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Relationships: What is love?

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If you ask me, “what’s love?”, I must admit that I really don’t know. Or rather, it’s such a complex and deep question to answer that I have had and have a different answer at different stages in my life. So I thought, it’s definitely worth a blog post.

So, what is love?

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Relationships: How to Process a Breakup or Relationship Crisis

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How to Process a Breakup or Relationship Crisis

As I’ve explained in my last post about relationships, the inner energetic process we go through when we experience a relationship crisis is the same as when we go through a breakup. We have to let go of what is not ours, of all the needs and expectations, and the responsibilities of our partner, and we have to take back our own responsibilities and process our own emotional issues.

The key to experiencing love is finding it within yourself.

The general idea is: We have to return to being whole and happy alone, to being strong and in our own power and strength. When we get to that place, we can know with clarity and without the influence of old automatic patterns, if we want to and can be with the other person. It’s the place of inner strength where we are actually capable of loving the other person, not just our idea of what they are or can be. And it’s in that place of inner strength that we can love ourselves. And one thing is clear: We can only receive love from others if we love ourselves.

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Relationships: Breakup or Crisis?

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A relationship – and that’s the same for a love relationship as for a friendship – should bring out the best in us. It should help us see our strengths and resources, be joyful, laugh, feel good about ourselves, and support us in good and in bad times.

I’ve learned the hard way that one other aspect is very important and crucial in relationships: Balance. Equilibrium between giving and receiving. And many times we catch ourselves working so hard on a relationship, trying to understand, trying to talk, trying to adapt, trying to help and give and be better for the other person. And when we work hard, the responsibilities feels bigger and heavier and we experience less and less love and joy and laughter and lightness, less happiness. Then what we do is try to make the other person see how they have to change to bring about balance for us, to give as much as we have given, in the way that would work for US. Maybe it wouldn’t actually work for them, or maybe they are just not there. The interesting thing is that, whether we want or not, if the relationship is not balanced, if we don’t receive as much as we give or give as much as we receive, it makes us BOTH feel small and inadequate and pressured and just NOT ENOUGH.

We don’t attract people who make us happy. We attract people who make us grow. And when we do grow, we get happy. When we expand and resolve negativity within us and actualize ourselves and feel complete and in our power, that’s when we are happy. And the people in our lives help us get there, but they cannot do it for us. When we are happy and complete, that is when it’s easy for others to love us. It is because we love ourselves, and we can radiate that energy, and others connect with it and mirror it to us. The same way that they may mirror our feelings of inadequacy, doubt, or fear. So there is only one recipe for a long lasting and happy relationship: Both partners have to learn to love themselves, and to take their own responsibility for their demons and destructive patterns. Because of course, our demons and shortcomings and doubts are always part of the relationship, too. The important thing is though, that we raise our awareness of those patterns, have the courage to admit to them, and that we keep the responsibility for our own needs that underly them. When we take care of our own needs, we don’t have to project onto our partners and we can create closeness and sharing. We don’t have to expect our partner to make us happy, and burden them with too much for anyone to carry.

So how can we get out of feeling needy, projecting on our partner, fighting, or living relationship patterns that are not healthy? How can we let go? Leer más

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How to Help – When We Can’t Help

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Being present for others’ suffering

One of the hardest things is to watch someone we love struggle, and not being able to help. Seeing your child sick or angry, and knowing things have to take its course, there is nothing you can do to speed it up or take away that suffering from your child. Or watching a friend go through hard times, when for you it seems evident what the friend should or could do to get better. But they may not be ready yet, they may still have to learn something. And learning and growing many times happens through suffering, and experiencing it all. We can’t always jump over it and skip the process to get to the solution.

christin_augen2As a therapist, I am faced with lots of human suffering. Leer más

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The beauty of being seen – How to bring about more closeness in our relationships.

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Lately I’ve been very aware of the fact that what we really want in our relationships is closeness. So maybe you’re lucky and when you ask yourself, “do I feel close (enough) to the people I love”, the answer is yes. But maybe you have to answer no, even though you consider your relationships good, or don’t have any major problems.

So what makes us feel close to our loved ones? It does not have to do with how much time you spend with the other person, or with how close you live or how much you get to share. It’s about – being seen. Truly and honestly. It’s about the other person “getting you”, feeling you, understanding your feelings however complicated they may be, and having them in consideration.

