Introduction

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I am a 29-year-old girl from Norway where I work as a psychologist. On my free time I love to read, travel and experience new things. I also like taking photos and creative activities like scrapbooking and decoupage. My personality? For those of you who know the BIG 5 personality test, I am high on 20130623-181833.jpgOpenness, Conscientiousness, middle on agreeable and on extroversion/introversion. It basically means that I`m a flexible person, work hard, usually don`t make a fuss and love to be with others, while also needing to be alone to think and calm down. I also want to add that I love the Italian language, my family, Haruki Murakami, good music and my friends. I am VERY emotional, but calm when I have to be. Earlier I had a tendency to put other`s needs first, believing that I wasn`t worthy of any attention myself. Luckily I have grown in heart and mind since then, and learnt that being there for others mean taking care of your own needs first.

This blog is a blend of my personal story (called narrative or the sound of..) topics related to psychology and just random things I find interesting. I work daily as a clinical psychologist, and most of my clients have been abused and neglected in heartbreaking ways. Many of my posts will cover subjects related to trauma and dissociation. I am quite open and honest in my posts, because I believe it might make us psychologist less mysterious.

Most of the psychologist I know are kind, intelligent people. Some with their own stories, but all with a genuine wish to help. In this blog I want to share what I know about overcoming challenges and following your dreams.

IMG_0377Since more and more people have started to read this blog, I unfortunately found it necessary to password protect some of my more personal posts. If you want to read them, feel free to contact me at forfreepsychology@gmail.com. I am also on twitter (@ninjafighter), instagram and Facebook. I also have two other blogs that are dedicated to psychology and the “Kindness project” that I started one year ago, You find them here: Free psychology and The kindness project.

In the last blog I post interviews with different people. I ask them questions about good things they do, and my hope is that their answers will inspire others to do be kind towards others. I have also invited guest bloggers to share their stories on “Free psychology”. They are brilliant writers, so feel to explore their story on this blog. I am always open to invite more bloggers who want to write, so feel free to contact me at any time if you`d like to write about topics relevant for the blog. 

I started my blog three years ago, and it has grown so fast I almost can`t believe it. I am really proud of it, and grateful because I have made new friends and found other blogs that I like.

I want to thank all my readers and offer some encouragement to everyone who suffers or have done so in the past. I have been in the deepest valleys myself, and felt emotional pain so intense that I was afraid of it.

I hope this blog might prove that the fight for a better life is worth it.

Thank you.

Part of Nature by Stuart Mcmillen

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Part of Nature cartoon

This cartoon is heavily influenced by the books Natural CapitalismPaul Hawken, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins (1999) and Mid-Course CorrectionRay Anderson (1998). It is also in the same vein as the flash animation “The Story of Stuff” by Annie Leonard, which I watched when I was about 90% of the way through the drawing process.

Mass suggestion: A way to save the world? 

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Psychological research has had a tendency to study negative effects of behavior both on the individual and cultural levels. The recent years, however has started to focus more on what makes something work. I like this shift, as I think it will be more effective for society as a whole. A TED talk I watched, for example, was about scientists interested in studying genetic superhumans. That is, people with genetic ‘flaws’ that has proven to give these people abilities normal peple don’t have. By getting more knowledge about these ‘superhumans’ we are also a step closer to knowing what environmental, psychological and biological factors contribute to their genetic make-up.

Mass suggestion 

If we are in a huge mass, we are all inclined to think the same thoughts as the mob, and to have the same emotions aroused within us as sway the masses of the people. It is difficult for one of the crowd not to be moved with the crowd. This is why people, who in the ordinary way are sensible, go “mafficking” on occasions of national rejoicing. It is also the reason why people who are peaceable and harmless in private life may, when in a crowd, join in acts of violence and disorder. It is simply that the mass emotion gets hold of them, influencing them so strongly they get carried away.

There are thousand different ways we can be affected by suggestion. We receive it through the eyes, the ears, taste, smell, and touch. We are victims of it at every turn, unless we learn to become positive-minded.

