Hope Is The Most Important Ingredient In Healing

Without hope, people lose the energy to heal and move forward, yet this ingredient is often missing in the medical community. I have experienced doctors who have instilled a sense of hope within me and those who have not, through my journey of chronic pain and illness. This is why I instill a sense of hope with everyone I work with, whether it is through my role as a psychotherapist, spiritual coach or creative writing teacher.

Hope is the Most Important Ingredient to Healing (1)

Unspoken Energy

Being a compassionate person, I am sensitive to the unspoken energy a person conveys. I went to a new specialist because another doctor, who I trusted, wanted to rule out other conditions. As soon as this doctor walked into the room and looked at me, I felt judged. She didn’t ask me much about my condition and when I did talk, she wasn’t listening. The doctor ended the appointment with, “if you get worse, come back” and left the room. Stunned, I thought; I have been living with this for ten years, I am not waiting for it to get worse.

I went home feeling angry and disappointed, not the feeling I wanted to have, after waiting months to get an appointment. She conveyed no hope. I could not express these feelings during the appointment because I felt shut down. I was able to express my displeasure on the survey sent to me weeks later.

I had to cool my jets and figure out my next move. I am a person who is grounded and emotionally balanced. I have to admit, this appointment threw me a little. I can only imagine the impact of an experience like this on an emotionally vulnerable person.

Hope Restored

It took me almost two months before I returned to my original specialist because of my busy schedule and need to re-group. At our original appointment, she listened and was thorough with my history. I remembered her telling me, “if you don’t get anywhere with the other doctor, come back and see me.” I felt nervous going back because I did not want to face another rejection or dead-end. I chose to trust.

I had my appointment. She not only listened but agreed, I should not wait until my condition worsens. She explained, “sometimes people don’t fit perfectly into a diagnosis, but you can treat the symptoms.”  I thought, yes, you are speaking my language! As a psychotherapist, I don’t turn someone away who is in pain; physically, mentally or spiritually because they don’t fit into a certain box. I sit and work with him or her, while we find solutions together.

I am on a new treatment and I have hope. If this one doesn’t work, we will try something else or the Divine will lead me in a new direction. People underestimate hope, yet it is the life force that keeps us going when facing our most darkest hours.

You may also want to read this blog: How to Pick Healing Providers who are Right for Empaths

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine.

Pick up her FREE gift 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now!  at http://www.lisahutchison.net

We are Living in a Time of Trauma

Trauma can have a deep and lasting impact not only on the person who directly experiences it, but also for those around them. As a psychotherapist, I have worked with numerous clients processing and releasing trauma, for over seventeen years. The silver lining is, you can heal from trauma but you have to seek treatment for it.

We are Living in Times of Trauma (2)

We are living in traumatic times. No, I did not mean dramatic but traumatic. You may see some people acting out dramatically after experiencing unresolved trauma. In these instances, the body is saying “pay attention to me, something is not in balance.” An important distinction to remember is, drama is not always trauma.

Our current lives have the potential to expose you to trauma on a daily basis. You can witness a trauma simply by being on social media or scrolling through the news on your phone. How many times have you encountered a disturbing image which was difficult to let go of? It is challenging being a sensitive person in today’s world. This is why self-care, boundaries and support are essential.

Trauma symptoms- how many do you currently have?

Physically and Emotionally Reactive (Arousal symptoms)

  • On guard for danger (hyper vigilance)
  • Self-destructive or reckless behaviors
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Concentration problems
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
  • Feelings of guilt or shame
  • Exaggerated startle response

Intrusive memories (intrusive symptoms)

  • Flashbacks- you see pictures of the traumatic event replay in your mind throughout the day, long after the trauma experience occurred.
  • Nightmares

Avoidance

  • Make efforts to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoid the places, activities or people that remind you of the event

Changes in your thoughts and mood

  • Feel distrustful of yourself, other people or the world
  • Hopelessness about the future, or feel you will not live long (a foreshortened future)
  • Not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty enjoying life or connecting with positive emotions
  • Feeling disconnected from others/life and numb

You may say, I have a lot of these symptoms but have never had a trauma event directly happen to me. Next, I will discuss three types of trauma. Out of these three types, two trauma reactions arise when you an outside of the direct trauma.

