Caregiver Stress – What is it and what can you do to help?

Taking care of an ageing parent, spouse, a sick relative or child is a responsibility many of us face during life. It can be incredibly rewarding and help us bond with our loved ones as we support them through their challenges. But the stress of caregiving for a loved one is very real, whether that person lives with you, elsewhere in the same country or lives overseas. The physical, mental and emotional impact can be significant and have a huge impact on your life. 

Learning to recognize signs and symptoms of caregiver stress is important  as you can take action to prevent things from worsening and start improving the situation for you and your loved one. Common signs and symptoms of caregiver stress are

  • Anxiety, depression and irritability
  • Feeling tired and run down
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • New or worsening health problems
  • Feeling resentful
  • Cutting back on your own leisure activities

If you live in a different country to the person you care for, the emotional burden can be very high, with worry and potentially guilt about the situation. Financial concerns about providing quality care and keeping your loved one safe may also be a consideration.

If you notice things are becoming more difficult for you it is important to seek help and support for yourself to not feel alone. Talking to a trusted friend or therapist can give you an outlet for your feelings and concerns. Connecting to other caregivers through support groups or charitable organizations specific to your loved ones condition can reduce feelings of isolation and provide practical support and resources. Self care can be hard to prioritize but is incredibly important, we need to keep ourselves strong to be able to offer support to others. Prioritizing regular time for activities you enjoy and time for small treats can keep you resilient to the challenges that inevitably come. Attending to your own physical health needs is important too, having your own health check ups, exercise and eating well help to keep your body strong so you can continue to care for your loved one.

The emotional impact of caregiving can be significant and can magnify any difficulties that may exist in the relationship we have with our loved one. We can experience grief over the loss of a loved one even whilst they are still alive, conditions like dementia can involve the loss of the person as we know them, with changes in personality, loss of memories, and changes in what they can do and how they communicate. We can mourn the loss of our previous relationship with them and mourn the loss of our life before the caregiving responsibilities. This grief can be more complex if we already have a complex relationship with our loved one. Seeking support is important to help work through and process these emotions and our responses to them. 

Written by:
Jennie Bhangu
Occupational Therapist
SACAC Counselling

Traumatic Stress

Traumatic stress can be triggered by a variety of events, such as traffic accidents, plane crashes, violent crimes, terrorist attacks, global pandemics, and natural disasters. You may be overwhelmed by conflicting emotions such as shock, confusion, or fear at the same time. These emotions are not unique to those who have experienced an event.

Traumatic stress can harm your mental and physical health if the trauma was manmade, such as a shooting or act of terrorism. Physically and emotionally drained, overcome with grief, unable to sleep, unable to concentrate, or unable to control your temper may be some of the symptoms you experience. These types of responses can result from having to deal with abnormal events.

Symptoms of trauma include headaches, nausea, and irritability, which gradually subside as life gradually returns to normal after a catastrophic event. However, you can do many things to support your recovery and cope effectively with your trauma. You can calm yourself and regain your emotional balance, regardless of whether you were the victim, a witness, or a first responder.

Traumatic stress is associated with the following emotional symptoms:

Overwhelming shock and disbelief. Feeling numb and disconnected from your feelings, or having trouble accepting the truth of what happened.

Fear. Worrying about the same thing happening again, or losing control, makes you feel like you’re going to break down.

A feeling of sadness or grief, especially if you know someone who has passed away or suffered a life-altering event.

Feeling of helplessness. 

When a violent crime, an accident, a pandemic, or a natural disaster strikes unexpectedly, you may feel vulnerable and helpless.

A sense of guilt for surviving when others have died, or the feeling of regret for not doing more.

Feelings of anger. Your anger may be directed at God, government officials, or others you believe to be responsible, or you may be susceptible to emotional outbursts.

Shame occurs when you are unable to control your feelings or fears.

Feeling relieved. You might be relieved that it’s over, hoping life will return to normal, or wondering if it is.

The process of dealing with painful emotions 

If you have suffered any losses, allow yourself to grieve and heal.     

Healing and recovery takes time, so don’t rush it. Don’t be surprised if your emotions are volatile and difficult. Embrace your feelings without judgement or guilt. Be able to connect with uncomfortable emotions without becoming overwhelmed by them.

When you are traumatized, how do you feel grounded?

Try this simple exercise if you are feeling overwhelmed by traumatic stress:

Place your feet on the ground and your back is supported by a chair. Choose six objects around you that are red or blue. By doing this, you should be able to feel grounded, engaged and more in your body. Observe how your breath becomes deeper and calmer.