A mass suggestion social media experiment 

If I had the chance to do an experiment myself, I would want to study the whole of humanity. Let’s for fun’s sake call it a social media experiment. If every person shared the research hypothesis that  I’m about to present, to one person, it would be interesting to see how many could get involved in this experiment.

My hypothesis would be something like: Can we by mass suggestion, make people around the world do the same thing on the same day? 

For example I could propose that the 15th of september, every one of us tries to do one good thing towards another human being. What do you think would happen? Would the world get a little better than before? 

The date can be set one year in advance to make sure that many get the message, but as information can spread like fire in the right circumstances it might not be necessary to wait that long.

So, would somebody be interested in a experiment like that? What can each and all of us achieve by collaborating with as many people as possible? 

Why not try? We got nothing to lose.

  
More: 

Mass suggestion ideas 

Mass suggestion in society

Moonlight sonata

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Good morning!

I am so happy I bought a piano and started to take piano lessons. Right now I am trying to learn one of the most beautiful classical pieces by Beethoven. Here you can find the list of the 10 best Classical Music Pieces. In the meantime, enjoy the moonlight sonata.

Reprogramming my inner computer 

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Our mind is a wonderful mystery. We still know so little about it, even if we slowly are starting to reveal its secrets. Normally it works effectively, like a brand new computer, but sometimes it stops working. In a computer, programming mistakes slow an a otherwise perfect system. When that happens, the programmer must find the mistake and fix it. When he does, the computer must be left in peace. The programmer must focus must be on one issue at a time. If the programmer is exhausted, it will take longer time before he can do his job. 

Our body is a fine-tune system perfected through evolution. When something goes wrong, we notice it immediately. Genetic abnormalities or disarray in the brain can manifest itself in many forms. When our body produce problems for us, we try to fix it. Sometimes we manage to do this by ourselves, by doing things that are good for our body. By sleeping, eating healthy, talk with others or listen to music, we give ourselves space and time to let the body get rest so it can work like it always does, on reclaiming the balance it needs. Sometimes we can’t do so on our own, however. Sometimes we need our own programmers, with an intimate knowledge of what makes us tick.

 Unfortunately we can’t find that help like frustrated computer-users can. There is no phonebook with numbers directing us to a competent healer, that will solve all our issues. There is only trial and error, meeting different people and experiencing different things that can help us in the long run. 
I have worked as a psychologist for 4,5 years now. When I try to contemplate the fact that I’ve worked for so long, it’s almost incomprehensible. In this process my mind has usually managed to fix itself. When I’ve been sad, angry or helpless, I’ve dealt with those feelings and come out of it stronger. I’ve found and trusted helpers that pull me up if I’ve made mistakes. But sometimes my stubbornness has gotten the best of me, and I’ve not taken the time to reboot my overactive system because I thought I could fix everything myself. Even if I know my mind better than anyone else, I have parts of it that I don’t know as well too. When those parts start to give me trouble, I need to trust the expertise of others. After all, computers can’t fix themselves if something goes wrong. 
I’m lucky to always have competent and intelligent people around me who guide me when I’m too certain of my own infallibility. When my mirror neurons are overloaded after too much emphatic work, I have others who see me and inform me that I need to take a break. A break for me might be completely different from somebody else’s break. For me, the break will consist of a lot of alone-time where I can write, read, sing and think. With three weeks holiday in front of me, I will have just that now. I will upgrade my inner computer so that it is ready for more work later. 

So, don’t forget to reboot your own inner computer, or ask for help if you can’t fix it yourself. It will do you good.

  

Protected: Fighting for freedom 

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Sometimes it’s not enough to love. 

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There is an old woman. The lines across her face are deep. Oceans of tears have made their marks, and the scorching heat of harsh words have etched them firmly to the canvas of her face. She loved him, deeply. So deep that he could stand on her broken back while she sat on the floor. When life got tough for him, after to many whiskeys and nights out, she was there. She was always there, crawling in the dark caves of his mind. She felt safe in the dark, as her father always said that she had to be silent and not show her ugly face when visitors came. She was not there to shine, only to wash the dirt of others faces. In his fatherly wisdom, he shares his knowledge. Men and women are different, he told her, so wives must do like their husbands say. They should kneel on the floor and scrub it. Because men can’t go around with dirt on their shoes. 

