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Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains

Women and Self-Expression



I am passionate about helping women to express themselves.  Women struggle with self-expression in unique ways.  Across the years as a counselor I have found that …
 
… women often struggle with feeling that to act on behalf of self is selfish, or that they must make a choice between self and other. 
 
From the time we are little girls women are affirmed by society for caring for others, while we deny our own needs and goals. Women feel they must either act on behalf of self or else deny the self and live primarily for and through others.  Women are drawn to the role of caretaker and nurturer, often putting their own needs at the bottom of the list.  They believe that to get something for oneself is abhorrent because others will be deprived as a result. We may not even know what we want, or if we do, we can't make time for it because the needs of others seem more important. I can help you find a balance so that you can give to others without sacrificing good self-care, and can take care of your own needs without feeling you must neglect others to do so.
                                                                  
Caring for yourself doesn't have to be at a cost to your most important relationships, and in fact often improves them.  Counseling is often the first step in learning to care for yourself.
 
 
… women often unknowingly invalidate their innermost thoughts, feelings, and perceptions.
 
Most women have been exposed to critical voices.  As a result, women can tend to expect unkindness and can tend to be in relationships with people who are insensitive.  Sometimes it can be difficult to know which voices to listen to.  We may have trouble sorting out what our own voice is telling us.  I offer a safe space for you to sort out what you are feeling and hearing so that you can unravel which voices are not yours and learn to hear from your own intuitive wisdom.
                                                                           
When we hear another validate us, it helps us to start validating ourselves. When we validate ourselves, we are able to practice better self-care.
 
 
… women often endure frustrations in their relationships longer than they need to.
 
Most women have been in at least one unhealthy relationship. Women can stay because they feel guilty or because they blame themselves for some part of it.  Women who are in harmful relationships often receive extreme advice to either write the other person off and leave, or to stay because "it could be worse."  In actuality, a woman in this situation is likely to have strong feelings about both staying and leaving.  When she can talk to an objective outside observer who can hear all of her feelings, options start to emerge that she could not see before. 
 
When we can talk to someone objective who is outside of our relationship, we can sort out our different feelings about the relationship and what we want to do.
 
… women often struggle to speak on behalf of themselves. 
 
Women can feel they sound too demanding or can feel they don’t have a right to speak at all.  Assertive communication is the middle ground that allows us to express our desires while respecting the needs of others, but sometimes our voices have been so silenced and not affirmed that assertive communication feels like we are asking too much.  Counseling is a place to give voice to those parts of ourselves that have been silenced by others or feel like they are asking too much.  In counseling we practice speaking of our pain, voicing our emotions, and articulating the ways we have been mistreated.  Speaking of our experience starts a process where our feelings and needs become natural.

We can find a way to express ourselves that makes us proud, that represents our authentic selves, and how we want to live life.




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