Breaking barriers of ego defences

Hypnotherapy and Psycho-therapeutic counselling, REBT, and NLP Transformation Coach based in Marlow, Bucks.

Breaking barriers, here, means overcoming obstacles, blocks and stuckness. As a child of history grows up, she developed life skills, cognition, interpersonal skills from people around her. People in the family group (mum, dad, brother, sister, etc.), people in the tribal group (religious leader, governor, town crier, etc.) and people in the community group (teacher, carer, nurses, doctor, etc). People she recognised in her outer world, became the people in her inner world, creating many subpersonalities. As you introject, the outside becomes the inside.

When you grow up, you idolise others in order to learn another way of being, in certain situation. You learned by observation, imitation and mimicking. Learning is a state of being curious about something or someone. Learning is something that can be surmised to be innate. Learning is a nature part of evolutionary development. But, learning is also nurtured. Many of us may not have been nurtured healthy. Our parents aren’t always to blame, as they too are wounded parents, with a hurt inner child. When we learned from these role models, we were not conscious of the impact on our adult self.

And you learned by oppression, omission and submission too, the unhealthy part of learning. You become what you learned, just as you are what you eat. Imagine if you were oppressed to learn the etiquette of behaving in a certain ways in a presence of elderly family members. Imagine if you were cared for in a secured environment of the family unit, but love was omitted, affection was abandoned within the family. Imagine if you had to submit your will and were taught to accepting your parent’s will and their fantasy for you to become a doctor, a lawyer, a ballet dancer etc. or some profession that you do not wish to be. How well would you learn? Sure, you can learn to be all of the above, but as you learn to become someone else, something else is lost, the essence of your truth is lost.

As we become learned helpless, we learned to become someone else. And getting to know the person behind that mask become difficult as you get older. The behaviour learned become set in concrete. It is difficult to break some old habits and automatic mindset. But, not impossible to break your barriers.

Curious? Curiosity is a good friend of mine. Curiosity allows me to make the change I want. Be curious of your blockages. Be curious of the limitation you placed upon yourself. Be curious of where you are stuck.

Questioning? Questioning make me challenge the way I used to do things, the way I used to behave around certain person and the way I used to think about things. Questioning self-assesses and self-evaluate behaviours, actions and thinking. Questioning acts as a prompt to discredit your negative ego defences.

Change. Change the way you do things. Change direction to work. Change your looks or hairstyles. Change your mind. Change your interests and hobbies. Change is a good place to start taking action, if you are serious about knocking down your barriers of ego defences. Change for the sake of changing. Change and be comfortable with being uncomfortable with new changes.

Be prepare to lose. Be prepare to lose part of your old self as you eliminate unwanted barriers. Be prepare to go through the grief cycle as you psychologically lose part of yourself that have been self-serving. Be prepare to do the emotional water work.

Identify yourself


Hypnotherapy and Psycho-therapeutic counselling, REBT, and NLP Transformation Coach based in Marlow, Bucks.

Identity, according to Psychologist, is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person chooses, so others can recognize them. It is an impression of oneself through one’s own eyes. You can also called it a label.

It is a way of being identified. And the process of identity can be expressed creatively or destructively.

I once went on a training workshop, a woman introduced herself to me, “Hi, I’m social-phobic!” She identified herself as someone who fears social settings, because she believed herself to lack social skills.

The way a person introduces themselves to other people, is their self-identity and self-perception. Based on self-belief and self-worth.

However, there are other factors that determined identity. Some of which are:-

  • Role – a person’s employment or job title. Work and career identity is important and often closely associates with stautus identity.  How a person perceive their role identity says a lot about the person.
  • Health – a person’s health, illness and disabilities. In the case of my social-phobic friend. This person closely identity with their disadvanated health.
  • Status – a person’s class. Status identity is symbolic and dependant on finance and wealth. A person who identifies themselves with their status is proudly presented, with views of class or importance. This include famous celebrities.
  • Race – a person’s ethnicity and original of birth. A person who identifies with race is one whose accepts their birth rights, their ethnicity and their original. Acceptance of race means accepting cultural differences. There are great dissonance in societies regarding race today. The colour of racism comes in many guise.
  • Religion – a person’s religious beliefs. A person who identify themselves to religion is often seen preaching and disregarded for their belief. Religion plays an important role in the formation of society. It is a way to bring community together. It is a way to unite people to gather peacefully and congregate in social settings.
  • Weight – a person’s body size. A person who identify with their weight is often
  • Intellect – a person’s intelligence is concern with their mental capacity to brainpower. The sharpness and alertness of their mind. Someone who value their mental awareness and aptness for witty and quick response is seen to be on the ball.
  • Interests & hobbies – a person’s general leisurely activities. If you are a person who identifies with your interests and hobbies, this expresses creativity and art.