She looked at her husband with love and devotion. He laughed at her, and she knew why. She was simply a joke, and she was lucky to have someone who’s actually took the time to laugh and degrade her. She knew that one could not expect to be seen, so she was satisfied with any sign of him noticing her. It was so much more than she deserved. She would be happy for the rest of her life if she could just love him, because she didn’t deserve to get anything in return.

One day, he was dead. He got a stroke after sleeping with his mistress. She didn’t know what do with herself, so she started cleaning. But then she had to sell their house and move into a little apartment, and realized that she had nothing to fill her days with. Her children had grown up and moved to another city, so she only had herself to take care of, and there were only so many things she could wash before she had nothing more to do.

She used her neverending free time to think about her husband. She missed cleaning his dirty shirts that always smelled of perfume. Not his, she knew that, but she was still happy she had a role to fill. She didn’t expect much of life, but now her whole reason for existing had died together with him. She thought about what she had longed for in their marriage: That he had said thank you, only once. But she knew no matter how much she loved him, sometimes it’s not enough

Sometimes you get nothing, and that was all that was left of her life. 

  

Social behavior and oxytocin

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Oxytocin

Once I met a girl from Turkey who told me that usually, all women met on Sunday to groom each other. They talk and laugh while fixing their hair and putting on make-up. She said that she missed this in Norway; People come together mostly on Friday nights to drink and then go out. The rest of the week was dedicated to work or studies, and the social life was just a fraction of what it was for her in Turkey. That reminded me of how I felt when I traveled to Turkey myself. People sat in restaurants and talked between meals. They drank, but not so much as in Norway. There was no hurry, just a lot of smiles and love sent back and forth. They touched each other more: On the shoulders, on the small of the back when they went home and often warm embraces while they said their goodbyes for the night. In France they kiss each other on the cheek two times, and in Italy the people behave much the same way. People in the south of Europe simply are more social, and I love that. We need it in Norway too, but in my opinion, there are far too many lonely people out there. Maybe this is due to the distances in our country. I grew up in a little place myself, so it wasn`t just to visit whoever you want (even though I really tried). 

Oxytocin is a hormone we need to interact with others. It calms our nervous system and makes us feel at peace with the world. Mothers feeding their babies, have a lot of oxytocin in their systems, and so do happy couples. Oxytocin levels varies from person to person, and there are also huge differences in the animal kingdom. The animals with the highest levels of oxytocin are also the most «faithful» of them. Swans keep their mate for life, and their levels are sky-rocket. In the world today, the divorce rate is high. I don`t mean to advocate a view where we should`t get a divorce when necessary, because real freedom is to work out what works best for each and every one of us. But I do think that relationships is important for most of us. People with Asperger or autism are known for being less able to connect with others in a meaningful way, but that doesn`t mean that they don`t have a need to connect in any way they can. Some get engrossed in objects, and if you think about it, that is a relationship too. Who are we to judge what kind of relationships they should have? Another thing that strikes me, is the fact that some of them love to be wrapped in a «hug machine». They get calmer and don`t need to bang their heads, as some autists do. It might be safer to them, to have something nonliving touching them, than unpredictable humans that they don`t understand. But they still need to get their oxytocin shots from somewhere. We should not scold them for not wanting a hug from the primary caregiver, because they have their reasons. By accepting and trying to understand variations, we are able to be where others are and give them good lives and feel good in return. Nothing makes us happier than doing the right thing.  

For me, being social has swung back and forth like a pendulum. Sometimes I isolate myself, but when the need comes, I call a friend. When I had 5-6 patients a day, I could not see more people that day, as I had to refuel my energy with books or other activities. In the summer I am often more social, as I have more time to do both. That is also when I love to meet new people. To have time to talk and understand even more about how other minds work. I also love hugging and touching, and have realized that even if I`m single, I can get my dose of oxytocin without feeling very lonely. I know I will be very happy and content in a good relationship but there are so many ways to be happy, and as long as I get my dose of warm embraces, I feel calm and at peace with myself and my life.

