Cognitive Behavior by Erin Leroux

Do you ever feel stuck in a continuous negative thought pattern? Or maybe you have trouble imagining or picturing a positive outcome or overthink almost every situation? Maybe you are hyper focused on negatives and have a perception that about your physical, mental or emotional self?  Well, you are not alone. Many people suffer from these distorted thought patterns and are constantly battling with themselves and their negative thoughts, which in turn, can cause a whole lot of anxiety, self-esteem, confidence and depressive issues and feelings…  kind of like you’re trapped in your own mind? – Sound familiar?

Well it is my job at BlueLights Wellness as their Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT), Counselor & Coach to help you on your journey to discovering the roots behind these negative thought patterns and to work together to get you back to feeling like your best possible self. Learning to love yourself for WHO you are and finding internal happiness, confidence and contentment within.

So Let’s dive a little deeper into the meaning of CBT. CBT is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps our clients understand the thoughts and feelings that influence certain behaviors. ( Ie; distorted eating, addiction to substance/alcohol, anxiety, etc.) During the course of treatment, the focus is on helping our client deal with a very specific problem and help them learn how to identify and change destructive thought patterns that have a negative influence on their behavior and emotions. I encourage them to look for the evidence that supports these thoughts or that counter these thoughts. We do this by slowing down the thoughts and re-examining their destructive thought pattern. With this they are then able to take a more realistic and objective look at the thoughts that are contributing to their feelings. Being aware of the negative thoughts people are able to start engaging in healthier thinking patterns. The focus is to retrain our thought pattern and replace the negative irrational thoughts with positive, more realistic thoughts. While we cannot control every aspect of the world around us, we can take control of how we interpret and deal with things in our environment.  Sound Easy? Well it may, however when we have spent numerous years having these distorted views or have been practicing negative self talk, it can take a lot of focus and time to retrain our thought pattern, however what I like to tell my clients is that whatever way we have trained our brain to think, we can most certainly Un-train those thoughts and re-train our brains to think and act in a less impulsive and more positive way.

Erin Leroux

Wellness Practitioner

Yoga & Reiki Therapy

My name is Dalia and I’m a holistic wellness practitioner with Blue Lights. I offer yoga therapy, Reiki healing, and Theta healing sessions. These offerings provide a well-rounded approach to mind, body and soul wellbeing. If you’re not familiar with these modalities, I’m going to delve a little into each:

Yoga therapy:

Did you know that we carry a lot of our emotions and stress in our bodies? There are yoga poses that are specific to unblocking these emotions, and you get a good workout out of it. A yoga therapy session will begin with an intake to understand what your needs are and what you’d like to work on whether your goals are physical or more emotional, I will customize a yoga flow curated specifically to meet your needs. Through a mixture of breathing exercises, physical poses, and meditations you will leave the session feeling lighter, more in tuned with your body, and definitely more relaxed.

Reiki Healing:

Reiki is a hands-on healing through which “universal energy” is transferred in order to encourage emotional or physical healing. I work specifically with chakra blocks. Chakras are your spiritual energy centres, think of them like energetic vortexes that absorb and carry a lot of your emotions, beliefs, and tendencies. A reiki session aims to unblock these energy portals to facilitate clearing these negative charges and allow for a more positive and healing flow of vital energy in your body.

Theta Healing:

Theta healing is a more cognitive approach to healing as it works with your subconscious mind to identify and clear negative beliefs, in essence rewiring your brain to create a more positive reality. If you’re more inclined to wanting to be aware of what your blocks are, where they come from, and what you can do to change them, then this is a modality for you.

A good idea is to start off with a yoga therapy session to feel more in tuned and stronger with your body. You might want to follow that up with a Reiki session so that you become more aligned. With that alignment comes awareness, so a Theta healing session to unblock whatever is stopping you from living your best life could come next. Reach out today, I’m happy to answer any of your questions and to work closely with you to ensure mind, body and soul happiness.

Be the best version of yourself today and email info@bluelights.ae.