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The Role of the Psychologist – Love in Therapy

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What makes a therapist really good?

For a few years now, when you ask me what is the one most important thing that distinguishes a good therapist, I have been answering LOVE. Now that sounds a little extreme, you think? When you are loving and accepting with the client even when he is blaming himself and rejecting parts of who he is, you create the best situation for the client to face whatever negative experience he is having: failure, guilt, fear, or depression.

therapy with love

What does it mean for a therapist to love the client? Leer más

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Family Constellations: Our Ancestors May Influence Our Success

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I love growing as a therapist and a human being. My newest source of inspiration is a course of family constellations, a systemic method which rather than looking only at the individual, tries to give solutions to difficult symptoms or problems in the light of the family system and its characteristics.

Having moved to a different country than the one where I was born and raised, I was not so focused on how much our roots influence us, even if we are not exposed to them, and what’s more, even if we never were, as is the case with emigration or adoption, or with the part of our roots that happened before we were even born. Somehow I thought we could just consciously choose which part of our roots we allow to influence us. Lately, I’ve been seeing that that’s not the case. In the memory of our families, and in our (mostly) subconscious mind, exists a big imprint of the things that have moved and affected the generations that came before us. And we can find how this imprint, over and over, influences our decisions and choices, likes and dislikes.

Family constellations make something visible that always has come up in my work energetically, or if you will, emotionally. They can sometimes help us make sense of things we feel, because they put them into a bigger context.

Our ancestors and their experiences influence us more than we think.

Our ancestors and their experiences influence us more than we think.

Let’s put an example: There are cases of people who despite of having all the resources, don’t allow themselves to be successful. Maybe that is because they are in deep alignment with someone in their family who in the past, could not be successful, and so now being successful ironically brings up that memory of the failure and all its pains. If the person were successful, in her subconscious it would mean being disloyal with her ancestor. So even though our conscious mind reasons that being successful makes us feel good, and that there is no reason not to go for it… looking at the bigger context, for some people there may be just such a reason.

The basic thought of family constellations is that there are certain rules, a certain order. If these rules are complied with, then love can flow, and the people can have positive experiences. If they are ignored, it creates pain and difficulties not only in the same generation and for the people involved, but for those that come after.

It’s really fascinating to learn about this, and I’ll surely keep sharing my discoveries.
 

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Understanding Emotions and Motivation: Insight through Family Constellations


Understanding Emotions and Motivation: Insight through Family Constellations

I love growing as a therapist and a human being. My newest source of inspiration is a course of family constellations, a systemic method which rather than looking only at the individual, tries to give solutions to difficult symptoms or problems in the light of the family system and its characteristics.

Having moved to a different country than the one where I was born and raised, I was not so focused on how much our roots influence us, even if we are not exposed to them, and what’s more, even if we never were, as is the case with emigration or adoption, or with the part of our roots that happened before we were even born. Leer más

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Relationships: Love is… all or nothing

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When I first started dating I learned a valuable lesson that keeps coming back to me in crucial moments in my live.

I started seeing that American guy who was older, quite traditional, and more experienced then I. We went on our first date to a restaurant in Germany, had great food and good conversation, and enjoyed ourselves. When it came to paying, the waitress came and handed him the plate with the ticket, and I all of a sudden became aware that he must not know the German way to go about the tip – tell the waitress to round up or charge more, rather than leave it on the plate. So I started telling him (in front of her) how he should handle the situation.

Needless to say, he got very angry and we left the restaurant in a tense mood. When things calmed down, we talked and he told me: “You don’t get to correct me. You get to take the choice of whether or not you want to go out with a guy. And once you choose, you experience how the guy is and leave him his responsibility of doing things.”

It made sense then, even if it was – and still is – hard to do.

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How many times, when things get difficult in a relationship, we expect or demand the other person to change? Leer más

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Helping our Children – By Helping Ourselves

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I have never worried in a similar way than how I worry about my son. Likewise, I could say, that I have never loved in a similar way, and never gotten to my limits and been confronted with myself in a similar way. My wish to help my son grow and for him to be happy and develop his full potential is so big, that it is becoming more and more important to me to dedicate a part of my professional effort to helping children – and helping other parents.

When you do energy work, you become increasingly aware of how everything is connected. Our emotions and our way of thinking affects our children, to such an extent that many times, when a patient wants my help for his or her child, I can work with the patient, and thereby improve the child’s condition. Leer más

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