List of Issues and ressources
 

Please click on the right for information about the issues that may resonate with you at the moment. We have added a few books and links for further exploration...

 

 

Anger management

Anger is a normal emotion and a natural reaction to injustice or unfair treatment for instance. Problems start to occur when our way to convey our anger comes with an aggressive behaviour physically and verbally. It can be destructive of relationships with loved ones, friends and colleagues. Sometimes we express anger when we don’t feel safe to express sadness or shame. In either case, it is important to unlock the roots of the anger and find ways to express it in a way that is more constructive.

 

More info

Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames, by Thich Nhat Hanh

Anger, Rage and Relationships by Sue Parker

 

 

Anxiety

Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause apprehension, worrying, nervousness and fear. These feelings are normal and natural, however, when they get out of proportion, they can cause distress, lack of sleep and severely affect the way we behave and function in life. Often sparked by stress, excessive anxiety can lead to panic attacks and depression. It is therefore important to seek medical and psychological help in order to manage the anxiety and find relief from symptoms.

 

More info

The 10 Best‑Ever Anxiety Management Techniques, by Margaret Wehrenberg

https://www.mindful.org/9-ways-mindfulness-reduces-stress/

 

 

Couples issues

Living as a couple creates a high potential for intimacy, connection and joy. The couple could be compared to a live entity that grows and evolves through time, and therefore requires constant care and nurturing. However, things can get complicated when the relationship gets neglected. Emotional distance, pain, conflicts and delusion start to move in. Sadly, people often wait too long before they seek help, when emotional damage is already entrenched. 

Men and women may encounter challenges at various stages of their couple life:

  • Before getting married

  • Around the birth of their first child

  • Parenting questions

  • Conflicts and communication problems

  • Connection and intimacy

  • Recovering from an affair

  • Separation and divorce

 

Don’t wait for a big crisis to seek support. Couple therapy is a way to gain insight into your relationship, strengthen your bond and learn to better deal with conflict.

 

More info

The seven principles for making marriage work, by John Gottman and Man Silver

After the affair, by Janis Abrahms Spring

 

 

Depression

Depression affects a lot of people and psychotherapy is one of the most effective ways to alleviate its symptoms, understand the source of the dis-ease and restore a sense of well-being. If you have felt for some time a combination of the following: feelings of sadness, hopelessness, feeling often tearful, a deep loss of interest or pleasure in activities such as sex, sports or hobbies, feeling particularly frustrated and irritable, then it might be a good idea to seek medical and psychological help.

 

 

More info

Two comic books and their video by Matthew Johnstone

I Had a Black Dog: His Name was Depression

Living with a black dog

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VRRx7Mtep8

 

 

 

Emotional eating

Normally we eat when our stomach sends us a physical signal that we are hungry. When we eat driven by our emotions rather than a hungry stomach, this is called emotional eating. Many of us then turn to food as a stress relief, for comfort or as a reward. We may eat when we feel sad, neglected, lonely, angry or bored. This is a vicious circle that often leaves us feeling guilty and shameful. Emotional eating can also lead to eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia, or various forms in-between. Learning coping mechanisms and finding healthier or more appropriate ways of meeting an emotional need, will help you face those unwanted emotions and eat more mindfully.

 

More info

Breaking free from emotional eating, by Geneen Roth

 

 

Ecological concerns

This is a recent addition to the issues we are seeing and sadly, an increasing form of concern for some of us. Stress and anxiety related to air and noise pollution, a gradual disconnection from mother nature in our extreme urban life and an overwhelming sense of powerlessness lead to certain types of distress. At Almagaia, we are naturally connected and concerned by these issues and ideally placed to help you.

 

More info

The Man Who Planted Trees, Tale by Jean Giono

The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time, by Elizabeth Rogers
 

 

Expat challenges

New country? New life?

Being an expat carries challenges for each member of a family, the working partner, the spouse and the children. When it works, it carries the seed for amazing experiences, openness to new exciting adventures and the ability to adapt to new cultural and linguistic environments. But this often comes at a cost that may be neglected or overlooked. Especially when the trailing spouse suffers from a loss of identity and feeling of dependence as the move meant giving up a career. If you, your children or your couple suffers from the impact of the expatriation, it is important to give it due attention and find a place to talk openly about these issues.

 

More info (children)

 

B at Home: Emma Moves Again, by Valerie Besanceney

The Third Culture Kid Experience: Growing Up Among Worlds, by David Pollock

 

Fertility

It is not always a simple affair to have a baby, and individuals with fertility issues know this too well. More couples are experiencing roadblocks when wanting to start a family, in fact, one in six couples experience fertility issues. The fertility roller coaster can lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, sometimes trauma and leave a couple’s relationship changed forever by a difficult series of events. Fertility assistance on other levels than just medical is therefore highly necessary. The approach to fertility counselling is holistic as it covers our physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual sides. Fertility support has been proven to be of great value for couples/individuals when coupled with good medical care and treatment.