Love,

Dalia (Reiki & Yoga therapist at Blue Lights Wellness)

Bringing meaning to life….

Difficult partnership, neglecting parents, bullying at school, demanding relatives, failures…. all these factors influence what individuals think of themselves and can be perceived subjectively as very traumatic. If not processed by the brain and packed as memories, they might intensively influence abilities to cope, attachment styles and emotional responses. It happens due to the fact that traumatic experiences, which are too difficult for the developing brain to be dealt with, are stored in our brain and get activated each time a person is exposed to similar distress, causing inadequate to situation reactions. Important to mention, that such activation is unconscious and can impair significantly well-being. Perceived symptoms like outbursts, restlessness, emotional deregulation, depression or anxiety are therefore often results of unprocessed traumas experienced during early developmental years. In order to function with such difficult baggage, one tends to develop mechanisms of coping, which might be also maladaptive and result in further distress.  Such vicious circle may impair normal functioning, learning, sleeping patterns or decrease meaning of life. Hence, trauma informed approach, allow not only to address the symptoms, but also to uncover roots of distress.

One way to provide trauma-based therapy is EMDR intervention, which helps to remove manifestation of past experiences from the here and now moment. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and as therapeutic technique, it incorporates eye movement or other types of bipolar stimulation, in order to encourage brain to process distressing information.  Processing of the disturbing events aids in removal of their emotional weight from present time and hence support healing. Also, EMDR decreases unnecessary activated constant state of alertness and helps in acceptance, compassion and resiliency building. Despite the fact that EMDR has been developed and shown efficacy in treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, it is also showing promising results in addressing trauma of complex and prolonged character, eating disorders, substance addiction, anxiety and depression.

With recent development in the field of psychology but also neuroscience and neuroimaging it is now confirmed that there is no clear cut between what’s cognitive, physiological and emotional and all these three dimensions are interconnected. Out therapist – Magdalena is therefore, engaging client to work in collaborative manner while providing holistic, eclectic approach which blends EMDR trauma oriented intervention with typical talk therapy addressing irrational believes and disturbing thoughts, simultaneously practicing mindfulness techniques for the clients to develop abilities of self-regulation and relaxation.

If one is able to separate from past traumas, the life here and now becomes more meaningful….

Magdalena Mosanya

Healthy Relationships

(published on InnerSeed)

Becoming an expert in anything usually means one has failed repeatedly, learned, evolved and adjusted. So how does one become an expert into having ‘healthy relationships’, whether in family, friend or romantic context? Reflecting back, we can think of Abraham Maslow, a great American Psychologist, who developed the hierarchy of needs theory. This theory suggests that for one to live a healthy and happy life, one requires five basic principles. One of those principles is defined as the need for love and belongingness, which we can relate to interpersonal relationships. Love and belongingness are most definite foundational to a healthy relationship.

In couples and individual counseling, we often start off with discussing core elements of obtaining and maintaining a healthy relationship.  Although micro definitions of a healthy relationship may differ based on the individual situation, there are aspects that play a big role in obtaining and maintaining a healthy relationship:

Trust

Is trust earned or given? Well, that depends on the individual, one’s life experiences, perspective and of course the current relationship they are in. What is trust? Blindly having faith that one would never intentionally do harm to you or to the relationship? Is it respect for each other, beliefs, values and norms? Or does trust simply refer to: I can rely on you to be by my side through the good, the bad and the ugly? Whatever you choose as your subjective definition of trust, in a healthy relationship all these elements are intertwined. Sometimes ‘trust’ has not come to full development in a relationship, which does not mean, it can’t grow into a healthy relationship. It simply says: we got work to do. Reflect, be patient and allow each partner to evolve in the relationship. How can we manage to get there? Compassion and forgiveness. Take a few steps back and look at your relationship with perspective, two individual lives merging together and finding way to grow closer.

