Brain Gym® At Work

S. Christina Boyd, Licensed Brain Gym® Consultant

CONFIDENCE AND SELF-ESTEEM

Lilly, age 51, suffered from depression, low self-esteem, and an inability to cope with people she described as “dysfunctional,” with whom she would periodically have to interact. As a child, she experienced both emotional and physical abuse along with chaos and inconsistency from her mother and these people reminded her of her mother. Her father was not present in her life. 

When Lilly came to me, she was in counseling and had been for 20 years. Her goal was to be able to navigate a major life change with confidence and to gain the ability to make decisive decisions. She wanted to be able to think rationally even while feeling her emotions and be able to respond logically to a situation rather than emotionally. Lilly’s life change involved a new job with greater responsibilities and a move to another state.

When I saw Lilly for her second session, she reported that after just one session she was already "dealing with things in a different way.” She was not getting so “hooked” by other people’s behavior and was able to think through a situation vs. simply reacting emotionally when she was upset by someone’s behavior. I asked how it was when talking with her mother and she responded that she didn’t feel so frustrated and angry.

After a few more sessions, the emotional patterns established in childhood -- fear and a gut level sense that she was not safe anywhere -- began to ease. This allowed her to express frustrations to her husband and move through her feelings with him rather than bottling them up and exploding later. Because of her new sense of confidence and safety, their dynamic of solving disagreements changed dramatically.

When we completed the six sessions prior to her moving to her new home, Lilly said that she was no longer getting anxious or stressed when facing the life change that she was going through. She shared that she was now patient and compassionate with her mother and the latest visit with her mother was “pleasant” and “fun." Because she was no longer feeling “dramatic” and was not “wrapped up in drama,” she was now navigating this change with greater ease, less emotional upset, and more compassion for her husband’s struggles as they faced a major disruption in their lives.

In an environment of abuse and chaos, such as Lilly experienced, a child will remain on guard constantly, be hyper-vigilant, and will establish coping behaviors that continue into adulthood even when the environment is no longer threatening. Trauma is encoded in the mid-brain (the Limbic System) which includes the amygdala, the emotion center of the brain, and the hippocampus, which plays an essential role in the formation of memories. This early trauma was underlying Lilly's overzealous response to the people and events in her life. Brain Gym movements released and rewired the neural networks that had become entrenched in survival and coping mode thus moving Lilly into her higher brain centers, allowing her to experience her world from a place of security and confidence.