THE TINDER SWINDLER & OTHER INNOCUOUS FACTS ABOUT DIGITAL DATING (AS A HETEROSEXUAL WOMAN) - CHER ENGERER – PSYCHOLOGIST
I was watching the Tinder Swindler the other day and it honestly blew my mind. I started reliving some of my experiences on Tinder, and my close shaves with con-fidence artists. I couldn’t help but try to analyse what kind of psychological mind wars are happening when a woman falls for a man like Simon Leviev, to the extent of totally shutting down her own primordial protective mechanisms.
Firstly, I think Disney has a lot to do with this. As girls (more so in my generation), we grew up on stories of princesses in towers and happy-ever-afters. We were also brainwashed by the fantasy of the traditional big white wedding, house with white picket fence, dog and two kids (not that there's anything wrong with this life choice of course). On some bio-psycho-social level, I suspect this fantasy is still something that most women aspire to and go gaga for, even if it’s masked or deep within. I was certainly one of them, peaking in its furious inclination when I hit my thirties and started getting broody for motherhood. It’s okay to want a family of course, but the ominous biological clock can be very powerful on the female psyche, and at times puts blinders on our love-struck eyes.
10 AFFARIJIET LI GĦALLMITNI L-ARTI TAT-TPINĠIJA - SARAH BORG
Fija kont ħassejt ix-xewqa li nitgħallem l-arti tat-tpinġija. Ħafna qaluli, “l-arti ma twasslek imkien”, “mhux se taqla’ flus bit-tpinġija”. Nista’ ngħid li t-tpinġija għallmitni ħafna dwar il-ħajja. Il-lezzjonijiet li għallmitni forsi ma jrendulix flus, imma nista’ ngħid li servewni mitqlu deheb.
1. Meta nieħu żball, m’għandix inqatta’ l-karta biex nerġa’ nibda npinġi l-istampa mill-bidu. Għandi nuża l-abbiltà artistika tiegħi biex nirranġa l-iżball b’mod kreattiv. L-imħabba għat-tpinġija tgħinni negħleb il-biża’ u naċċessa l-kreattività ta’ ġo fija
Tant irrid kollox perfett u issa qabel għada, li jekk ma tiġinix żewġ mal-ewwel u eżatt kif ippjanajt jien, inkun irrid nwaqqaf kollox u niffoka fuq xi ħaġa ġdida. Il-ħajja qed tgħallimni nibqa’ nipprova, sforz wara sforz, ġurnata b’ġurnata. U jekk xi ħaġa tkun totalment impossibbli, dejjem nista’ niżviluppa mod ieħor kif inħares lejha. Jekk negħleb il-biża’ u r-reżistenza, nista’ naħseb b’mod kreattiv sabiex jekk ma nidħolx mill-bieb, jirnexxili nidħol mit-tieqa.
2. Tpinġija waħda tista’ tiġi interpretata b’modi differenti
Dak li għalik huwa tqil u ikrah, għalija jista’ jkun faċli u interessanti. Meta kont nistudja u kont nisma’ lil xi ħadd jitkellem dwar xi eżami tqil li m’għaddiex minnu, kont neħodha ovvja li anke jien kont se nsibu tqil ħafna. Imma bdejt ninduna li dan mhux dejjem kien il-każ. Mhux għaqli li nħalli lil min jiskoraġġini ... dak li ħaddieħor ma setax jagħmel, forsi jien inkun kapaċi nsib tarfu.
FORGIVENESS SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST THING - DR REBEKAH CHADWICK Whilst sorry seems to be the hardest word, I think that sometimes forgiveness is the hardest thing to do. Particularly forgiveness of ourselves. We often struggle to forgive ourselves for things from our past, mistakes we’ve made or ways we ‘messed up’. I know I still think back to regrets from years ago, things I wish I’d handled differently, people I hurt and lost connection with along the way.
Struggling to forgive ourselves can link into all sorts of difficulties. These include difficulties with grief, low mood and depression, and self-harm. It can complicate our grief reactions, making it harder to cope after a loss or after someone dies. We might replay all the things we think we should have done differently, the times we shouldn’t have said this or that, the times we missed an opportunity to tell them how much they meant to us… these become the things we can’t forgive ourselves for.
Similarly, depression and low mood is often fuelled by anger towards ourselves and difficulties forgiving ourselves. Shame can be a significant factor, and we may berate and criticise ourselves, ‘why did you do that? How could you? What were you thinking?!’. Sometimes, we might think we don’t deserve forgiveness, that we don’t deserve a happy life, that we deserve pain and punishment instead. This can lead to behaving in ways that hurt ourselves or limit our happiness, perhaps even self-harm.
COMMUNICATION AND THE LANGUAGE OF SELF-LOVE - LARA KITNEY
From the minute we are born, we as human beings, are thrown into the sphere of others; others whom we rely on and whom we depend on in order to have our needs understood and met. How do we do this? We do not know the language that these strange creatures speak, nor can we make sense of what they may be trying to tell us. But yet, we communicate with them from the very start; because our survival depends on it, because we need their support if we want to thrive. Each and every one of us employs an innate pattern of communication, may it be verbal or non-verbal which conveys to those around as what we need, when we need it. We cry, we kick, we shake our hands, we eventually smile and laugh and blabber and point. We show others, in the language of infancy, that we are in need, whilst also fostering a reciprocal bond between us and those round us, which will ensure that they will keep responding to our pleas and support us in our needs as we continue to develop. This is why communication is at the heart of who we are, as human beings in a human world.