Partnership

“Those who play together, stay together’. Sometimes one or the other partner gets introduced as ‘the better half’, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a better half. Both partners are equal halves in the relationship and carry both the responsibility to put the best foot forward and ‘play together’. Showing interest in one’s hobbies and dreams, participating in an activity one might not particular like, but the partner loves, stimulates growth and closeness in the relationship. Sit down together and discuss things you have in common or like to try out (even better!) and devote time to that activity as much as possible. In arguments, try to take a step back and reverse roles, to see the situation in perspective. Ask yourself, is the argument we are having right now going to be worth mentioning in five years? You will find by applying these little changes, it may become easier to pick your battles. Support each other and remind yourself to develop positive constructive communication for growth, as this is foundational to partnership in a healthy long term relationship.

Meeting half way

This might seem like an obvious statement. Of course, we are meeting half way, we will compromise! How can you be sure, that you are meeting your partner half way? The answer to that question is: Do you live your life in balance? Balance is to walk towards each other, in the same pace and with understanding, patience and space for growth. Compromises should be made, but be aware that you are walking towards your partner, compromises should be equal and in balance. When one or the other partner feels, that he or she is making more compromises, it is time to have a sit down and discuss the emotional impact on the individual and the relationship. Meeting half way, does not mean, letting yourself completely go and pushing aside your ethics, morals, standards and most certainly not crossing boundaries. Express boundaries and explain why these are your boundaries. Listen with an open mind and heart and always remember’ ‘Where there is love, we walk together’.

Resilience

Whether you have been dating for a few months or you have been married for twenty years, resilience is the key to keep yourself standing up straight, head held high and keep the desire to develop your relationship further. One develops resilience over time by overcoming challenges in life, work and previous relationships. Think back to when you went through something extremely though and you got through it. Which skills did you use to get through that situation? What made you keep your head above water and what did you learn? Remind yourself, that the strength that once was, is inside of you.

Gratitude

In my practice, I ask couples: ‘what are your grateful for with regards to your life and partner?’ One or both often giggle and say; well he/she knows, what I am grateful for! Maybe he or she does know, but it’s important to remind each other of those things you are grateful for. Individually, I always encourage writing gratitude journals, which create a moment in the day to think about the blessings. The beauty of keeping such a journal, is that you can always read back and be reminded of your blessings. When it comes to inter-relationship communication, I encourage couples to say out loud (several times a week!) to each other what they are grateful for in their relationship and about each other. These exercises are helpful to live your life with presence in the moment, yet provide growth in your relationship.

About the Author:

Jeanina is a Dutch Counseling Psychologist and Holistic Practitioner. She is the founder of Blue Lights Wellness, located in JLT. Her aim is to provide the community and cozy and nonjudgmental environment, to be heard and seen as a ‘whole’ and encourage self -development. Jeanina has a BSc in Psychology & Education, MSc in Psychology, Post graduate diploma’s in Counseling & Psychotherapy, Family & Couples Counseling. Jeanina is currently completing her Doctorate degree in Counseling & Psychotherapy. She is trained in CBT, Solution Focused Therapy, ABA Therapy, Mindfulness, Theta Healing and has studied, trained and worked under supervision over ten years in; The Netherlands, UK, US and UAE. Her sessions range from 55-70 minutes depending on the need and the situation of the client. She works with individuals, couples and students. To book a session with Jeanina please sent an email to info@bluelights.ae or visit www.bluelights.ae.

EMDR & Trauma: An Integrative Approach to Therapy

Everyone at one point, experienced stressful event. It might have been a minor incident like a spoiled coffee on shirt just before the meeting, or something slightly more affecting like a car crash. Fewer have gone through major distressing situations like natural disaster or war. The traumas of small or big effects, are accompanying our life since birth. Wait a minute? “No” – you might say- “My life has been quite peaceful and mostly happy, and I can’t really relate to those statements at all. That might be true and indeed, most of the people are able to cope with traumas and distress with inherent coping mechanisms. Most of us would therefore, agree with wise statements like “Time cures wounds”, and “What does not kill you, strengthens you”. Yet, if we look closely at our life there might be some events, which we forgot or do not treat as traumatic, or in some cases have been successfully repressed to our unconscious. If they are closed and processed to the “past shelve” by our skillful mind, that’s great. However, the integration and processing abilities of our brain might sometimes be jeopardized and result in some emotional states or thoughts left unprocessed. In such case, later on, in our present life, we might find it difficult to deal with daily life stressors. It may show that during intense moments our mind comes back to those forgotten but not processed events or feelings and experiences them as if they were still present. We might unconsciously be triggered by small distresses to experience emotions related to much bigger traumas from past all over again.

