The challenge of christmas and why therapy may be the answer

Most people usually identify themselves with regard to job positions – what they do and where they live.

This came into my mind as every auto rickshaw tuc-tuc driver during my India trip had a great way to build rapport quickly!” Hello, where you from, what’s your name, you have job, where your family?” Even on my bicycle, the persistent line of questioning would continue, just in case I needed a rickshaw in the near future.

During the Christmas party season, how would you most like to be introduced? What would you say to introduce someone else to a stranger?

The practised giving and receiving in the tradition of Christmas can generate pleasure, anxiety and frustration. There is a financial deficit which can be more or less intense and an emotional debt which is unconsciously registered no doubt!

What does the gift say about you? A female client with a male lover experienced dismay as the day of reckoning get approached. He was so crippled by dread that his presents would not be liked, that he wanted to wipe the ritual and festivities off the calendar completely. Such tensions are perhaps about fear of rejection and of judgment and criticism.

The reciprocity notion is also challenged when a value is attributed – source, price point, branding, size and quantity. Weighing up and seeking to balance kindness without intimacy for the neighbours who fed the fish and pushed the post through! Thoughtfulness and effort sometimes becomes a painful reminder of perceived worth. Self worth and worthiness, are constructs imbued with childhood memories we may not know we still carry, as surely as the internet parcel we hurriedly arrange or haul from the mall. Ditto the earnest eco-friendly gift voucher assigned to someone who doesn’t share our values but could learn by example?

So much for joy?

False mirth, smirks and derision, or exaggerated and feigned surprise reveals the underlying anxiety of getting something we don’t want. For a child within the adult it can also settle a few scores. Give something crappy, get rid of, dump it on someone else – the material object carrying the unconscious disappointment and sadness of years past.

Take a look at the pain of actor Emma Thompson in Love Actually as she finally acknowledges the necklace of adornment bought by her husband is chosen and given to the lover. She has another CD – a metaphor for being stuck with the same old stuff going round and round.

Which brings our attention to New Year.

If you want something to be different and better, what are you going to do about it? Give yourself (and people who love and care about you) the gift of your commitment to understand how to change. The brain will keep going round and round the same neural pathways unless you train it to make new connections.

Relationships are the test of what is working well or failing miserably. Unwrap knowledge and be present in making new habits. January is an unsettled time and more couples head into separation and divorce post Christmas than at any other calendar time.

If you feel that you need to make a change, get in touch about our wide range of talking or physical therapies.

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