OUR BODIES - THE TEMPLE WITH A STORY - ANCA UNGUREANU
My body…your body….the human body in general. Let’s reflect about our relationship with our bodies for a minute or even for a few seconds. What crosses your mind when you think about your body? What are the first words or images which come to your mind when you think about your body? Some people might think first about its aesthetics, about the way they look, others about its functionality and physiology, and some others might recall recent or older memories … Some people might even feel certain sensations or emotions associated with it. Whatever crosses your mind, that’s only a drop in the ocean of what our bodies represent to us, on many different layers.
The Temple: Its story The relationship that we have with our own body often tells the story of different relationships that we’ve had in our lives. We carry in our body the life experiences we’ve had and of those that we are now experiencing. Our bodies keep the memory of the first caresses, of the hugs and kisses, of the love and care we have received from our mother s or other first caregivers, of people's expectations, of our deep wounds and scars, of the beautiful, encouraging and supportive words we’ve been told or on the contrary, of those discouraging, humiliating and sometimes terrifying words which still haunt us. Hopes and dreams and even romantic and sexual relationships are all engraved in the memory of the body. The experience of a successful pregnancy or of a lost baby, the signs of the implacable time- they are all kept in the massive database that our brain and body can store.
Some memories are even older than us. Think only of one’s pleasure in gazing at a fire, or of one’s deep relaxation in nature, or of people’s attraction towards natural elements…these are undoubtable remnants of the ancestral memories that the human body and mind have carried from the beginning of the world. Primitive and unconscious memories dating far away in time, or more recent experiences from one’s life development, are all well encrypted in our bodies.
Social Media seems to be shaping our concept of beauty nowadays. It can influence how we look at ourselves both positively and negatively, and it is important to understand these effects in order to limit their impact on our mental health. Positive Effects of Social Media on Body Image Health and wellness, fitness, and plant-based food profiles can be inspirational for followers to maintain a healthy and positive outlook on their body image. An organization supporting people with eating disorders claimed that profiles promoting body positivity have created a space for understanding and inclusivity for all body types
EAT MINDFULLY & EMBRACE WHO YOU ARE - CHRISTINE BUSUTTIL
Wherever we turn there are messages everywhere about what we should eat and how we should look. It is no wonder men and women alike are always aspiring for some magic number on the scale or for a particular body shape. Whether it be a larger chest or a rounder bottom, it seems many are not satisfied with their body image and are striving for something that may not be attainable or healthy. Social media now more than ever is constantly bombarding us with “bad foods” and images of how we should look. Why is this bad and why should we be more mindful of how we approach body image and nutrition?
DEALING WITH YOUR FIRST BREAK-UP - GABRIELLE BARTOLI
Break-ups can be really tough especially if it’s your first love :-( You start to experience emotions that you have never experienced before and maybe do not even understand. Your heart feels crushed, you feel angry, confused, experience a shattered self-esteem, and maybe even jealousy all at once. It can feel like somebody died, leaving you with a great big gaping hole inside your chest. You can feel like you’ve lost half of yourself, numb on the inside, or like you will never love or be happy again. People might tell you that you are still young, that you will meet someone else, that there are plenty of fish in the sea, and so on.
It’s five o’clock in the morning, but you can sleep no more as your first thought, the one that woke you up, reminded you that today is the day you are going to meet HIM! Your heart starts racing out of sheer excitement, your eyes can no longer shut, your legs feel restless… and your happiness is such that you cannot help but smile.
He is so cute - with his blonde and fine hair, his strong muscles, his cool glasses which seem to highlight the blue of his kind expressive eyes… You love him so much! And he surely is the best thing that has happened to you. You are already savouring the happiness that his friendly, warm smile transmits once you get closer to hug him! He might bring you a little flower, which he just picked from the side of the road, as he did the first time you dated him…or as happened the last time you met, he might give you another small piece of paper on which he wrote his feelings for you. All treasures that you keep in your special box, in your room, on your shelf… the little blue box with pink polka dots. Your favourite one.
Falling in love is undeniably one of the best feelings in the world. The majority of people who see psychotherapy are either looking for love, too afraid of it or recovering from the loss of it. Our Managing Psychologist and Founder, Cher Engerer, attempts to explain what goes on in our brains through this fundamental human experience.
According to Sigmond Freud, in order for us to find our contentment we need to love and work, work and love. However, in reality , “to love” and to “stay in love” is not as simple as one may think. As a matter of fact, romantic love, may well be one of the most studied but least understood human behaviour regardless of it having existed throughout the ages, across all continents and within most societies. Over the last decade, psychological studies have taken on a new dimension. Through technologies of MRI, imaging of the brains of individuals in the depths of romantic love, we have discovered that the very sight of our loved one is enough to send our brain into a biochemical overload. It was discovered that seeing photos of people we are romantically in love with, causes our brain to become active in regions associated with pleasure and rich with neurotransmitters such as dopamine, known to cause a natural high. The idea that falling in love happens without thinking about it is a phenomenon that frustrates most people. In fact, clients come for psychotherapy hoping to be hypnotised or to be taught ways of forgetting or to stop loving, which of course it’s not something within our human capacity.