In general, there are two types of traumas that affect people, namely Traumas with capital “T”, which are the colossal events causing distress in global understanding, like catastrophes, natural disasters, physical abuse and life threating events. These happenings are usually related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) and recognized as such. People experiencing Traumas of such kind, are usually met with compassion and relevant care. There are, however, traumas of a different nature which are being experienced subjectively. People going through difficult relationships, psychological abuse, bullying, mobbing or distress of any other kind on daily basis, might react similarly to the ones experiencing Trauma with capital T.

These experiences may significantly interfere with their health and well being. Subjective traumas may not be seen or recognized by significant others or even by a person her/himself. Yet, the powerful emotions related to it may affect negatively self-concept, self-esteem and self-efficacy, and therefore have adverse impact on various life aspects. Those unprocessed emotional states may lead to anxiety, phobias, lack of acceptance and strong cognitive dissonance as well as dissociations in both children and adults.

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is one of the most researched forms of psychotherapy with strong scientific background supporting its effectiveness. EMDR incorporates eye movement or other types of bipolar stimulation, in order to encourage brain to process information from all physiological brain regions.  Hence, it is regarded as a holistic approach to psychotherapy, which addresses all three composites of human being – Cognition, Affective States and Physiology. It engages therapist and client to work together on the matrix of memories. EMDR is recommended by World Health Organization.

EMDR sessions are available with our EMDR Therapist & Family Counselor Magdalena Mosanya

For bookings please sent us an email on info@bluelights.ae

Is Mindfulness For You?

Is Mindfulness for you?

If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety or insomnia, you probably would have thought about Mindfulness. Mindfulness means focusing your attention inwards and maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the surroundings.

The key components of mindfulness are thus awareness of one’s current feelings and thoughts in the present moment, a deliberate and conscious direction of attention towards them, and acceptance in a non-judgmental way. During mindfulness, you are encouraged to tune into what you are feeling or thinking in the present moment, reserving any judgment and avoiding ruminating about the past or daydreaming about the future. A growing body of research points to the numerous benefits of mindfulness; practicing it on a regular basis can not only relieve depression and anxiety and boost energy levels but has also been shown to change your brain structure. Most studies confirm that group courses may be just as beneficial as individual sessions but practicing mindfulness on your own could make it easier for you to focus and remain aware of your present feelings and thoughts rather than be distracted by your surroundings. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression or tend to ruminate excessively, mindfulness can greatly improve your mental state.

In terms of duration, there are no set rules about how long you should practice mindfulness but studies demonstrate that 8 weeks of mindfulness practice can lead to long-lasting brain changes along with increased well-being. However, even a single mindfulness session can greatly enhance your mental health; a study from 2015, for instance, found that a session of mindfulness meditation leads to decreases in negative mood.

In short, if you would like to reduce the brain chatter, enjoy lower stress levels, greater focus and enhanced well-being and are willing to dedicate half an hour daily, then mindfulness might be just the perfect match for you.

So, how can you know if mindfulness is something that could work for you? In general, everyone can practice mindfulness, regardless of age, gender or background. The only to find out if Mindfulness is for you, is to give it a try!

Blue Lights Wellness offers you, individual Mindfulness Sessions, with a duration of 50 minutes, where the practitioner will guide you through meditation and focus on your breathing and awareness. Individual sessions are offered as single session or as 4 biweekly program!

Introductory offer of 10% discount on your first session till December 5th available now! Book your session with our practitioner Jeanina via info@bluelights.ae