Therapeutic Coaching That Delivers
Ready for Life After Childhood Narcissistic Abuse, Scapegoating or Neglect?
Looking For Post-Traumatic Growth? Work With a Skilled Coach Who’s Also a Therapist!
Glynis Sherwood MEd, brings her in depth knowledge of human psychology and experience helping hundreds of clients to heal, and applies this understanding to the unique journey of childhood abuse survivors. Thriver Coaching has been created to help survivors, who are well on their way to becoming thrivers, discover and live in their authentic selves, so they can transcend the legacy of abuse and reach their potential as successful individuals who enjoy genuine peace of mind.
Survivors – Is This Your Story?
You survived Childhood Abuse or Neglect emotionally bruised but standing on both feet. Your family – who should have had your back – may have made you feel unloved, unworthy, flawed, a problem, or that you generally didn’t deserve to be a member of your family unit. Or perhaps the problem was more subtle than that, and you felt neglected, ignored or not taken seriously.
You may have survived ongoing campaigns led by one or more difficult family members designed to keep you feeling small, such as scapegoating. This mistreatment might have led you to feel inadequate, fearful and like an outsider in your family, and the world at large.
Because this mistreatment tends to be ongoing, and can last into adulthood, you may have learned to cope by reducing or going no contact with family. You might have developed friendships or created a family of your own based on kinder and more respectful values. That’s a lot to be thankful for and you deserve credit for becoming a better person than how you were treated.
But, in spite of these gains, you may be left with some leftover emotional challenges from being abused earlier in life, like stress or anxiety, or lack of confidence. During times of stress or uncertainty, you may feel anxious and struggle to believe you are good enough or that you can trust others.
Or you may feel that just when you’ve turned a positive corner, you find yourself in the grip of false shame. Your friendships or intimate relationships may not feel satisfying or supportive enough. A sense of purpose or direction to your life may be missing.
You may also find yourself struggling to manage emotional triggers that can lead you into feeling unsafe in your world and with others, even though traumatic events are behind you.
You deserve to live your life without any of the leftover pain or hurt that haunted your childhood and life before you embarked on your own conscious ‘Survivors’ journey.
So to all Survivors, my message is that life doesn’t have to stop here. You can feel much better and more fulfilled. But in order to live the way you desire, you may need to stand up to unconscious false negative views of yourself – and the world – that you’ve been programmed to believe, such as feeling flawed or chronically unsafe in the world. These false narratives that you were conditioned to believe as an abused child, can be subconsciously recycled or reactivated due to Internalized Scapegoating – also known as the Inner Critic. Confronting any residual false negative beliefs can also help you develop new associations – aka neural pathways – that will help calm your nervous system, further neutralizing emotional reactivity.
Therapeutic Coaching can help you unearth and unlock your true core self – and deeper peace of mind
Coaching with Glynis Sherwood MEd can help you regain freedom by becoming more conscious of your beliefs, feelings and needs, and acting to meet those needs effectively. That’s your growth edge.
Once you have mastered settling your nervous system, and put to rest core false beliefs that are undermining your spirit and leading to unnecessary limitations or psychological ‘paralysis’, you will likely feel more calm and flexible. This personal growth will enable you to visualize, plan and take action towards creating the big picture life you want, as your true self becomes more accessible.
Coaching can also help you pinpoint and overcome lingering sources of difficulties with relationships that don’t serve you on your healing journey. Completing these milestones will help you evolve from being a Survivor to a Thriver.
From Survivor to Thriver – Commit to discovering and supporting the person you are meant to be
As a Survivor, you sense that you are not ‘done’. You may wonder if there is more to life, and how you can achieve that. The truth is, you are just pausing while halfway up the mountain to a more fulfilling life – the life of a Thriver. But you may feel stuck and wonder what it means to truly thrive.
