Couples Counselling – Does it help?

Most of the couples I work with do get better, because they develop a new skill set of communication. After a few sessions partners often start to find themselves to be much more attuned with each other. The reason being a deeper emotional understanding.

It often happens that one of the partners is a little bit more keen to come to counselling than the other. I am there to balance both interests and to explore both views since we have two sides in each couple. Each partner having specific and individual backgrounds and behavioural patterns.

The process of Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT) is structured in three stages. This evidence-based process of relationship and marriage counselling helps to develop step by step and is based on an easy-to-understand yet profound model of attachment theory.

Once you have established the first and second stage through the therapy process it becomes much easier and likely to solve issues that in fact all couples will be facing one way or another throughout a lifetime.

In the first stage I assess in depth where both partners get stuck, what their signature dance is when life becomes stressful or things get heated. Ultimately we need to find out together for each particular couple what hinders them from being happy and loving.

The second stage is really to apply that knowledge and heighten awareness. I will guide each partner on how to best implement what they feel and do into their day to day lives. It is important that the couple becomes able to see and understand what is going on when they “dance” in their own dynamic in order to be able to move on.

In the third stage the couple will be more and more able to fly alone and to use a true understanding for each other and a much deeper connection to address big life topics and issues. For example financial issues, a move or any other crisis. And of course having built or regained a strong positive and loving relationship for everyday life.

My upcoming Events in Central Hong Kong

Check out the upcoming events for ambitious people with limited time. 
FOCUS TRAINING AND ATTENTION GYM

Increases attention and awareness helps us to be the way we want to be at work and with close ones. The focus training is 3-hr workshop to introduce you to simple practices and give answers to the most common challenges for your concentration, empathy and emotional balance. It’s meant to refresh your insight and understanding of how to train and maintain your attention throughout challenging days and long weeks.

Learn how to use simple and effective concentration practices to benefit from increased awareness in your daily actions and interactions. Understand and apply insight for mental strength and emotional balance.

Date: Saturday 4 June 2016

Location: Central Hong Kong

Facilitator: Sebastian Droesler

Cost: HKD350.-

Details & Registration: Just Focus

MINDFUL MEN’S GROUP mini

This men’s group enables men who want to address issues and phases of their lives in a group of likeminded others. This is a great opportunity to experience the benefits of a closed group within a shorter timeframe. You will learn to reflect and engage with yourself and others in a much more effective and effcient way. The group will produce an in-depth richness of stories and experiences.

Why purpose, feminine energy, nothingness and other men can inspire us and make us mad at times. How to resolve issues in relationships, at work and with yourself.

4x Wednesdays 1, 8, 15, 22 June 2016

Location: Central Hong Kong

Facilitator: Sebastian Droesler

Cost: HKD1600.-

Details & Registration: Men’s Group

RELATIONSHIP CLINIC

Increased awareness and understanding of your ‘signature’ behaviour, perceptions and emotional responses in relationships helps us getting the love we want. This 3-hr workshop is for everyone who want to understand for her or himself the way he/she operates with partners or spouses. You will be able to find out how much power we have to change the way we interact. The chance to uproot fights and arguments fundamentally motivates each of us!

Workshop for individuals and couples who want to get a basic understanding of their relationship ‘style’ and how they can change to improve their relationship skills. Based on the Emotion Focused Therapy approach.

Date: Saturday 18 June 2016

Location: Central Hong Kong

Facilitator: Sebastian Droesler

Cost: HKD400.-

please contact Sebastian 

Are you afraid of missing out?

Let’s have a look into the Fear of Missing Out. It makes no sense to me. A client of mine recently wanted to sell the idea to me, that he is afraid of missing out. Curious of how this “fear” would affect him, I explored with him what his anxiety makes him do. And even more, what he is actually avoiding to do. Any anxiety dwells on avoidance. In oder to get to the core of your suffering, you need to find out what it is that you so strongly shy away from

My client stuck to his view, that he was avoding to miss out on things. And here he lost me. Because there is a logical issue with missing out. Quite frankly we are all missing out on things all the time. That is the truth of life. Whatever you do at any moment in time is an expression of choices you made and the circumstances you are in. While you are doing one thing or nothing, you are not doing everything else.

