I often get asked what sort of people do I help? Many people think that their issues aren't significant enough or I only help people who have been through very dark stuff.
So, with the kind permission of some clients, I'll share a few examples. Today, we have Jeff.
Jeff is in his late thirties and is feeling overwhelmed. He’s usually the well organised nice guy but he’s far from feeling like it at the moment. He has been working from home for months during the pandemic and his wife is a key worker, working crazy long hours as a nurse in the local hospital.
Jeff is now the main carer for their three children, aged 9, 6 and 2. He is burnt-out, trying to juggle caring for the kids, working from home and also completing all the house chores. In addition, the children seem to have a secret pact and are taking it in turns to push his buttons to the brink.
His patience is frayed. He is tired, irritable and stressed out. He found himself within a few weeks starting to tell the children off more, instilling more discipline, ignoring them at times and then shouting at them when they constantly pestered him while he was trying to work.
Worse still, it reminds him of his own childhood. He flips between feeling ashamed for acting like his own parents to flipping out when one of the kids spills something on the floor.
Jeff catches himself on one day when his middle child cried after he shouted at her. He knows that he is in over his head and he needs help, but he doesn’t know how. He wants to learn how to manage his stressed behaviour so he isn’t taking it out on the kids. He doesn’t want to be repeating history. He also knows that his parenting skills could do with being refreshed and developed as it was obvious he wasn’t doing the best job there either.
Jeff needs help and coaching so he can get through this, realise why he is reacting how he is and then learn to manage it. Jeff wants to be a positive influence on his kids, not a negative one. Jeff contacts Breathe NI.