So, no matter where you`r from or what your cultural etiquette is, try to get what your body craves and needs. Even if some people slap instead of touch gently, there are still a major percentage of the population who wants to see others grow and feel good about themselves. It`s much easier to spot those people if you get experience and try to get closer to others again. Fear has an important function, but we need to tame it when it steals away moments of potential happiness. Because, in the end, we all need a hug when we feel alone. 

Oxytocin-8

Oxytocin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Feet of Baggage

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Reblog from Magic Behind the Morning

Let’s talk about baggage. No, not emotional baggage. Physical baggage. When my grandmother died, all of her belongings and her mother’s belongings, including several rooms’ worth of large pieces of furniture and boxes and boxes of glass and china, went to my mother. When my mother died and my father moved, all of that stuff, along with many of my mother’s belongings, were divvied out between my sister and me, which meant that I ended up with half of four generations of belongings.

What I’ve discovered about myself is that I am the master of manipulating myself into keeping things that I don’t want or need, much of which have no emotional or monetary value for me (insert dramatic Hoarders soundtrack here). Here is my logic: “Oh, but there is a label on this handkerchief that says it came from my grandmother’s friend’s mother; I can’t get rid of that!” Or “Well, I don’t actually like this sweater, but my mom wore it at some point in time so I should keep it,” or “This doesn’t hold any fond memories for me, but I feel like I need to keep it anyway.”

have gotten rid of things here and there, so it never felt like this was a serious emotional problem deeply affecting my quality of life, but at some point I looked around my home and realized that almost none of my belongings were actually things that I picked out. Truthfully, I have accumulated the type of belongings that many people don’t have until their late fifties, and even then have had much more time and emotional space to cull through them. Most of my furniture was willed to me. Most of my clothes to this day are hand-me-downs from someone.

On the one hand, my gratefulness for having been given these items far overpowers any frustration that I have with it, and truly, there are many things that I have that I absolutely love. Still, the strange thing is that at it has taken me until my late twenties to stop and ask what my personal style truly is, and what I want my belongings to look like, or even what kinds of belongings I want and need in my life. I used to believe that having these items was saving me money as well, and I’m sure the smaller items were, but the thing is, items that take up physical space mean more cost in moving and storing those items, especially for someone who has moved several times like I have.

I recently read a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I won’t go into everything the book says (you can read it if you want to) but there were four pieces that I took away that were the most helpful for this type of baggage:

1. Only keep things in your life if they “spark joy” in you.

2. When you get rid of belongings, thank them for the place they have had in your life and the things they have taught you. Sometimes an item’s purpose is to teach you what you don’t like.

3. A gift’s purpose is to show the gratitude and love of the giver. Once the gift has been given, it’s purpose has been filled. 

4. If you are keeping something purely for sentimental reasons, consider taking a picture of the item instead. 

I am now immersed in a deep process of tidying up. And here is where I have created a method that Marie Kondo may possibly hate: the guilt box. It’s label literally says “Stuff I Feel Guilty Getting Rid Of.” Everything in that box are things I am keeping not because I love them, or because I find them to be useful, or because they have great sentimental value, but simply because I feel guilty getting rid of them.

What’s the point, you say? Well, the point is that everything outside of that 2x3x1 box in my life brings me joy. I’m allowing myself that much baggage, that much guilt, that much “but what if I need thing X?” or “but so-and-so really loved thing Y.”  In allowing just a little bit, I can quell any anxiety, guilt, or fear I have about getting rid of other belongings; if I can fit it in the guilt box, I can keep it. And, I’m hoping that by being brutally honest about the reason I’m keeping things, I can become more discerning about what I keep and what I discard.

What I have found through this is that I have a true love for many of the things I have in my life that were given to me, like my grandma’s beautiful quilts, much of my mom’s jewelry, and some absolutely beautiful dresses and cardigans that I was given by my in-laws. I hadn’t noticed how much I appreciated those things before because I hadn’t had the physical and emotional space to savor their beautiful history and fine craftsmanship. Now that I am starting to identify the types of things that bring me joy in life, I am hoping to truly savor my home, and to discerningly bring only things into my space that truly enchant me.

Protected: Narrative part 10: The sound of a singing heart 

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