Another alternative is to go outside and sit on the grass and just let the ground support you.


Sansbury, Brittany S, Kelly Graves, and Wendy Scott. “Managing Traumatic Stress Responses among Clinicians: Individual and Organizational Tools for Self Care.” Trauma 17, no. 2 (April 1, 2015): 114–22.

Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders. (2013). In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. American Psychiatric Association.

1.Perkonigg, A., R. C. Kessler, S. Storz, and H-U. Wittchen. “Traumatic Events and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Community: Prevalence,Risk Factors and Comorbidity.” Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 101, no. 1 (2000): 46–59. 

2.Copeland, William E., Gordon Keeler, Adrian Angold, and E. Jane Costello. “Traumatic Events and Posttraumatic Stress in Childhood.” Archives of General Psychiatry 64, no. 5 (May 1, 2007): 577–84.

Written by:
Leah Selakovic
SACAC Counselling

How can I support my child with emotional regulation?

As a children’s therapist, I often work with parents to help them with understanding their child and supporting emotional regulation skills. Here are some tips regarding how you can assist them when they are feeling dysregulated.

  1. Validate their feelings- when a child is experiencing heightened emotions, acknowledge and validate their feelings. This is done by showing empathy and understanding, and letting them know that the emotions they are experience are typical and acceptable

  2. Directly teach coping mechanisms- you can help your child learn healthy coping mechanisms that work for them whilst they are experiencing these emotions. Examples of these are belly breathing, deep and slow breaths and breathing exercises, journaling, drawing or physical activities such as going for a walk, reading a book, listening to music, or squeezing a stress play or playdough

  3. Set clear boundaries- while it is important to validate a child’s feelings, it is also important to set boundaries around behaviour. You can assist your child with understanding that it is okay to feel angry and upset, it is not okay to demonstrate behaviours that may hurt themselves or others

  4. Encourage self-regulation- helping your child to develop self-awareness around their emotions is an important part of emotional regulation. You can encourage your child to reflect on their emotions and explore and label what triggers them, as well as which coping mechanisms work best for them to use

  5. Modelling- model healthy emotional regulation around your child. By modelling healthy and safe emotional regulation in front of your child, you can directly show and teach them through demonstration. This can be by showing your own coping mechanisms and managing your own emotions in an effective and constructive way. Children learn by example, so modeling these healthy and useful behaviours is a very powerful way to support your child’s development in this area

    Written by:
    Renee Butler
    SACAC Counselling

Working Through Grief And Suffering

Suffering is universal and comes in different forms. It can be physical, emotional, psychological, or all together at one time. Grief is complex and unique in every case. It can alter one’s lifestyle, behavior, and personality as well as affect the people around him. One of my clients told me, “I was sixty-five years old when my husband died. What I am saying is that I had lived long enough to have suffered some awful pains, and done my share of grieving. But with my husband gone, I just could not seem to snap out of it.”

The prolonged grief in her resulted in depression. She became isolated and withdrew from all social functions. You might be one of those who have lost someone you loved or known someone who has lost somebody close to them, or you may be suffering because of a terminal sickness; or because of financial difficulties as a result of a job loss, a marital problem or a loved one suffering mental illness.

Grief and suffering are difficult to handle. How does one cope with them? How does one work through the difficult days, weeks, months, and possibly years? There is no right or wrong formula or a way to handle them. How one grieves depends on many factors. It depends on his or her personality and coping styles, his life experiences and faith, as well as the nature of the pain and suffering. The healing process is always gradual. It cannot be forced or hurried. Thus, there is no timetable for grieving. What one experiences is different but the process will take time. Therefore, it is important to be patient and to allow the process to unfold itself organically in its due time. It can be short for some, and lengthy for others.

The Five Stages Of Grief

Grief is not something one can just try to get over it needs to run its course. The loss of someone or the encounter with something tragic can be extremely hard and painful. A person can experience all kinds of unending and difficult feelings from pain and suffering. It is the normality of life. In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler Ross introduced in her book “On Death and Dying” what has become known as the “Five Stages of Grief.” They help us to understand what a person goes through during such times. The five stages of grief are based on her studies of the feelings of patients who were faced with a terminal illness. Many have generalized them to other types of negative effects from the changes and losses in life.

