It destroyed the connection. It created a mistrust of the counselling profession which I maintained for many years, and, a mistrust of my own experiences.
Why am I telling you this?
I have described an unequal power relationship which was abused by one party. This wasn’t the first time I experienced this and it wasn’t the last. It’s also not uncommon.
You may have experienced something similar.
Here is what may help:
If you are specifically looking for a mental health professional and want more information on professional and ethical conduct.:
I hope this helps. If you want to find out more about my story go to the latest podcast episode https://anchor.fm/kim-dunn/episodes/How-a-therapist-broke-my-trust---and-how-you-can-protect-yourself-against-something-similar-happening-to-you-ear293.
As always you are welcome to email me or book an appointment on 0408533515.
Until next time, take care of yourself
There's one thing that's guaranteed to happen at Christmas...
And what can happen when you wait?
Frustration, impatience. There's so much to do, why can't everyone just hurry up or move quicker.
Well no matter how much you want that to happen, it's probably not going to.
So what can you do?
Believe it or not, this is a great time to practice tapping into your inner calm. Here's one way to practice self-care on the go.
Simply roll your shoulders up and back and take a deep breath, then repeat the breathing. Focus your attention inward to your breath instead of outwards towards what is going on around you.
Yep, that's it - simple, on the go self-care that works.
Until next time, keep it simple and...
Take care of yourself.
Creating connection involves stepping out of our comfort zone, making changes to how we think and what we do. But it is crucial if we are to combat this scourge of loneliness that surrounds us, that contributes to isolation, mental health difficulties and suicide.
So I'm stepping into this mission I have to help you create connections with yourself, others and the greater world. I can't sit by and just accept what is impacting on all of us.
It is through strengthening these connections that we raise the positive energy around us that we all need.
I welcome you to come along on this journey with me.
Today I'm sharing a little video that shows how we can all make a difference, straight away, today with not adding any extra time chores to our list...because we all have way too many as it is.
I really believe in self-care, but find I can get to the end of the day and realise I actually haven't done it. Running a small business and medium sized family looking after myself is really important, or I will get burnt out.
So, I thought this week I would schedule it in.
I sat down at the beginning of the week and thought Wednesday morning and Friday afternoon, they look like good times to have a few hours break to myself. Monday and Tuesday I will work on my business doing admin, marketing, exploring possible new sub contractors etc. Wednesday afternoon I have private clients, Thursday I need to work on assessments and client notes/plan, Friday assessment to do.
So welcome to Wednesday morning. My youngest has had ongoing minor medical health issues. These popped up again on Tuesday, so first priority this morning was to make an appointment for him and take him. Then my middle child informs me that they, and a number of other students, were excluded from important career sessions at school and they have not been informed of when they will be allowed to catch up. So, parenting task no.2.
Rang middle child's school. The person in charge of careers said they had nothing to do with the careers assessment and gave me a contact name. The person was unavailable. All possible avenues to speak to at the school were unavailable. At this point I have left phone messages with two different people and am waiting for a phone call.
When I dropped my youngest child back at school after their medical appointment I popped in to see the Special Needs Co-ordinator about some of the clients I have at school. Had a quick chat and picked up some paperwork that required action.
Okay, so I’m home now, just a couple of admin tasks to do before I could have a work free morning, or an hour or two.
Came home and called the parent of the child whose paperwork it was. Received permission to forward paperwork to another professional. Went to scan paperwork that I had picked up, and discovered the scanner on my printer wouldn’t work. I have never used it before. Looked up and tried to follow instructions on website, didn’t work. Contacted HP support. They explored and told me the driver hadn’t been installed properly in the first place. The support person was helpful, and proceeded to fix the problem, but there went more of the morning. When call had finished, scanned documents, sent email.
I quickly checked emails and had responded to latest email from potential sub-contractor. Organised information that needed to be dropped off to another allied health professional.
By then it was lunch time……
I am currently writing this whilst listening to a work related youtube video, as my first client for this afternoon cancelled. I have ten minutes before I need to go to work.
I’ll try again Friday…..
ps all was not lost. Wherever I am I can practice informal mindfulness. For example, when waiting in the medical appointment I practiced mindfulness in the chair. Grab it when you can....
Meet Wally. Wally is a Wok. It took me about 10 years to buy Wally. He cost all of $35.
About 10 years ago we had a new gas stove top put in. One of the burners is really hot and the sales person said it would be perfect for Wok cooking. I like to think of myself as a relatively healthy eater, although I know this is very close to being self-delusional. So, I thought great. I like stir fries we'll be a Wok and give it a go.
Except we didn't, buy a wok that is.
I don't know exactly why not. This is a wonderful example thought of putting off things that are good for us without any real reason what so ever. This includes getting a massage, going back to water aerobics or going to the movies with my husband.
I bought Wally today, 10 years later, to make a chicken and vegetable stir fry. I even bought the chicken. Then I got home and took the sticker off Wally and found some small scratches under the big label. He is a non-stick wok, and I hate shopping so I decided that was probably OK. Then I looked at all the steps I had to do to season my wok before first use.
I decided that my husband could make fried rice for tea in the frypan and I would write a new blog post.
Here's to our self-care journeys.
If you know other people who may struggle a little on their self care journeys, please share this blog and make them feel better :).
* My aim is for these posts is meant to useful, interesting and/or inspiring. They are not designed to be used for therapy..
Kim Dunn is a Child Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds.