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Brave Therapy™ is a blog site created by Andrea Szasz, a Psychotherapist and Counsellor living and practicing in Sydney, Australia.

Self-Love?

One of these mornings I woke up with a sense of dread. Feeling the stresses of our ‘new normal’; the way we have to think about wearing masks and hand sanitizers. Feeling the pain of lack of real, face-to-face connection with loved ones. Dealing with the general ‘I am over it’ attitude from basically everyone. Part of me just wanted to stay in bed with chocolate and watch, scary ‘Scandi’ movies all day. But then I remembered how it feels after I go for a run and jump into the cold ocean. A part of me got my shoes on, grabbed my keys and off I went. By the time I reached the shore, the dread was starting to disappear. I was even able to look at the ocean and feel gratitude for the deep beauty that is.
As I was walking I started to listen to a podcast from Alan Alda interviewing Brené Brown. (BTW Alan Alda’s podcast is great, check it out.) At a part of the conversation they were talking about empathy, self-compassion, self-love and Alan started to wonder out loud: what is self-love, how do you practice it? Do you say ‘Jee my heart beats faster when I think you?’ 🙂
I thought about self-love further, and a Hungarian psychologist, Popper Péter  came to mind who said “love is something that makes your life better, saying I love you is not enough, it has to be an action that the receiver of that love experiences as an enhancement of their life.” The check point is: is my life becoming better by being loved by you?
If I practice self-love, I have to do things for myself that are benefiting my life, things that make me feel good, feel loved. So I guess I can thank that part of myself that got me out of bed, and made me move my body, have some positive sensory experiences, that part helped me to feel gratitude and to lift the dread.
Loving oneself takes action, the action of doing something that makes our lives better. Of course, chocolate in bed with ‘Scandi’ movies has its place too 🙂
With Love
Andi
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Join Dr. Rick Hanson in a live, online Relationship Workshop

Hello Brave Friends,

Our relationships give us most of our joys – and most of our sorrows. They can comfort and lift you, and they can stress and hurt you.

As we deal with the coronavirus, it’s more important than ever to have solid, healthy, fulfilling relationships . . . and to mend and resolve any issues with the people who matter most to you.

Join New York Times bestselling author and psychologist Dr. Rick Hanson for a live, online Relationship Workshop. He’ll teach you practical tools for healing relationship wounds and effective ways to handle issues with others, grounded in the combination of strength and heart.

On August 15 and 16, 9 am – 1 pm Pacific Time, learn how to improve your relationships by:

  • Supporting Yourself
  • Having Compassionate Strength
  • Being Your Best
  • Communicating Effectively

There will be plenty of time for questions, and Dr. Hanson will address real-world issues with friends, co-workers, romantic partners, children, and your own parents. If you can’t watch the live event, no worries: you will get the recording of it. And, if you’re a mental health professional, you can receive 7 CE credits.

Sign up and use coupon code BRAVE50 to get a special, discounted price of $199.

I will be there.
Warmly
Andi
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Orienting back to ‘normal’?

I don’t know how you feel but for me this opening up, going back to ‘normal’ is happening a little too fast.
I remember when the lock-down started, I was driving home from exercising, I saw a cat crossing the road in a curve of the road where I have never seen a cat before. It is a busy curve so seeing the cat just kind of cruising was very surprising. It represented how quiet and empty everything had become suddenly. I remember as it moved, being all confident and smooth and slow. I was very happy for this little creature, I thought; good to take some space back in your hood. I was also a little worried about it, what if someone just ignores the slowness of this time?
I often think of that cat.. and now that we suddenly opened up our shops and workplaces, I am worried if he/she will notice it in time, and will be careful enough? Cats as mammals are good at orienting, they use their senses to make a move or as we call it a decision.
I notice this resistance going back to ‘normal’ in me, the need to take my time to orient. So much has changed so quickly in our lives recently, I am not ready for a quick turn again. I am going to follow what I wish for the cat, I am going slow and careful.
I hope you can try to do the same. Sense into your body, take your time to orient.
Warmly
Andi
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More Resources

Hi there, dear Brave Therapy™ friends and clients,

I hope you are all safe and healthy and somewhat adjusted to the current changes to our lives.
While it has been a big, stressful and somewhat painful change there has been so many beautiful, generous offering of resources out there.
I am sure you have been receiving all sorts of information and invitations in your inboxes. I wold like to share some of my recent favorites, maybe they have not reached you yet.

  • This is a wonderful video by the senior faculty members of the Somatic Experiencing Institute and some exercises demonstrated by no-one else than Dr Peter Levine. I already skipped and vooo-d with him a few times today:)

 

 

  • My dear friend and colleague generously hosting some online group connection spaces on Tuesday mornings. Please check her offerings out. She is a wonderful therapist, teacher and artist.

https://www.nouladiamantopoulos.com/

  • And last but not least here is a site where you can learn some new ways of booogie if you inclined. This is not totally free, just for a week but still, worth to check it out.

https://www.steezy.co/

Might see you on the virtual dance floor?

I hope you are safe and healthy, washing your hands and staying connected.
Warmly
Andi

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Resources for the lockdown

Strange times we live in. Waking up each morning, listening to the birds, whom are becoming louder as the traffic reduces, I am thinking the same as many of you: and other day in the lock down…..
It has been not easy to try to find the new rhythm of things. What I have learnt and try to practice in the last couple of weeks:
  • Have a structure for my day. It is really important to be able to look forward to things, to have a sense of agency over our temporary situation. So what I do is, plan each day, when I do my exercise, when and how much I work and ‘socialise’ with physical distancing. I go outside when I can, and enjoy nature if the weather allows, or I do yoga or train at home.  I do my admin work, writing, & research work at specific times, and I work through a to-do list, without perfectionism. I see my clients online in the usual times. Family connections are cultivated via FaceTime, phone calls, messages, and happen all over the world as timezones allow in the morning and the evening. A sneaky afternoon nap also happens here and there 🙂
  • Limit my news intake. It is very important to keep informed since things have been changing rapidly in the last few weeks. But the constant scary information overload stresses out our system and can easily take us to a shutdown. I read, what I think is reliable source in the morning and watch a lighter summary in the evening.
  • I have said it before, but I do think its worth saying again: exercise, exercise, exercise. We need to keep moving even if we are restricted to our homes. What’s really great that has come out of this situation is the huge amount of free online resource that is available now. I put together a few below.
  • Learn something new. I find that learning something new inspires me and got my energy flowing. So I am learning singing  (again) and some new exercises and dances.
  • Stay in touch with loved ones. This can be hard when we feel stressed, hopeless or scared, and it is more important then ever before.  I did find that a silly FaceTime call or using filters on messenger can really cheer me up.
So please stay connected, move your body, exercise your mind, wash your hands and stay safe.
Here are some great free resources I collected for you in the last week.
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Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Being willing is not enough. We must do. - Leonardo Di Vinci

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