The first stage is denial where one rejects what has happened or is happening to him or her. The second stage is where anger creeps in to complicate the sadness or pain one is experiencing. The third stage is to bargain by making promises to God, to ourselves, or to others in the hope to be well again. If it does, one will fulfill their part of the bargain. The fourth stage is where depression sets in where a person experiences a sense of helplessness and even hopelessness. The fifth stage is where one begins to accept as he or she recognizes that this is it, and there is really nothing he or she can do to change the situation or circumstances.

Grieving or suffering is unique and personal to each individual person. The five stages do not necessarily take place chronologically, nor does everyone goes through the same stages. In fact, some people resolve it without going through any of these stages while others go through every single stage with its full implications. While it can be a roller coaster ride as it can become rough, bumpy, and lengthy for some. No matter how many or what stages one goes through, it usually becomes less intense and shorter as time passes. Thus, time is needed to iron out the pain of suffering.

  1. Acceptance – No matter what causes grief or suffering like the death of a loved one, physical illness, unemployment, fear, or uncertainty of the future, do not deny it but accept it.
  2. Acknowledgment – Do not try to suppress or bury any pain or grief. But acknowledge them as the more you try to avoid the feelings of sadness, the longer the grieving process will be prolonged. Any unresolved grief can lead to complications such as depression, anger, anxiety, and other health problems.
  3. Release and Rest – Any feelings of loss and helplessness that sweep over us, do not try to hold back the tears. Tears are therapeutic. They release the tension of sadness and grief from our hearts which can be hard to express with words. Tears also exhaust the body and force us to rest as the pain of suffering can prevent a hurting person from doing so.
  4. Express – Talk to a trusted friend or a relative who will listen to you. Share with them your pains and burdens. Do not harbor them in your hearts or try to carry the load yourself. You can also use art to express your feelings. You can also write a letter to the deceased to say the things you never got the chance to speak. Make a scrapbook or photo album celebrating the person’s life. Have a picnic at the grave site with surviving family members.
  5. Journal – Write down your feelings and pains and the things that are affecting your life. Writing your thoughts and feelings on paper will help to clarify and sort through your feeling. Sometimes you can even find the answers or way out for yourself through writing.
  6. Stay Active – Find something to do especially when you are overwhelmed by sadness or negative thoughts and feelings. Go for a walk, clean the house, run errands, visit a friend, sing, or paint. Do something you enjoy and bring fulfillment to yourself or to others.
  7. Stay Healthy – The mind, soul, and spirit are connected. Therefore, when you are feeling depressed, you will neglect your physical, and emotional needs. Thus, you must take care of your physical needs. Combat stress and fatigue by getting enough sleep, eating well, and doing exercises. Do not use substances to numb the pain or to try and change your moods.
  8. Watch for triggers” of grief – Birthdays, anniversaries, or special holidays can trigger memories and feelings of sadness. This is normal but be prepared for how it can affect you. Be kind and patient to yourself and to others at such times.
  9. Faith – If you have faith, put it in the divine being you believe in. Feelings of hopelessness can consume all your energy in a destructive way. Faith will enable you to embrace pain positively together with the right perspective, it will be easier to make any necessary changes in your life and manage the pain of suffering better.
  10. Support – Good friends or support groups can be helpful to us. Communicate and express clearly what and how you like others to help and support you during the darkest hours.

    If you have been impacted by any grief and loss, please do not hesitate to call SACAC as we have a group of professional therapists and psychologists who can help you.

    Written By:
    Joyce Ng
    Clinical Psychologist
    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
    SACAC Counselling