That brings up a more specific question: what do you think you are missing out on? My client said that he submerges in nightlife – going to bars and clubbing with friends – spending lots of cash on drinks. I wanted to know if the next morning he feels satisfied and congratulates himself for not having missed out, whenever he goes out. He said no.

What did he avoid while going out? And what else was he probably gaining while “not missing out”? Apart from numbing himself with alcohol, loud music and shallow half-drunk talk, he shied away from experiencing and facing his fear. He did that so often and regularly, that he fixated himself into a habit. His excuse became that he did not want to miss out. 

The fear is actually an excuse. It’s a convenient way of making yourself belief, that 

  • you can’t do things on your own
  • you are not allowed to enjoy staying at home
  • you can’t say NO to friends and colleagues
  • you don’t know what you need and want in this life
  • others are more impartant than you or their opinion of yours is

It ultimately is your avoidance strategy to acknowledge that you have nothing better to do. And that would be very sad. The good news is, that this is not true. You do have better things to do. You just have to uncover them.
The more you align these things with your values in life, the more you will become alive, confident, content and sexy. The more you will become YOU.

Expats affected by anxiety and phobia

In any given year around 20 percent of all expats around the world experience periods of some sort of anxiety disorder including panic attacks, PTSD, social anxiety, phobias, fear of intimacy and obsessive-compulsive behaviour. The expat lifestyle and working environment often comes with lots of change and uncertainty on top of performance pressure and high workloads. Many experience that the demand of things to handle exceeds their capacity to handle and process. They accrue stress. Accrued stress over time leads to anxiety.

Anxiety is often an outcome of NOT dealing with stress. Suppressing or avoiding unpleasant thoughts and behaviours often lead to more stress. More stress leads to more anxiety.

My work with you represents an integrated approach of strategies, education and step-by-step procedures. I apply Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness. With anxiety and phobia in particular, you need to address all levels affected in your SELF: thinking, sensing, experiencing, doing, being and feeling.

In order for you to succeed, we will look at your problem from all angles. This most likely encompasses your beliefs, standards, attitude, behaviour, self-image including esteem and confidence, relationships, personal and spiritual meaning, commitment and motivation.

Ultimately my job is to help you explore and redefine your life with regard to how you want to live and what you want to achieve. Together we will put measures in place that enable you to reduce your avoidance and safety strategies. You will claim back freedom and happiness in your life. We will also identify the triggers and stimuli that cause fearful reactions and enable you to participate more in life safely and socially. Lastly we will mindfully change how you perceive and interpret your world. 

You can expect from me to be a knowledgable teacher for relaxation, a skillful facilitator in mindfulness and a certified therapist with the experience and toolset to guide you through all interventions professionally and with dedication.

Digital Taxidrivers

In most cases LIFE is not digital. It really isn’t. Think of anything that is definitely 100% ON or definitely 0% OFF. Even death can be seen as a controversial concept. Lots of shades of grey. For sure more than fifty! Amazingly tho, there are phenomena in our environment that seem to somehow fulfill the criteria nevertheless.

Ever had one of these taxidrivers in Hong Kong, who operated their business on two skills only – accelerating and braking. To express this in logical terms: accelerating OR braking. What an experience. Your nodding neck will soon tell you that you turned into a bobblehead (German: Wackeldackel – in this case more charming) and displeasedness will cloud your mind.

Just an hour ago I attended a free meditation at the Good Life Cafe in Pai. Stan, who guided the meditation gently brought us to explore if there is a space between sensations and thoughts that arise in our awareness. “And if” he said “then what is that space?”. He continued “Try to observe that space – don’t search for it”. <Oha!> I thought. I concluded that there shall be a space and also that I shall develop a kind of relaxed attitude towards experiencing it. Hence the “find it, but don’t look for it”-Instruction which can be confusing for someone with English as second 

Now coming back to the taxi driver. Surely, even in a slightly drunken state I could still drive more smoothly you would think. That’s ok. But halter your anger and curb your resentments. Can you find the space between the driver’s kick-down and him slamming on the brakes?