We are so caught up in our history and our habits that we became to identify ourselves with what others tell us. I know that, I was one. I used to identify myself using the factors above.

I used to intrapersonally think that; “I’m quick witted, intelligent, highly driven in my career, striving for independence and stature.”

And now? I realized that I am more than my identity. I am more than my body, my mind and my feelings. I am all of it and much more, expressing my transpersonal self.

Recognizing my identity means knowing myself and know my will.

Recognizing my identity means that I have a choice how and who I identify myself with in the interpersonal relationship and in communication. Identity does not have to be set in stone, nor does it has to be rigid, and according to NLP presuppositions, those with greatest flexibility exerts greatest impression.

How you identify yourself to others is important because you will imprint an impression. Did you know that the first 4 minutes matters a lot? The first 4 minutes of meeting someone new is the time that it takes for that person to form an impression of you.

Have a go at being impressive in the first 4 minutes. I love to hear about your experience of it.

Obsessively me


An obsession is an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind. An object of obsession can be a person a thing or an activity. It is much like a fixation actually. As a fallible human being, we have a tendency to psychological disturb ourselves with almost anything. Much as we like to think that we are invincible, we are not. Much as we have proof of our power, as we ‘influence’ others, we are not powerful. We exert money over others to gain power over others, because this makes us feel powerful. Some people strive at all costs to have this power over others, but that’s another story. One that I might consider posting later. For now, I refer to the current craze over Pokemon Go.  I’m afraid I am one of those fallen prey to the current ‘craze‘. But, I am not a gamer at all!

I often wonder if I am obsessively healthy or unhealthy. We have the tendency to obsess over something or someone. For me, these periods of obsession is called a fad. I don’t mind admitting that I have a period of blip where I was consumed by  burst of activities such as mobile gaming. I could not wait to for opportunities to play games on my phone especially since, nearly everyone old enough who can afford to have android phones, do have one. Awhile ago, I was obsessing over WordBrain. This went on for a few months until I’d got bored playing. Then I was introduced to Game of Thrones by a friend, and I couldn’t stop watching season 1-5 in a weekend! Then that was that! At the moment, I will admit that I am swept by Pokemon Go like millions of others. So obsessed that I play daily for most of the days. My phone is on constant charge. I do go out and walk around to find Pokemon. I recruited many friends and family to play. The benefit is that it gets me out and moving, as I walked 5km to hatch a Pokemon egg! I reached my Fitbit steps quota for the day. I exercised and burnt off nearly 430 calories of cardio (more than I would do in a heavy work out at the gym).

When will it end?  – Well, as long as there are benefits to your personal goals, it may or may not end. Obsession will become compulsive when it interferes with your responsibilities, the urges to continual playing will become irresistible. Be honest, ask yourself, what is your personal goals for playing or keep playing.

When does it get out of control?  – That depends on the individual’s internal perception and their interpretation of the object of obsession. There are varying degree of obsession and when it is a problem for you is when to think about the why. For me I suspect that I will be playing as long as it gets me out walking, exercising and interacting with my daughters. I have no intention of playing it expertly or to battle to gain any online status (to gain power over other players). So, you could say that I am a hoarder of Pokemons.

When is an obsession a problem? – That depends on an individual’s reasoning for playing. Pokemon games were around 20 years ago and my children were really crazy over the original Pokemon cards game, the miniature toys and cuddlies. As they grew up, the craze moved to Pokemon PC games, in a form of Pokemon Red, Silver, Gold etc. For me, it was a way of interacting with them through play. For me it was the cute cuddly features of the characters. Is it obsessive to know that Bulbasaur evolves into Wartortle and then Blastoist when you battle and train them well? Obsession is a subjective experience for each person. And as long as you are healthily benefiting from the activity, and it doesn’t interfere or get in a way of your real world than it is not necessarily a problem. It is a problem when the object of obsession is a risk to your health, life and to those around you, such as the dangerous craze where people gets out of car in mid traffic to catch a rare Pokemon, recently broadcast. It is dangerous when you are so preoccupied that you have an accident. It is dangerous when you are not playing sensibly or you have insidious agenda.