Inner Child Hypnosis Work

Deep inside of us still lives the child we once were, our ‘inner child’.
Taking the decision to explore this part of ourselves and connect with the little one we once were, takes us on a journey to the core of our being. We can then embrace, bolster and heal that child. Many adults are oblivious that, deep within themselves, such a delicate and sensitive, often wounded part of who they were has deeply influenced their path forward.
Of paramount importance is to understand that this part of us not only holds our aptitude for innocence, wonder, joy, sensitivity and playfulness but often holds childhood hurts, traumas, fears and anger as well.
The view of several current psychological approaches holds that true adulthood integrates, acknowledges and takes responsibility for our own inner child. Instead of denying, neglecting, abandoning or rejecting this part of ourselves, we embrace it, listen to it, nurture it, treat it with love and ultimately heal it.
Our wounded child will respond to genuineness and integrity to our connection. Much beyond our inner child, we may also touch on the suffering of several generations. Our mother or our father may have suffered throughout their lives and had no awareness and possibility to look after the wounded child in themselves. It is liberating and incredibly powerful to be aware that when we embrace the little child within us, we are also healing wounded children of past generations, sometimes correcting ancestral patterns of suffering. If we can heal our wounded child, we will liberate ourselves but also help to liberate whoever has hurt us. Inner Child hypnotherapy can create positive changes in the adult who seeks greater self-respect, self-confidence, self-worth and self-acceptance. It can help overcome self-sabotaging behavior learnt to cope with the abuse and dysfunction in the family we grew up in. To achieve these goals requires the client’s full cooperation. One must really want to heal and make the changes; one must be open to believing that healing is possible and that positive changes can be made; and you must be willing to use the tools and techniques provided. Part of the therapeutic process involves conscious cognitive dialogue. Clients are asked questions to gain an understanding of their childhood and family of origin, and to identify the specific incidents that harmed them. It will be explored how they tried to cope and what self-sabotaging behavior developed which creates road blocks for them as adults. To develop a positive and trusting relationship with the client, the first one or two hypnotic sessions are spent creating a peaceful, calm state in which rapport is established and the client is helped to let go of fear, anxiety, and worry about the process. Techniques that deepen the hypnotic state and promote relaxation, develop self-esteem, and improve self-confidence are used. During the hypnotherapy sessions a variety of hypnotic suggestions are presented, as well as visualizations, and other techniques to access and relate to the client’s inner child, and change limiting beliefs and negative emotions with positive feelings, attitudes, and empowering beliefs. Positive coping strategies that target their goals are provided to the subconscious mind, promoting self-love in place of self-sabotage. Hypnotherapy and inner child work has a powerful impact on people’s lives and the inner child work reconnects us with this part of ourselves longing to be heard, held and healed. It is a profoundly rewarding work that enables us, in a nurturing and loving way, to come back home and to heal our fragmented self.


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Written By:
Laura Spalvieri
Counsellor & Psychotherapist
SACAC Counselling

Doing what matters in times of stress

In this blogpost I wanted to highlight an important programme that is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, for people who are affected by adversity and help deal better with stress. It is a real world application of how psychotherapy can improve the lives of people around the world and make it a better place.

In 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) updated Self Help Plus (SH+), an initiative to provide mental health support to people facing adversity in regions with less resources. The programme is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which is  originated Dr. Stephen Hayes. 

The content was created by Dr Russ Harris et al. for the WHO. They came up with a Comic book that can be used around the world by people with various levels of education. The programme consists of 5 sessions and can give facilitated by person with little mental healthcare training, like a nurse. It is conducted over 5 weeks and uses recording to guide the sessions.It is considered a low intensity intervention. 

ACT is pronounced as a verb to emphasise the need for committed action in this model. ACT focusses on encreasing psychological flexibility. This is done by opening up to our present moment awareness and our internal experiences ( our thoughts and emotions), while acting in alignment with our values and moving towards our aspirations. Simply put, Opening up, Being Present and Committed Engagement. The programme has been implemented in regions affected by adversity. 

Recently, a study in Northern Uganda of female Sudanese refugees’ mental health, has been conducted to see if the programme improves psychological flexibility. The study was published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology by Daniel P. Lakin and a team of researchers. As you can image, conflict-affected areas experience increased level of psychological distress and mental health disorders, which was confirmed among others by Steel et al., 2009. 

The researchers have concluded that psychological flexibility did improve among the Sudanese female refugees, despite it being a low-intensity intervention. The outcome the SH+ study underscores the effectiveness of the ACT based programme. And that psychological flexibility can be improved even for low-resourced regions around the world. 

The programme is flexible enough to be adapted to the various regions’ needs and still maintain the key components that make ACT such an effective therapy. It provides a roadmap to lessen the impact of adversity across the globe and make this world a more peaceful and harmonious place.

It also indicates that dealing more effectively with stress can be learned in brief therapy. This is a great message for anyone struggling with feelings of stress, low mood and feeling overwhelmed. So if anyone you know is struggling with any of those feelings, do let them know that simple and easy to learn skills can go a long in dealing with life’s challenges.


Lakin et al., 2023: blob:

Steel, 2009:

Written by:
Allard Mueller
Counsellor and Psychotherapist
SACAC Counselling

Why Therapy?

Some people still believe that therapy is for “crazy ones”, for those that are weak or that is a luxury. Most of my clients believe that I have a magical pill that in a few sessions it will cure them or completely treat their issue. But what exactly is therapy for and what does a therapist do?