If that seems difficult as of now, let me give you another example: A smart and very sporty client of mine once told me, that you always need to find space while working out or in a competition. In rowing, he said, you need to use that millisecond between strokes to relax and rejuvenate. For my swimming exercise I learned to relax by using the short moment when pushing off after the flip turn of each lap.

Over the holidays, I want to invite you to look for things that are digital in your life and your environment. When you find one – see if you can yet discover the space in between. 

Forgot to tell you: It’s meant to be a good thing to find that space!

Upcoming Events & Programs

MINDFULNESS BOUTIQUE

This group targets women and men who want to learn techniques and understand underlying principles of mindfulness. The group establishes a casual yet sincere atmosphere with the aim of becoming more mindful. Building blocks: Practice, Mental Strategies and Day-to-Day application.

  • 4x Wednesdays 19:30 – 21:30 or Saturdays 10:30 – 12:30 (tbc)
  • Dates: 13, 20, 27 January & 3 February
  • Location: Lyndhurst Terrace, Central
  • Facilitator: Sebastian Droesler
  • Cost: HKD1800.- (boutique sized group)
  • Details & Registration: Mindful me

TESTIMONIALS

“Sebastian approaches deep concepts of mindfulness & meditation with ease and lightheartedness. I benefited a lot from his learning group and highly recommend it.”

Neelam Harjani, Founder of Inspire Yoga HK www.inspire-yoga.com

“Inspiring, fun and engaging! Recommended to anyone who seeks practical tools to live more peaceful, focused and productive lives.”

Nave R.

“… Sebastian gives lots of ideas to reflect on and practical strategies to use in daily life. Since I have taken his learning group I have been less judgemental to myself.”

Kate M.

WILLPOWER PROGRAM

This program is for everyone who wants to get back into helpful habits, healthy living and rewarding routines. You will learn how you can reach your targets and stop giving in to laziness and cravings. Warning: For better group results reading and practice is required!

  • 4x Tuesdays 19:30 – 21:30 or Saturdays 10:30 – 12:30 (tbc)
  • Dates: 12, 19, 26 January & 2 February 2016
  • Location: Lyndhurst Terrace, Central
  • Facilitator: Sebastian Droesler
  • Cost: HKD2000.- (boutique sized group)
  • Details & Registration: can’t resist to click here

 

MINDFUL MEN’S GROUP

Men have a great power of addressing important matters and sharing wisdom with other men. In this group you can share and learn with other men – outside your usual circles.

  • 8x Wednesdays 17, 24 Feb, 2, 9, 16 Mar & 13, 20, 27 Apr
  • Location: Lyndhurst Terrace
  • Facilitator: Sebastian Droesler
  • Cost: HKD3600.-
  • Details & Registration: Men’s Group

Better sleeping workshop

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION

This 2hr fun-learning workshop aims at identifying your sleep pattern and how to improve it without medication. The workshop will consist of three elements targeted at sleep improvement: education, exercise and practical measures. You will learn about some scientific findings about pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments. Behavioural and cognitive measures will be discussed. You will be given the opportunity to experience the difference between relaxation and mindfulness. Moreover, you will be able to define simple changes for yourself and others. Sebastian will use real life data to demonstrate the potential and limitations of introducing better sleep hygiene into your daily routine.

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TEACHING GOALS

  • Gain knowledge and awareness about GOOD SLEEP
  • Discussion of scientific findings about medication, cognitive behavioural and mindfulness approaches
  • Understand the basics of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)
  • Learn about practical measures to improve your own sleep

Location: Lyndhurst Terrace, Central Hong Kong

Date: Wednesday 16th December 2015

Time: 19:30-21:30

Registration Fee: HKD100.-

contact: sebastian@counsellinghongkong.com

Is SLEEP really your problem?