Dozens of people I’ve assisted over the years have put it this way…
You Will Know You’ve Become A Thriver When You:
- Feel secure and stable the majority of the time, and confident that you can manage your emotions well
- Have overcome false shame, blame and guilt, and have a supportive, more realistic view of yourself
- Experience few or no trauma symptoms, such as triggers, dissociation or threat responses (fight, flight, freeze, collapse, surrender, fawning)
- Have tamed your Inner and Outer Critic, so you have a more compassionate and realistic view of yourself and others
- Can accurately assess your strengths and weaknesses. Are willing and able to acknowledge and work on overcoming personal shortfalls resulting from childhood abuse or neglect (eg people pleasing; chronic anxiety that can lead to self absorption)
- Experience the healing power of genuine gratitude and respect for the gift of your enlightened life, rather than feeling cynical, cheated or expecting unfair treatment from others due to historical deprivation or abuse
- Are in touch with what’s missing for you developmentally due to negative or absent parenting, family role modeling or guidance – and working on ‘reparenting’ yourself with feelings of patience, curiosity and understanding – not shame
- Have at least a few key mutually supportive relationships
- Hold down a job that has moments of real satisfaction and pays you adequately
- Can be a much better friend to yourself than how your family treated you
- Give to oneself – and make the world a better place – through mindful effort, character development and responsible actions
From Thriver to Transcender
As an aspiring Thriver, what you may not realize is that healing from childhood abuse requires additional wherewithal – knowledge, skills and the discipline to reach your potential as a Thriver or ultimately, a ‘Transcender’.
A Transcender is an individual who has learned over time to transform adverse childhood events into silver linings such as wisdom and empathy, and operates from a place of deeper self understanding, acceptance, calm and optimism. A Transcender knows what they want – short and long term – can make good decisions and act on them, knowing they are doing the best they can. A Transcender is a Thriver who values themselves, and instinctively gravitates towards people who will appreciate and care for their authentic self as they take their rightful place in the community that is our collective world.
Complete Your Journey – Awaken to the true narrative of who you really are
Make Thriving Your Destiny
What do you really want from the rest of your life? Personal fulfillment, peace of mind, confidence, contentment, health, believing in yourself? Solid relationships? Career satisfaction? Feeling a sense of belonging in your family and community? Chances are, you want all of that.
It’s not just about avoiding distractions or letting go of what others might think so you can focus. It’s about feeling complete, content and satisfied from the inside out, so you can be consistently confident.
For Thrivers, true healing and fulfillment goes much deeper. It’s about taking your life back from your Core Wounds – such as false guilt or shame – and releasing any fears that you may not have what it takes to get there. The journey then is to discover and embody who you were meant to be, before abuse or neglect negatively impacted your life.
Sometimes core wounds continue to operate below the surface in the unconscious mind, in spite of more apparent successes and accomplishments. For example, if you are doing well in life, fear, self doubt or sadness may occasionally wash over you, seemingly out of the blue, that you struggle to make sense of.
Central to healing core wounds is removing Fear and Self Doubt from the driver’s seat. Mindset can play a big role here. You may need to dive deep to discover your true beliefs, and new rules and actions that best compliment your values. You want to be shooting for being Proactive rather than Reactive in response to life’s challenges and the goals you want to identify and achieve.
As a budding Thriver, you probably sense you are on much more solid ground than you were in early Survivor mode. But you may still be struggling with conscious or unconscious habits and beliefs that can lead to:
- Anxiety Based Choices. This can be both compulsive and distracting, such as overwork or procrastination. The problem may be that you only feel OK when you are being productive, and get down on yourself when you are not. The goal here is to learn to feel comfortable in your own skin, in Being and not just Doing.
- Isolation or Avoidance of Closeness. You may feel lonely, but tend to hide out due to fear of being hurt again and being distrustful of others. This tendency can feel reassuring in the short term.
Or you might experience the opposite problem – you don’t feel good enough and, therefore, don’t want to risk being ‘seen’ and possibly rejected by others. In both cases you lose, because you never get to discover who might appreciate and be there for you.
- Choosing Inappropriate Friends or Partners. Conditioning, uncertainty, lack of experience, role models or knowledge can lead to continuing to choose versions of ‘devils you know’, and falling back into fear based behaviors such as people pleasing – aka fawning. The result can be frustration and resentment, as you confirm your worst fears about your worth, by choosing unavailable people.
These habits can be fuelled by old ingrained beliefs that you are Inadequate, Can’t trust anyone, Don’t fit in anywhere, Will be rejected, No one is good enough for you, etc. When this is going on, you are still in the grips of a covert inner scapegoat or an outer critic.