To answer that question, I will recall what a Brazilian professor of mine always emphasized: the importance of the culture in one’s mental health development. If you go to any library, you might find books about “how to be truly happy”, “learning how to leave your anxiety behind”, “the 3 steps to happiness” etc. Culture in general has this bias that conditions people to be believe that suffering is not good, so we try multiples ways of getting rid of these negative feelings. Some people, believing on that and trying to accomplish this impossible mission, enter my therapy room.

For those, I have to deliver the unfortunate bad news that therapy is not about magic powers and that it will never eliminate suffering, as it is an inherit condition to humans. What we therapists can do is to help our client to deal with their difficulties and challenges in a better way. Pain, sadness, anxiety, fear, and all other emotional negative aspects to life will always be there, but therapy will support the patient to deal with their daily challenges in a different and better way, helping their quality of life to improve even in the presence of all those negative feelings.

Written By:
Andrea Fernandes Thomaz
Counsellor & Psychotherapist

SACAC Counselling

Walking in Nature: Steps to Improving Your Mental Health

I remember the last time I stepped into a forest. What a treat for my senses. My eyes were refreshingly greeted by the fall colours of green, red, and orange hues. The pine scent that filled the air allowed me to take deeper breaths than I had in weeks outside of nature. My body felt fully alive, and I felt an inner calm and peace that I had not experienced in weeks. The sound of the leaves rustling in the gentle breeze beckoned me to ground my feet into the soft earth underneath and each step I took tempted me to take another. This experience of being immersed in nature was healing and connected me to myself and the world around me. 

The idea of connecting with nature and immersing oneself in the forest is not a novel idea. Let’s take a walk back in time. In Japan, the term shinrin-yoku was coined in the ’80s to describe the concept of ‘forest bathing’. In the history of Native American culture, nature is integral to human living. Through decades of industrialization and urbanization, the disconnect between humans and nature has grown and in highly urbanized countries and cities like Singapore, this delicate balance with nature has been constantly challenged. With the high usage of technology, screen time has permeated and persisted in much of our daily lives. There is growing research documenting the benefits and adverse effects of screentime on mental health, and, the reality is that technology and screentime are here to stay. 

Stepping out into nature may not seem instinctive, but much can be gained through spending some time in nature. Increased exposure to nature may enrich one’s cognition, bringing about benefits such as enhanced attention, focus, and working memory. Other benefits that nature brings include boosting one’s mood and the reduction in mental distress, stress, and psychological conditions. As we feel better in our bodies, the probability that we offer kindness to others is increased, hence strengthening our interpersonal relationships. 

The great news is that while we may not have easy access to a forest, we could start with tiny steps and build them up step-by-step. The greater the exposure to nature, the greater the benefits gained. Listening to sounds of nature such as the light fall of rain, thunderstorms, or a stream of water could lighten your heart. If you have a little garden, taking small steps while tending to your plants once a day may enliven your spirits. To step up your dose of nature, brisk walking for about 2.4 hours in nature could lower the risk of depression by 25 percent. 

As Malik el Halabi says, “A walk in nature walks the soul back home.” Happy Nature Walking.


Fitzgerald, S. (2023). The secret to mindful travel? A walk in the woods. National Geographic.

Pearce, M., et al. (2022). Association between physical activity and risk of depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry, 79(6), 550–559.

Weir, K. (2020). Nurtured by nature. American Psychological Association, 51(3), 50.

Written By:
Isabelle Ong, Ph.D., LCMHCA, NCC (USA)
Clinical Mental Health Counselor & Psychotherapist
SACAC Counselling

Occupational Therapy and Adult Mental Health

In Singapore there is often the perception that Occupational Therapy is for children who are facing developmental challenges or as part of hospital-based rehabilitation for the elderly. It can certainly play an important role in these areas, but it is so much more. Occupational Therapy as a profession actually has its roots in mental health, it developed in the UK from enabling soldiers to return to meaningful life after injuries and trauma from World War 1. It then expanded to cover all areas of physical and mental health. In fact, any area where our function is affected could be improved by working with an Occupational Therapist.

We look holistically at function – what people do for work, leisure and productivity (e.g. activities of daily living, self-care, household tasks) and how the challenges they are facing affect this. The focus of Occupational Therapy in any clinical area is to assist clients to participate in daily living as independently as possible.