What can you do to keep obsessive behaviour under control? – Obsessive behaviour is about the needs for control. It is something that we do to satisfy our hidden desire. For me, I tell myself that I need exercise to control and maintain my healthy waistline. In order to be able to rationally think about what is healthy and unhealthy, you need to check and test out the level of your obsession and the degree of discomfort. See how long you can NOT play the game, an hour, a couple of hours, a day? See how uncomfortable you are when you are deprived of the the object of obsession? Start there and see how you long you last before the urges take hold.

Obsession doesn’t have to be a problem as long as YOU are in control of your activity and not the other way round. Ask yourself, without any unhealthy demands, are you in control?  

Lie to my face


There has been studies into face reading as lie detector; Professor Ugail’s work at university of Bradford tries to use face reading technology for lie detector. And there are evidence that computer and camera are great ways to capture human facial recognition. We cannot fool the use of smart technology. Most of us who does not have the luxury of these technology and nor can we carry this around with us! How can we tell when someone is lying by reading their face?

You might be interested to read my articles on face-reading, face the inside out or changing face of confidence to better understand the importance of your face, your external mask. One thing that smart technology cannot decipher is our attempt to covet the face. We do this by wearing make-up, veil, burqa or plastic surgery. This make face reading extremely difficult. According to Dr. Leanne ten Brinke, we have an innate pre-set instinct to detecting lies, we are our own lie detector. Providing of cause you have already established the person’s normal baseline behaviour in social settings, then it’s easier to pick up their uncharacteristic expressions, body language cluster (such as hair twirling, fidgeting, sway and body rocking) or attitude to conversation. A baseline is the neutral threshold which a person is at ease and not lying – inquire about subject you know they cannot possibly lie about such as the present weather condition or something that they have no reason to lie about.  You may already know some of the signs of lying. You may have already seen the face of a liar. Keep a close eye!

Looking at the head; watch for the positioning or the sudden head tilt or jerk in relation to being questioned. Watch for inconsistency of the head nods, bows or shakes that is different to the use of verbal language being expressed.

Forehead – Look for beads of sweat or signs of nervousness on the forehead. Look out for signs of throbbing as the vein pulses on the forehead, as well as crease lines on the forehead. Look for the eyebrows pulled together closer as the person is anxious about the lies. Plus any signs of scratching of the temple suggests, the liar is thinking about what to say.

Eyes – If the person is unable to look you in the eye in response to your questions, this is a sure sign of lies being concealed. As well as prolong and exaggerated eye contact used to deter reader into the false story. Rapid or lack of blinking are conscious signs to manipulate the listener. A normal person, who is not lying, will shift their gaze regularly exploring their surroundings. Look closely at the micro-expression quickly flashes in the eyes, in a fraction of a second, to establish the person’s true emotion. Monitor the eye direction, as the person is looking up towards the left – according to NLP is Visual Construct, demonstrating that the person is constructing the story. Eye movements, looking up toward the right – shows Visual Recalls – the person is not lying when remembering the story. Eyes show emotions watch for this carefully.

Nose – Just as in ‘Pinocchio’, watch the twitching and nose itching. Look at nose concealing and nose rubbing, as well as signs of frequently touching, rubbing or stroking the nose. They are all signs of lying.

Mouth – Watch for any signs to conceal, cover, and hide the mouth when the person is responding, as well as covering other areas of the body.  Watch for frequent signs of stuttering, swallowing, coughing or frequently clearing their throat are also sure signs of lie. Just as biting of nails; the liar’s body increase production of adrenaline, gets their saliva pumping and this creates none, resulting in dryness to the throat and mouth, making it difficult to swallow. While the saliva is surging, the liar might be gulping it down quickly and frequently. See how the lips don’t lie. Look at how the lips curl up, lips pressing or lips biting, are sure signs of stress generated in the limbic system.

Jaw – Look for movement in the jawline as the liar move back and forth, a movement to stimulate the salivary glands in the back of the throat. This movement is an attempt to moisten their dry throats due the fight-or-flight response.