Many of my clients identify sleep as one of their problems: “I don’t get enough sleep!” they say. Or on the other end of the spectrum they are convinced that they “don’t need much sleep”. Really? Let me be clear: You need sleep and sleep is the solution to many problems – not the problem. It does not stand in your way – it is the way!

Here some tips for free: First of all: know thyself! I recently run a men’s group with the title BREAKING BAD …HABITS. We asked all participants to wear a tracking device for four weeks that measured their activity in steps, floors, heartrate, calories and sleep. Before you make smart and informed changes in your life – work life and personal – you need to have solid data. The technology is available and affordable.

It quickly emerged that sleep is a target area for a lot of people: Adults need 7-9 hours in average in order to maintain high levels of performance, health, well-being and sanity.

Lack of sleep in many areas is more dangerous to your health and performance than alcohol. Bad sleep and lack of sleep goes hand in hand with BAD HABITS in eating, snacking, drinking, giving in to distractions, using too much caffeine and other supplements, self-medicating and many more. Professional counseling will help you to define your needs and where and how you go wrong. My psychotherapy will address the root causes and underlying issues of your bad sleep! Visit me in LKF, Cosmos Buidling, Central Hong Kong.

One fact was shockingly simple, but for many participants easier to comprehend with the visual help of a graph that reflected their own personal data: if your goal is to sleep 8 hrs in average then you sometimes need to sleep longer than 8hrs to reach that average. Simple and yet a challenge.

The second thing is a SECOND thing

Another thing my clients learn is how to keep and maintain their focus of attention.

Let’s say you need to look up an email on your phone. You push the home button to switch on the screen and key in your security code or use you fingerprint login. The next thing you see is the landing screen of your phone. There is a red batch on one of your messenger-apps with a number in it, that indicates that you have some new messages. You click on it and read the messages. You reply to some of them immediately. Then you switch of your phone and the screen disappears. In that moment – or much later – you remember that you actually wanted to look up an email.

  • Where was your focus?
  • Where was your awareness?
  • What just happened?

You just got distracted. That means you did not do, what you actually wanted to do. Some call this waste of time. The keys to productivity are prioritisation, focus, clarity and relaxation.

IMAGINE! It is the last day at work before your long awaited vacation. Let’s say your flight leaves at 9pm. In the morning it becomes clear to you that you need to check-in by 7pm which means that you need to leave the office at the very lastest by 6pm. Now you are planning backwards. You decide that there are two phone calls to make, three things you can finish that day and one meeting you can attend. That’s it. Otherwise you will not be able to catch your plane.

This short planning ahead all of a sudden enables you to say “No” to people, to NOT attend meetings where your attendance is not absolutely necessary, to postpone non-urgent items, to delegate important tasks and stay focused on the things you decided to finish. Having a plane to catch apparently helps a lot of us to plan and prioritse, to stay focused, be clear about what you want and need to achieve and to be relaxed enough to say NO with a smile!

Counseling for Unrelenting Standards

A very stressful BAD HABIT is the having and setting of high unrelenting standards. For example, I just heard from one of my clients that he tries to clean up his email inbox on a daily basis and even set the target to never have more than 20 emails in his inbox. Imagine the mental stress this creates on a busy day or when he comes out of a longer meeting. It also navigates his focus away from what is important. Moreover, what value does such a target have? After all, it does not say anything about the quality of his work nor about the outcome of his business. It indicates how good you are in shuffling away emails. Hence, It does measure activity not productivity.

If apps or lists alone would work, then any new year resolution would make for a sustainable life changing decision. And we all know how those work out.

In my work with individuals and groups I help people to increase their awareness first. You need to become your own observer of what you do, think and feel. Only then you have a chance to change to better productivity. Instead of setting unhelpful and unrelenting standards you learn to develop a new attitude towards your goals. Having goals and setting targets is a good thing. BUT: There is a clear experiential threshold that divides aspirations and intentions from obsession and craze.

In my practice you will get coaching to transform your professional unrelenting standards; you will receive counselling to become a better person and to improve your relationships and you will benefit from my psychotherapy when these patterns of thinking and behavior cause greater dissatisfaction and harm in your life.