So, what does this look like within mental health? Here are SACAC we are looking at:

  • How low mood can impact work, leisure and home life and strategies to move forward in these areas
  • How activity can be used to improve motivation and confidence to do what is important to you in life
  • How workplace challenges and stress can be managed
  • How responsibilities like caring for a loved one impact wellbeing and mental health
  • How stress or anxiety may impact how you feel and what you do day to day
  • How activity can be utilized as a coping mechanism

    For every client there is an assessment process where we explore a wide range of holistic factors to gain a clear understanding of the challenges they are facing and what is meaningful for them.
    Factors considered include:
  1. Values, beliefs, spirituality, mental function, sensory function
  2. Physical skills (motor processing)
  3. Social interaction skills
  4. The environment or context you are functioning in
  5. Habits, routines and roles
  6. Barriers to participation in desired activities


    Perryman-Fox M, Cox DL, 2020. Occupational Therapy in the United Kingdom: Past, Present and Future. Annals of International Occupational Therapy, Vol 3, No 2.

    Written by:
    Jennie Bhangu
    Occupational Therapist
    SACAC Counselling

Often, children who have been neglected emotionally as children make these 6
lifelong mistakes

The experiences gained in one’s childhood can have a tremendous impact on one’s development and behavior later in life. In particular childhood emotional neglect can lead to a variety of potential emotional issues later in life. 

Experiencing childhood emotional neglect has a tendency to lead children to feel as if their emotions do not matter. Which may not be communicated directly, but instead can occur as a result of one’s emotional state being neglected by parental figures. Which deprives children of the necessary attention and affection they need during their development. This then manifests into an attitude of believing that one’s feelings are unimportant, which is a direct falsehood. Feelings are a crucial part of the human experience, acting as both a means of motivation and protection. Therefore, the belief that they don’t matter can have various negative impacts on a person. 

Such as labeling oneself as flawed, the absence of an emotionally charged life can lead to feelings of being isolated. In which one may feel that they lack the passion or any other quality that others around them possess. Which in reality is not true, rather it is a lack of emotional development that is hindering those qualities. Alternatively, another impact could be developing feelings of excessive responsibility for others. Whereby, one feels compelled to overly fixate on the feelings of others, in turn forgetting to focus on one’s own feelings. By choosing to place a greater focus on one’s own feelings instead, it can lead to a greater sense of self and confidence. Furthermore, viewing one’s emotions as insignificant can also potentially lead to the belief that you have to do everything by yourself. Which can result in a toxic mindset, whereby one may decline to share their feelings and instead may think that it is a sign of weakness to share their feelings. Which may only further feelings of isolation. Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge one’s emotions and the emotional needs that may come with them. Additionally, the mentality of one’s feeling being a burden can lead to the assumption that others must therefore also view those feelings as burdensome. However, this assumption is incorrect, being able to be emotionally vulnerable with others is a key part of forming strong interpersonal relationships. In this case one might fear a return to the emotionally neglectful environment of one’s childhood, however this fear is likely to only be a fallacy and by overcoming it and embracing emotions can lead to the formation of new relationships that can aid in overcoming those feelings of isolation.  Finally, being out of touch with your emotions can lead to an attitude of emotional complacency. Whereby you might be afraid to speak your mind out of fear of emotional rejection, and will therefore conform to other’s desires while not making your own needs clear. This can also lead to one becoming out of touch with hobbies, friends, and family. Choosing to decline potential opportunities and leaving potential disputes unresolved, allowing them to fester. Thus it is crucial to understand and recognize all of these potential impacts, and work to rectify it through understanding its roots and effects on present behavior.


Kumari V. Emotional abuse and neglect: time to focus on prevention and
mental health consequences. Br J Psychiatry. 2020 Nov;217(5):597-599.

Dunn EC, Nishimi K, Gomez SH, Powers A, Bradley B. Developmental timing of trauma exposure and emotion dysregulation in adulthood: are there sensitive periods when trauma is most harmful? J Affect Disord. (2018) 227:869–77. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.10.045

Haynes E, Crouch E, Probst J, Radcliff E, Bennett K, Glover S. Exploring the association between a parent’s exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and outcomes of depression and anxiety among their children. Child Youth Serv Rev. (2020) 113:105013. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105013

Kumari V. Emotional abuse and neglect: time to focus on prevention and mental health consequences. Brit J Psychiatry. (2020) 217:1–3. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2020.154

Written by:
Leah Selakovic
SACAC Counselling