- life advice for Parents and Adults from Renee Mill

As a human being you not only have roles which you take on, but you also have an internal self.

One way of describing how an adult functions intra-psychically is to say that you have a parent part, a child part and an adult part. What this means is that while your body is the body of an adult, and you take on adult roles, there is an active child part that still exists in you that sometimes influences your behaviour.

I am sure you have experienced occasions when you felt needy like a child, or you had a tantrum or you could not make a decision for yourself. On occasions like this your child became paramount and superseded your adult self. While it is quite normal for this to happen at times, when it happens frequently, and it is interfering with normal living, then it is a problem that needs to be addressed.

You also have a parent part of you that will sometimes raise its unwanted head. How many times have you wanted to do something, like bungy jumping for instance, and your mother’s voice pops into your head saying “Don't do it - it is too dangerous!” And so you don't, because you have internalised your mother’s voice and made it your own. Should you find that you predominantly make choices based on your mother’s or father’s values and you feel unhappy as a result, this is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Your adult self should lead you. What does this mean? This means that for most of your adult life you behave rationally and make decisions that honour yourself. You know what your values are and you remain true to them. You can cope with setbacks and can ask for help in an appropriate way. You have mature relationships where you are able to take care of other people’s needs and allow them to take care of yours. You take responsibility for your actions.

This does not mean that you exorcise your other parts. They will always be there and have a purpose to serve. There are times when it is just fine to let somebody else make the decisions and there are times when it is our mother’s voice which saves us from disaster. However, these parts need to be held in balance and should not be an overriding force in your life.

While it is vital to know about your internal self and to work with it if necessary, it is also vital to get information about best practices. Sometimes, all you want to know is: what is the most effective way of dealing with a problem?

For instance, you might wonder why your girlfriend does not grasp what you have told her countless times and you want to learn how to communicate better. Or you might want to know how to reduce conflict with your father. Alternatively, you might want to learn about an effective way of disciplining your three year old.

Sometimes the answers to your question are simply common sense and once you hear them and take them on board, they can change your life. Other times the answers will be tried and tested methods which have helped other people in your situation. In our generation, many of the answers I will give you will be backed by scientific research which has focused on your specific issue.

Learning new behaviours is an effective way of improving your life. Very often the new behaviour is easy to implement such as learning to rephrase your words to be more about your feelings rather than accusing the person you are talking to of hurting you. Sometimes the new behaviour needs much more input and follow up before it becomes part of your repertoire. However, once you make the change you will see the repercussions almost immediately.

Like all of us, I am sure you are looking for solutions. You want to feel balanced and you want your adult self to lead your child and parent parts. You also want to have successful relationships with the people around you.

I would like to help you to achieve your goals. On this website, I will be addressing key issues that will help your internal self and your external self. I will be talking about how to be happy and less stressed. Topics like self esteem will be covered where I will stress the importance of building self esteem and how to do this. A major focus of mine is how to manage emotions as this will assist not only your internal self but also every relationship. As I am a clinical psychologist, I am trained to deal with more severe mental health issues like depression and anxiety and these will be dealt with as well. In short, I will be talking to you, the adult, and giving you some information and assistance which will assist many areas of your psyche and behaviour.

Just reading about these issues may be all you need to move forward. For many of us, however, we need a coach or mentor to assist us to reach our goals. Other times, we need to learn new tools and practice them in order to effect permanent change.

To help, I offer the following services:

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