 

More info

Fertility & Conception: The Complete Guide to Getting Pregnant, by Zita West

 

 

Grief

Loss is an inevitable part of our existence and grief is the reaction to any form of loss. There are as many ways to grieve as there are people on this planet and it is important to give yourself the space to grieve. Emotions are often surprising in their strength or mildness, and they can also be confusing, such as when a person misses a painful relationship. Broadly speaking, there are also recognizable symptoms that fall under the stages of grief that any individual may go through. Counselling can really help channel the grief and assist to perceive loss as an inevitable part of life. Mementoes, rituals and the use of photographs are some of the ways we invite you to use in sessions to assist in your grief.

 

More info

On grief and grieving, by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler

www.whatsyourgrief.com

 

 

Mid-life crisis

A mid-life crisis usually hits people in their forties or fifties and is commonly referred to as a growing lack of satisfaction with one’s life, a loss of confidence and a desire to change aspects of our life, sometimes drastically. Gradually some of us may exhibit behaviours that can range from marital affairs, disproportionate spending spree, finding it hard to age or feeling regrets for the things we didn’t do when we were younger….  A mid-life crisis is often accompanied by an existential crisis. When dealt with appropriately, this transitional phase can have a very positive impact on one’s life, leading to personal growth and a renewed sense of purpose and meaning.

 

More info

Man’s search for meaning, by Viktor Frankl

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, by Robin Sharma

 

 

Parenting challenges

Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.” 

― John Wilmot

 

We never stop being a parent. It is arguably the best thing ever and the most difficult job ever. Sometimes we feel at a loss to respond appropriately to our children and it is a constant struggle between being too permissive or too controlling...

At Almagaia, we don’t see children under the age of 16, however, we help parents understand what is happening that may be causing their children’s difficult or challenging behaviour and together we explore what might need to change within the family to support their children modify their behaviour.

 

More info

Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child, by John M. Gottman and Joan DeClaire

https://www.calmerparenting.com/

 

 

Self-esteem and confidence

A low sense of self-esteem or self-worth is often rooted in childhood and driven by the way we were treated and talked to. The problem is that it affects most aspects of our life –at school, at work, at home and with friends and can lead to depression.  Restoring a solid and healthy sense of self-esteem allows us to encompass all the parts that make us who we are (the beautiful, the bad and the ugly!) and integrate them consciously. It is a personal journey of development to learn to accept who we are and approach life challenges with more serenity and confidence.

 

More info

The courage to be yourself (for women), by Sue Patton Thoele

Manhood, by Steve Biddulph

 

 

Shame

Shame is a central emotion in our life that is often overlooked.  It can be defined as an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. Shames loves secrecy and can only swim? when we remain alone and withdraw in our pain. The moment we reach out with courage, share our pain and talk about our experience, shame can’t hold on and dissolves. It is therefore extremely important to find someone safe to share with and to learn to differentiate between shame and guilt.

 

More info

The gifts of imperfection, by Brené Brown

 

 

Stress management

Stress seems to be everywhere in our busy urban, family and professional life and it is detrimental to our physical, emotional and mental health. Some responses to stress such as alcohol, comfort food or procrastinating can make things only worse. It is, therefore, crucial to learn to identify your main stressors and find healthy coping strategies to regain control of your life. Mindfulness (or the art of being in the present) is one of the ways to cope with stress.

 

More info

Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled, and Overwhelmed, by Rita Emmett

 

 

Trauma

Psychological trauma may set in after a distressing or life-threatening event. Symptoms that follow may vary from difficulties sleeping to disorientation, and frequent flashbacks of the events triggered by everyday activities. Sufferers may develop extreme anxiety or post-traumatic stress, or they may have ongoing problems with relationships and self-esteem. Post-traumatic growth will happen when one is able to regain a sense of safety and trust, remember and work actively with the trauma using psychological support and a secure base, and finally when one is able to make a big step into a new post-traumatic life broadened by the experience of having survived the trauma.

 

More info

Trauma and Recovery, by Judith Herman

 

 

Work-life balance

Work-life balance refers to the achievement of a balance between the time and energy dedicated to our professional life and the time devoted to our family, sports, hobbies, our friends and spiritual life. When work takes over so massively that it impinges on our time and ability to enjoy things outside of work, then we become stressed and possibly burnt out. This search for equilibrium is quite subtle and not always easy to establish and maintain.

Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss how we can help you find your very personal response to achieving a higher sense of work-life balance.

 

More info

Off balance, by Matthew Kelly