Tackling Tough Times – Communication made easy

We communicate all the time. Every minute of our waking day we are communicating something to someone somehow.  How do we do that? Most people answer by saying “we talk and use words”, they are correct to a point. Communication, however, is so much more than just using words.  At our September “Let’s get Talking” event at Sandi’s bistro  participants uncovered what supports communication and why communication breaks down. Here now some comments from some of our participants.

“My husband and I joined a welcoming and informal group to discuss how we communicate with each other,

especially when times are tough.  Andrea took some time in helping us understand how communication takes place and how we give and receive messages to and from each other. ”

“Andrea illustrated how … our interpretations” of things “were not neutral, but rather a projection of our own ‘stuff’. This was to be a pivotal concept for the rest of the evening.”

“This talk helped me appreciate the importance of taking time to think about what I want to say before I say it.  For me this means also being responsible for what I say and how I say it.  Andrea helped me realise that speaking from the ‘I’ point-of-view helps to let others understand how I am feeling rather than feeling they are being blamed for my experience.”

“For my husband and I, hearing that other couples also sometimes have strife and that our own troubles in communicating are not unique to us, is enormously liberating.  When one of us is triggered, we have been practicing discussing how we feel rather than reacting emotionally.  We are very grateful for being shown this tool.  It takes time and practice and we try implement this as best we can.”

“What I really took away from the evening was an emphasis on conscious reflection on our communication patterns and interactions. Andrea spoke about ‘less emotional reaction and more conscious response’ to communication in general- this point really resonated with me as I so strongly believe we are responsible for how we communicate with others. “

“Overall, the evening was really enjoyable. I think having these conversations about such important aspects of life are hugely contributory to larger societal change and we should be demonstrating how they can be had in informal spaces like last night.”

These are the 5 basic points to consider when communicating, especially when tackling tough 


  1. What is my intention? What am I trying to communicate?
    Check in with myself. How am I feeling right now?
  1. Check in with the person(s) if they can communicate right now.
  2. Is the environment conducive to successful communication?
  3. Take time to Respond rather than React quickly


Feel free contact us if you are looking for further assistance when communicating during crisis like divorce, trauma, loss.

Andrea is passionate about tackling difficult topics like

  • How do we tell our kids about the breakup of your marriage?
  • How do I help my child in the grieving process?
  • How do we communicate as parents in a blended family?
  • etc.

Leigh is specialised in dealing with issues like

  • How do I confront a difficult boss or colleague, successfully?
  • How do I find my voice and be heard?
  • How do I communicate boundaries?
  • etc.

Deborah is excellent in building trust through communication.

  • How to communicate with my spouse after infidelity?
  • How do we build our family after abuse and addiction?
  • How do we connect when relationships have broken down?
  • etc.

Call or WhatsApp us on 0723756089 for an appointment with either Andrea, Leigh or Deborah.

For more information on our therapists please see the “Meet the Team” tab on our website www.familycounsellingcentre.co.za

Our next conversation will be on 30th October 2018 at Sandi’s Bistro. The topic will be “Boundaries”!  We hope to see you there.


Body Boosting for Stress Relief

(by Leigh Johnson)

TFCC’s life coach, Leigh Johnson, had the pleasure of hosting our monthly ‘Let’s Get Talking’ conversation last night. The topic was a pertinent one for our busy lifestyles: Managing Stress.
What became clear from the stories of all participants was the incredible resource our bodies are – both in warning us about too much stress and in participating in the healing process itself.
The impact of stress cannot be over-estimated and it is increasingly evident through statistics that show stress-related illnesses increasingly being the number one cause of premature deaths in our western societies; that we are not listening to our bodies. Every single participant at the conversation last night had experienced burnout at least once in their lives and the symptoms of this were scary.
So, what are some of the ways you can use your bodies to support and heal you? Here are a few ideas we discussed:
• Meditation or mindfulness: In order to be able to tune in and hear the wisdom of our bodies, we need to be still enough to hear them. There are a myriad of wonderful practices that you can participate in to reach this stillness. The key? Persevere! It is not easier to quieten our thoughts, so be patient and gracious with yourself. Discipline yourself to do at least 10 – 20 minutes of meditation a day.
• Exercise: It is essential that we engage in exercise in order to build and support our bodies, but many of us are unaware of the crucial role movement plays in assisting with stress relief. The act of moving, takes us into a different space and, in many instances, can quite literally change our mind frame and help us to think more positively. For trauma release, vigorous exercise or tremor therapy can be instrumental in tuning in to our body’s natural capacity to heal.
• Nutrition: It is astounding how much of an impact nutrition can have on our well-being and ability to handle stress. The catch-22 is that stress can cause a breakdown in the ability of our body to absorb or use essential nutrients and in this way, it can cause health problems. Equally, if our diets are deficient – and most of ours are! – we will be lacking in the support we need when our systems are flooded by a sustained stream of the stress hormone, cortisol.
• Sleep: Our bodies need sleep – at least 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep for an adult. Stress can affect us profoundly, either by causing extreme fatigue and the need to sleep all day, or by causing insomnia – or both of these. Disrupted sleep patterns are a great warning sign to heed, and getting your sleep right is crucial to combating the negative effects of stress.
Too much stress – especially if for a sustained period of time – is a serious concern. As well as impaired concentration, mood challenges, forgetfulness and a myriad of other symptoms, it can lead to irreversible nerve damage, as well as anxiety and depression.
It is also not something that you need to face on your own! If you are struggling with managing your stress, please book an appointment with Leigh Johnson for life coaching that can assist you to pick up negative thought patterns and behaviours and to create more balance in your life.
If you are suffering from severe anxiety and/or depression, it is essential for you to get help. We have wonderful therapists and counsellors here at TFCC that will be able to walk you through the darkness.
Please book with Carol: info@familycounsellingcentre.co.za | 072 375 6089