Adverse Childhood Experiences

Most people would agree that experiences that we have had in childhood (both good and bad) can have a lasting effect on us throughout our adult lives. But what can we learn from scientific research about this? This article looks at the well known large scale Adverse Childhood Experience studies…

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A Happy Childhood?

Did you have a happy childhood? As an adult, we’re often taught to look back on our childhood with nostalgia and happy thoughts, back to innocent and carefree times. Childhood is coined as the time where we learn who we are, and where secure attachments are formed with caregivers. It’s…

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The Emotional Needs of Children

Does love matter? Are the emotional needs of children important? How we are treated as babies and toddlers determines the way in which what we're born with turns into what we are. According to Sue Gerhardt, in her excellent book “Why Love Matters”,  “The kind of brain that each baby…

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The Effects of Scapegoating

This second blog about scapegoating in families looks at the effects of scapegoating. Within a family, one member becomes the target of accusations, blame, criticism or ostracism. While it’s happening, family members are often unaware of what they are doing and would deny it if confronted with their behaviour. Becoming…

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Scapegoating

What is scapegoating? Scapegoating within families is rarely talked about but many of my clients have described this process in their families.  What exactly does it mean? Well, in ancient tribal societies, a goat was chosen to represent the group’s collective sins to appease an angry god. By casting the…

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Ways to Cope with a Toxic Family

My last two blogs introduced the idea of toxic families and this one looks at ways to cope with a toxic family. Looking for support in dealing with difficult relationships within their own close family is one of the most common reasons people come to me for counselling. Dealing with…

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Signs of a Toxic Family

This is the second blog in a series about families and looks at the signs of a toxic family. When people first come to counselling, they often find it hard to talk about their family in a critical way. It can bring up great feelings of guilt or sadness. But…

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A Toxic Family

A Perfect Family? What do people mean when they say they have a toxic family ? Toxic families tend to have well-established patterns of bullying, discrimination, manipulation, even physical, emotional or verbal abuse.  The dynamics of a toxic family affect most of its members, making their lives miserable. Family shapes…

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Characteristics of a Narcissistic Parent

This blog looks at the characteristics of a narcissistic parent. As I said in my previous blog, our parents are the foundation of our first attachment to the world. As infants, we learn by their example how to bond with others. We derive our initial sense of our self-worth from…

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What is a Narcissistic Parent?

Was it really like that? What is a narcissistic parent? How can it affect a child growing up in a home with a narcissist parent? Sometimes when clients talk to me about their childhoods, they are aware that for various reasons, their parents and their home environment were different to…

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Dealing with a Narcissistic Boss

This blog looks at the challenging topic of dealing with a narcissistic boss. Many managers can be demanding and difficult at times but a true narcissist has behaviour traits that do not change and can make your working life a nightmare. Working under a boss who is unpredictable, self-centred, and…

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A Narcissistic Boss

The effects  of having a narcissistic boss Narcissism, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, can be almost as hard to deal with in the workplace as it is in personal relationships.  Not only are you forced into close contact with your boss every day, but you are also dependent on him or…

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