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When growth is the only option...


The Evolving Self is an e-newsletter that reflects the belief that growth is a choice that can bring an ever deepening and expanding awareness of who we are and what we are here for. The reader can expect affirmations, quotes, book reviews, insightful commentary and tips that support the growth of the individual.


Affirmation: I choose to live consciously.

Quote:  "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -George Bernard Shaw

Certified Aromatherapist

I am a Clinical Aromatherapist, which means I am qualified to work in a Healthcare setting as an Aromatherapist and of course, to make custom blends to address various health concerns and skin issues. Many aromatherapy blends also have a quality of emotional support.

Contact me to get your own custom blend!

Emotional Support

In one of my healthcare related jobs, I was recently asked to consult with a very frustrated care team who is trying to care for a patient with Borderline Personality Disorder. In this case, the patient's suicidality is so extreme that the only way they can prevent the patient from sabotaging wound care and other supportive health measures is to keep him in restraints. I don’t know the particular history of the patient in question, but it’s clear that his experience in life has been so extremely painful that he wants only to leave it. They are desperately trying to save the life of a person who really doesn’t want to live.

In this particular meeting, the entire emphasis of the discussion was on the medical aspects of the patient's health. While the patient is being treated by a Psychiatrist, the focus is on what medications to put him on and at what dose. Not one person on the entire care team has spent any time trying to get to know the patient and what has brought him to such extreme behavior.

Besides the ethical question of “Is it ok to keep a person restrained for months at a time for their own safety?" I also question the administration of multiple medications without addressing the person’s emotional and mental state. This is clearly an extreme case, but more than once I have seen medications being administered for emotional issues without any other type of therapy being considered. 

One of the many challenges with our current healthcare system is the overwhelming need for emotional support and the system's inability to provide it. Psychiatry and Behavioral Health departments are overwhelmed with patients in need and in most cases they supply medications just to get people functional enough to go back to work. No real therapy is being conducted, only some version of fire-fighting. Not only that, but the healthcare workers too are overwhelmed, burnt out and in need of emotional support that the system doesn't or simply can't provide.

What I witness in healthcare is a very narrow focus on problems. Problems patients have and looking for a fix for that patient. I don’t see people really listening, looking at people in the eye and seeing the person and their struggles. I appreciate all that modern medicine can do to fix a body. But when we break it down and realize that the mind and body are connected and that a very high number of the issues people have actually have an emotional foundation, we start to get a sense of just how modern medicine is failing people.

Continue reading below...

Coping Strategies
Interestingly, when it comes to Mental Health, the human brain and psyche are pretty amazing. John Bradshaw who is well known in the field of recovery for alcoholism says that 95% of families are dysfunctional. If this is true, then that tells me that dysfunctional IS normal. When children are faced with circumstances in which their needs are not been fully met, they adapt. And they adapt based on the circumstances they are in. Add in their unique personality and you end up with a set of behaviors their individual brain develops to survive. Some people call these behaviors Defense Mechanisms as they often have an aspect of defending against negative input from others, but you could simply call them coping strategies.

For example: A child who's parents own emotional needs weren't met from childhood are still looking for love and support. Enter a child who is sensitive, loving and available and the parents turn to the child in very subtle ways with the covert message, "I need you." The child tries to fill the needs of the parents, but at some unconscious level is feeling the devaluing of her own needs. Grows up believing that the only way to find love is to please others.

A behavior that served a purpose in the beginning, simply to survive, can become maladaptive. Not necessary as an adult, but the adult child has integrated that behavior into their subconscious mind and acts out of habit. The behavior is no longer serving them and has become a liability but they can't seem to stop the behavior. This might sound minor, but the extent that some people go to please others can be self-destructive.

It often takes a serious diagnosis or adverse life circumstances for people to become willing to look at themselves. It is a path that can lead to greater understanding and conscious choices about how to make sense of the world, our place in it and our value. When people decide to look past the prescribed options (literally) and look into their subconscious minds for a better understanding of what choices and coping strategies they employed, it can open up a whole new world.

If you would benefit from understanding your own coping strategies and would like to try Health and Wellness coaching, please contact me by clicking here.

Click here to find out more
Jaqui Duvall works as a coach, mentor, trainer, facilitator and public speaker developing and delivering workshops, leading mentoring groups and working with individuals to help them identify and express their inner spirit and live a life of consciousness and intention.
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