As a Budding Thriver, what you might need more of is:
Deeper Level Self Care: Focusing on developing and embodying values and habits that strengthen character. The first step is caring for yourself by cultivating inner attitudes of self acceptance, kindness, consideration, compassion, and honesty. How do you do this? By treating yourself like you are a person of value – likely the opposite of what you experienced. These shifts may feel unnatural, at first, but that doesn’t mean they are wrong, just unfamiliar.
Reflexive Emotional Self Regulation – aka Stability: Managing an overcharged – or undercharged – nervous system, so you are neither too activated nor numb. This may involve cultivating strategies to help you neutralize triggering, while creating rituals or routines that will help you continue to process grief and loss regarding family of origin abuse, which takes time to work through.
Understanding of Your Unique Gifts and/or Sensitivities: If you are Gifted or Highly Sensitive, you may have certain vulnerabilities that might have made it easier for people to Scapegoat you in the past or present. Learning about your gifts and sensitivities will help you protect yourself and project strength, so you no longer worry about being judged, misunderstood, picked on or feel like a lonely outsider.
Social Skills – If healthy core values and behaviors aren’t role modeled by parents, such as the golden rule, the result can be deficits in appropriate boundaries, lack of empathy for self and others. Healthy socialization is ongoing throughout life. Sound socialization and character development require being clear on the skills you want to hone, daily commitment to take action and learning from your mistakes, while refraining from negative self judgements.
Coaching Can Help You Reclaim Your True Story and Embrace Your Life
As a COACH to hundreds of Survivors of Childhood Abuse, I’ve been the Supportive Witness of their healing journey to Thriverhood.
Thriver Coaching can help take you to the next level, where you truly become your own supportive witness – in essence, the loving parent you never had. As you learn to deal more effectively with leftover fear or sadness, you will feel more confident about your ability to be at peace with yourself, regardless of life’s good or bad fortunes.
Overcoming the remnants of toxic family dynamics that keep you confused and stuck will lead to the creation of optimistic, reality based beliefs, and a vision for your life’s purpose. Having this vision in place will enable you to consistently take actions that will support your life goals and peace of mind.
What Is Thriver Coaching About?
Each person’s journey towards Thriving and is unique and may involve one or more of these elements:
- Drilling down into any conscious and subconscious root issues that are still lingering and causing your grief, such as false negative core belief, or an overly activated nervous system.
- Identifying what you might be avoiding due to Competing Commitments / Beliefs, that keep you stuck. Much of this has to do with overcoming family conditioning, false guilt and shame.
For example, a common dilemma amongst Survivors of family abuse is ping ponging between competing beliefs that can sound something like this:
‘I need to keep my distance from abusive family members to protect my mental health’’ VS ‘Maybe I’m not such a great person if I keep my distance from family’; OR‘I’m lonely and need to develop deeper connections with others’ VS ‘If I let anyone get close to me I’ll get burned again’Coaching can help you unearth and align with the Fundamental Truths that protect you – These reality based beliefs are integral to making life affirming decisions that align with your core values.Your Fundamental Truths transcend family programming, and feel right on a gut level. And although your truths may contain fears, they are not fear based. Once you have discovered the Core Commitments you need to live by – such as authenticity and self acceptance – you can more confidently take daily steps to achieve Goals that support your true self.
- Discover ways to ‘give back’ to community from hard lessons learned, that don’t drain you, but make you feel more fully connected and alive
- Overcoming ‘Emotional Inflammation’ to support the big picture of health. Learn to reduce emotional reactivity, and release fear that’s armored in the body, keeping you tense and overly activated.
- Living a Values Based life with an emphasis on building strong Character. Accessing the Courage embedded in your True Self. Experiencing your Vulnerability as a key to authenticity and connection. Prioritizing the big picture of mental and physical health as the daily anchors of your life.
- Develop a Growth Oriented Mindset that supports success, by setting daily intentions like you’ve already achieved them. Research shows that this is key to overcoming negative beliefs that keep you stuck.
- Becoming an Empathic Parent to yourself, and opening your heart to others. Increasing Emotional Self Awareness, so you can rely on your feelings to guide you in making solid decisions based on your needs, set healthy limits where necessary, and tap into your deepest motivators.
Define your ‘Post-traumatic’ Goals, Beliefs and Rules of the Road
Discover what Key Questions you need to ask – and answer – as a Thriver – that will make your life better, and act on those solutions consistently.