1.) Directly involved in a Trauma-  You are exposed to a catastrophic event. Some types of trauma involve being in combat, childhood physical, sexual or emotional abuse, sexual violence as an adult, physical assault, an accident, natural disasters, fires, sex trafficking, robbery, terrorist attacks, a shooting or an illness. 

2.)Vicarious Trauma also known as Compassion Fatigue- This type of trauma is the result of hearing other’s trauma stories and witnessing the pain, fear, and terror of the survivor. This can happen to counselors but also coaches who work with trauma. Self- care, awareness and professional support are critical tools for this line of work.

3.) Witness to Trauma- You saw or were in close proximity to a traumatic event happening to someone else. My husband and I witnessed a dating/domestic violence incident, while on vacation, to which we called 911. After the altercation, the woman followed the man as he walked away. This left me feeling unsettled. As we drove down a couple of streets, we saw a female officer talking to the woman involved. I don’t know if she pressed charges, if the couple will change or what will happen.

This uncertainty stayed with me for days until I processed it and decided to let it go. As a sensitive person, I felt many emotions attached to this event. I felt the danger in my own body, to which the man and woman were numbed to. I also felt their helplessness and stuck feelings. I acknowledged these feelings as not my own and released them. I know we did something in response and that is enough. The rest is now up to them.

When should you seek professional help from a licensed counselor? 

If you feel these symptoms are interfering with your daily life, seek help immediately, why wait? If your symptoms last beyond a month, acute stress disorder can become post traumatic stress disorder. Do not hesitate to reach out today, if you have thoughts of  suicide or of harming someone else. Treatment is available in every community.

You may also find this blog helpful: How Trauma Gets in the Way of Relationship Success

Pick up Lisa’s FREE gift 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now!  at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist, writing coach and the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals.  She helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. 

 

 

 

 

How to pick healing providers who are right for Empaths

How to pick healing providers who are right for Empaths

 

Only go to doctors, psychotherapists and healers you trust. Without trust, healing cannot happen. Word of mouth can be good, although nothing beats following your own intuition. Empaths require providers who are associated with these words; authentic, caring, professional, and trustworthy.

Recently, I went to a new provider, who was recommended to me by a friend. Although I was impressed with his punctuality, during our visit he was distracted and rushed. I would have preferred waiting for a doctor who thoroughly went through my health concerns and history. When I described why I was not doing a certain test at this time because of another health issue, he remarked, “That doesn’t make any sense.” I had the clarity in that moment to assert myself and say, “Yes, it does make sense and here is why.” He did not apologize. Needless to say, I will not be returning for another appointment with him.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a provider

Trust -Feel comfortable with your providers’ skills and expertise. You need to feel at ease opening up and discussing what matters to you most, even if you disagree. When you are ill, you are vulnerable, this is why trust is at the top of the list.

Good listening and communication abilities- You want someone who is an accurate reflector. They hear what you say, comprehend it and can rephrase it back to you. When you speak is your provider looking you in the eyes and present with you? Do you feel connected non-verbally and verbally?

They care- Really care- When you are with your provider do you feel valued? Is this person compassionate and empathic when you express your concerns? If you feel judged, it is time to search elsewhere.

They got skills– Your provider is professional. This person is competent, has the knowledge and expertise in the area of medicine they practice within.

This person does a thorough examination with you. This includes reviewing your health history and checking it for accuracy. They have paperwork about their practice and go over it with you and answer any questions you have.

This person is flexible and understands that mental and physical health is not a one size all fits system. They are able to think outside the box and see you as a complete picture of mind-body-spirit.

Have a consultation call or appointment first. Take the fifteen to thirty minutes of time to get to know who you will be working with. Ask about their training and experience with your issues, how they do their work, specialties they have and inquire about their own self-care/healing.

Congrats!

You have found the right match for you when you feel comfortable and at ease. Trust your instincts. Remember if you go to a provider and he or she does not feel right for you, switch! I know I will and have in the past.

Where you need to keep an open mind

Two factors you may need to be flexible with is the cost of your service and distance to travel. Do not choose a provider based on a cheaper price because you may not get the service you desire. Also, do not go with convenience. Sometimes you have to travel a little further to connect with the right fit.

For more info: If you need more help with managing your sensitivity in today’s world, contact Lisa Hutchison LMHC for a free 30 minute consult call. She is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Head on over to her website and get your free 10 page E-book, 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos from Your Life Now! at www.lisahutchison.net