Speech & Language – Listen out for the change of tonality and volume when the person is speaking. High pitch or quivering voice shows sign of distress, in defending the lies. Too long silences, absent or responses are signs of lies being invented. Pay attention to the use of language and the incongruity in face, the use of repeated words, words such as ‘to be honest’, ‘to be truthful’ or ‘honestly’ are signs of lies. Listen out for distraction in the story as the liar jump to a different story in mid-sentence.

However, it is not just the face that lies. The body can lie too and watch out for distraction in the hands, especially from those dramatics who are animated and creative in their explanation of their web of lies.

Try it for yourself, read those around you and see who is lying to you.

Me and my father

Father and son

I have discussed the role of motherhood around Mother’s day in my article, it is appropriate that I discuss the role of fatherhood on Father’s day. You may remember me mentioning the attachment theory of Bowlby, and the role it plays in a child’s development. Many psychologists refer to primary carer being the mother, although this is true in lots of cases, little light is shed on fathers as primary carer. We can see my Freud and many closely analyses the mother being the important to the child’s development due to breast feeding, in the absent of the mother, a father can be just as important to the child. Father and mother reacts differently to the same behaviour from the child. Father and mother also reacts different to the child, depending on the gender of the child. Our biological make-up drive our preferential tendencies toward the opposite sex. Such as the biological evolutionary law.

Research has shown that attachment with both parents are preferable in a child’s development, but it doesn’t come with criticisms. But in today’s society with the rise in divorce, and parents separating, the child is ping pong between acrimonious court proceedings resulting in tremendous stress. In majority of cases, a mother gets full custody of the child and the father has limited access or is absent. Many studies proof that absent of a father can deter healthy development. It is really inconsiderate and selfish of divorcing parents to use the children to gain power of custody in the separation proceeding.

In an ideal world, a child needs both parent’s regular contact to promote healthy social development through the life stages. I would like to address the importance of psychological effect of an absent father in a child’s development. As Mott’s research mentioned, the emotional and cognitive effect on a child of absent father is tremendous. I can relate to this, as my biological father was absent in my early childhood. I personally think that it depends on your gender preferential as well, as Freud crudely mentioned the Oedipus complex, for me, I prefer companies of men, as a result of paternal attachment deprivation. There are many factors that contributed to this preference, for me, I crave the male attention I was lacking in childhood. Of cause, this is not the case for everyone. Absent of a father affects the sons as well, creating unstable emotional disturbances in relationship formation. Father matters and I reached this conclusion, once my step-dad came into my life as a stable role model. As a daughter, I found myself attaching to him from the years of absent paternal figure. Although, I may have viewed female companies as competition previously, it is no longer the case, thanks to his guidance and perspective in my development.

Problem with attachment and absent of paternal figure depends largely on the reasons for the absence, all of which has devastating effect. If the absent is absolute, where a father voluntarily abandoned the child completely, it is likely that the child will feel rejected, hurt and guilt. Feeling like these can exacerbate depression. With no male action-orientation to model, depending on the child’s tendencies, he/she might not be able to relate to social setting from the male perspectives leading to social anxiety, inadequacy and may cause difficulty in forming relationships. If the absence is due to the maternal figure being deceitful, building trust will be a problem. If the absence is due to violence and abuse, on the mother or child, separation is almost justify and although it is difficult to accept that your father is violent or abusive, it is invariable the best choice for a child to be in a safe environment. If the absent is due to death, the child need to grieve the loss, and children should be told the reality of loss through death, rather than being sugar-coated. If the absent is due to an incarceration, this treatment need to be treated with sensitive, depending if the father will want to remain in the child’s life after the prison sentence is served. Whatever the reason, it is helpful to explain it to the child at the appropriate development age to comprehend and understand. Ignoring the absence is the worst possible way to deal with the situation. Burying your head in the sand and hope that the child do not ask is not the answer.

How do you recover from absent of a father figure? Address and accept that your father is absent from your life. Establish when the father was absent, and establish your current age including the maladaptive patterns of your destructive relationship formation will help pinpoint accuracy to locate the critical factor. Re-educate and learn of the reasons for his absent can promote awareness and help with acceptance. Connecting with him, if at all possible, it is never too late to (re)build relationships. Seek reassurances and reach out for support from your network of contacts can be therapeutic. Direct your energy through exploration and talk about your feelings surrounding the absent of a father figure through counselling can help address problem maintaining relationships. Aspiring for your own future, with or without, him and working towards your own satisfactory resolution.