For Example: ‘As I learn new healthier ways of viewing myself that are the opposite of my family’s negative messages, what attitudes and actions will support that?’ Potential Answer: ‘Patience, appreciation for the effort, understanding, gratitude, compassion, daily commitment to act, etc’. Then drill down into the specific behaviors that will facilitate that change. For example, cultivating an attitude of empathy towards the Wounded Child you were, who can still put in an appearance when you are feeling stressed or triggered.
Thriver Coaching will help you achieve your goals by lowering the bar on your negative programming expectations – conscious and unconscious – while you work on cultivating an attitude towards yourself of acceptance, compassion and appreciation.
This isn’t about perfection or busting your butt to just to feel ‘good enough’, which in itself is a symptom of feeling inadequate. That’s the family trauma box you want to bust out of, or even depart gently from.
The objective here is to take regular action that supports your right to live a life not defined by trauma bonds, triggers or false toxic beliefs, that conflict with the reality that you are likely a decent, good enough, or possibly even an exemplary human being who deserves a break from the Inner Scapegoat. This Inner Scapegoat – aka the Troll – may have fed you a steady diet of guilt or shame based lies, and deprived you of your birth right – to feel content in your own skin and good about your life, relationships and vocational pursuits.
Feel confident – not intimidated – about taking a solid leadership role in your life, so you can feel better about relationships and work in the following ways:
Disable false guilt and use strategic decision making power to determine what kind of Contact you want to have, if any, with family members, and feel at peace with your decision long term.
Transcend ‘post traumatic’ relationship dynamics. Learn to not push people away due to fear of rejection, intimacy or feeling inadequate. Stop choosing the ‘Devil You Know’ in friends, partners or work environments.
Firm up any ‘leaky boat boundaries’, so you can feel confident about getting to know people at a safe pace, and able to read green or red light signals that tell you to advance, slow down or pull out.
Couples: Learn how to communicate more effectively with your partner, so you can create the trust, empathy and closeness you desire.
Get to know yourself better so you can express yourself – and your talents – in the world of work. Your core interests, values, beliefs, passions, character traits, plus a dose of confidence, will point you in a direction that feels true and plays to your strengths, leading to satisfaction.
Thriver Coaching Is For Individuals and Couples Who
- Are eager to reach their potential through ‘Post Traumatic Growth’
- Feel emotionally and physically stable, and ready to make an investment in their long term psychological well being
- Enjoy teamwork and look forward to the opportunity to pair up with an expert coach with a solid background in psychology, without undue fear or mistrust of helpers
- Are willing and able to take daily steps toward achieving their goals, and ready to honestly and openly confront any fears or doubts that might be impeding them
WHAT YOU’LL GET
- Enrollment in a reserved for you weekly Video call with Glynis Sherwood MEd, completely focused on making your Individual or Couples Coaching Goals happen
- ‘Tailored to You’ homework that can either be completed quickly, or integrated into daily practice between sessions, to help you achieve your goals faster
- Formal goal reviews to evaluate your progress, and to do any fine tuning that will assist in achieving your goals
You May Be Wondering How Coaching Differs From Therapy
Therapy is based on the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders – such as PTSD – and the reduction or elimination of mental health symptoms. As such, therapy is viewed as healthcare and is more aligned with conventional medical models of practice.
Coaching is designed to help people move from a place of adequate functioning – aka Survivor – to superior functioning – aka Thriver
Coaching helps people who are not experiencing debilitating trauma symptoms, and are effectively managing their lives, but who may feel stuck or that they haven’t reached their potential.
Coaching is Action-oriented. To this end, you will be invited to complete Homework between sessions in the service of your goals.
Certain recurring challenges may arise in coaching that are similar to therapy concerns, such as creating a life vision, managing stress, overcoming negative beliefs and defenses, improving confidence, self esteem or assertiveness, clarifying values, improving self care, finding a true vocation and fine tuning relationships.
In both coaching and therapy, the focus is on achieving emotional well being and healthy life management, including daily routines and relationships. Well being may come from understanding past experiences, beliefs, feelings and patterns of interaction, taking regular effective action, and strengthening emotional self management.
It’s Time To Reclaim Your Story – Step Into the Truth of Who You Really Are
By Letting Your True Self Shine
Overcome Chronic Stress, Sadness or Relationship Problems
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