Archives for 8 April 2023

Are You Speaking the Language of Love?

If you clicked on this blog, you’re either intrigued by the question (what’s she on about?) or dying to find out (well, I hope I can speak the language of love, if not I’m in trouble!).

If someone was to ask me if I spoke the language of love, I’d say a wholehearted YES with no hesitation. After all, having been brought up in a household in the Seventies, listening to songs like All You Need Is Love, Love Me Do, or Woman in Love, I think it’s fair to say that love was part of life, on the radio at least! But speaking the language of love is actually not as common, as easy or as universal as we’re led to believe…

In this blog, I’m going to ask you to consider your relationship with love, introduce you to the work of Dr. Gary Chapman and identify your love languages.

the five languages of love

What’s Your Relationship With Love Like?

Do you wear your heart on your sleeve, only to end up being the one who gets hurt?

Do you say kind words, but never really hear any in return?

Do you love everyone but yourself?

Having realised that I’ve been able to answer YES to every one of these questions at some stage in my life, I was interested in understanding the reasons behind that, and this is when I came across Dr. Gary Chapman’s five love languages.

FIVE love languages? I thought one was complicated enough…Well, there are indeed five, and they don’t include French (although most French people, especially men, would beg to differ!!). So, who is Gary Chapman, and what are these languages?

Gary Chapman and His Work

Gary Chapman is an American pastor and keynote speaker about family, marriage, and relationships. If you’re starting to feel uneasy as I’ve mentioned the word “pastor”, let me reassure you that this is nothing to do with religion and everything to do with a deep understanding of who you are and how you relate to others. 

He wrote a book in the Nineties, called The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, and in this book, he outlines five ways to express and experience love, whether it be to your husband, wife, partner, children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends or colleagues.

He actually claims that each person has one primary and one secondary love language. He also theorises that people tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive it. Sounds interesting? Read on!

The Five Languages of Love

Here are the five love languages as defined by Gary Chapman:

1) Words of affirmation (kind words, compliments)

2) Quality time with your partner (undivided attention)

3) Receiving gifts

4) Acts of service

5) Physical touch

Identifying Your Love Languages

Now, you might immediately be able to identify your primary love language by just reading the above list, but what is maybe even more important is to look at your secondary love language, as this could be the one that you have in common with your partner, children, or other relations.

For me, the aim of doing this is to really understand how we give love and to be able to understand why our needs are sometimes (if not always) not met. If you’re not speaking the same language of love as the other person, and I’m talking about all kinds of love, not just romance, chances are communication will break down and resentment will start to kick in.

It’s like two people who have met up while travelling and who are desperately trying to communicate, except that they don’t speak the other person’s language. No matter how hard they try, they’re both going to feel frustrated, to say the least…

You can imagine how difficult it can be for two people who are in love with each other but need different things when it comes to expressing that love. Imagine that you need to receive gifts to feel loved while your partner prefers words of affirmation. So you spend your time buying presents for your partner to show your love, which he or she doesn’t necessarily appreciate, and your partner tells you how much he or she loves you but that’s not enough for you!

When you become frustrated in a relationship, at home or at work, it’s essential to be able to sit down and discuss your needs with the person opposite you, safe in the knowledge of who you are. I’m sure you’ll agree that a good way to reach a compromise and ultimately have better relationships is to find common ground, so what are you waiting for?!

What do you think your two main love languages are? I’d love to hear from you!

To read more about improving your communication and your relationships, just click here.

If you feel like knowing more about who you are, and how you can enjoy more fulfilling relationships and love yourself more, I offer one-to-one coaching sessions either face-to-face or on Zoom. I invite you to reach out to me, either by sending me a message or booking your SOUL call, a 30-minute call to explore how I can best help you.

Clear Communication For Empowered Relationships

In my experience as a coach, teacher and healer, one of the keys that everyone needs to work on is communication, and especially positive, non-judgemental communication. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told by my clients that their partner/family/boss/colleague doesn’t understand them, take the time to listen, show interest in what they’re doing… This leaves them feeling misunderstood, judged, and even helpless, and when they come to me, they feel like they’ve reached a point of no return. Working on clarifying their communication opens them up to much better and more fulfilling relationships

In this blog, I’m going to share two techniques that I regularly use during my coaching and mentoring sessionsMeta Mirror, a great NLP (neurolinguistic programming) technique, and Non-Violent Communication, an alternative way of communicating created by the late Marshall B. Rosenberg. You will also be able to read a short case study showing you how they work well together.

The first thing I normally do when addressing communication problems is to ask my client to name their biggest difficulty. Is it a problem with speaking? With listening? With understanding or being understood? With expressing their feelings and/or emotions?

Once we’ve got a bit clearer on the root of the problem, I ask them to think back to the last time there was a breakdown in communication with a particular person and to describe what happened and what they could have done differently. This opens them up to different possibilities and helps them to start moving away from feeling like a victim and towards taking their share of responsibility. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango; so, in the event of a breakdown in communication, both parties are responsible, maybe one more than the other, but it’s never 100% one person and 0% the other.

Meta Mirror

A great coaching technique that can be used when revisiting a past experience and seeing it through someone else’s eyes is the Meta Mirror. This is an exercise that brings together a few different perspectives, that of the client, that of the other person involved in the breakdown of communication, and that of an independent observer looking at both people impartially. The aim of this technique is to get the client to gain insight into the past situation and to replace any stuck thoughts and feelings with a greater understanding of the other person and creative ideas to improve their relationship.


At this point, the client has often identified examples of judgemental, accusing, and negative ways of communicating. This is when I introduce Non-Violent Communication (NVC).

Non-Violent Communication

This is a 4-point process which is great for improving our relationships with others, as it generates respect, attention and empathy. Here are the 4 steps involved:

  1. Observations
  2. Feelings
  3. Needs
  4. Requests

Observations: this is an invitation for the client to observe the situation without interpreting or judging it.

Feelings: the focus here is on the client’s FEELINGS and not on what he or she thinks. It’s often difficult for us to identify and be able to talk about how we feel, but it’s an essential part of this communication model.

Needs: this is when the client will talk about his or her needs, which are often not being met, because if they were, there probably wouldn’t have been a breakdown in communication in the first place.

Requests: this final step is really important and sometimes overlooked. If the client stops before making a request, all he or she has really been doing is talking about himself or herself. Communication is a two-way process, so we need to have the other party involved in it. Making requests and not demands on the other person is a great way of inviting them to share things with us, to participate, to help us, and to make both our lives better.

non-violent communication

Case Study

Here’s an example of how this can work. One of my clients came to me after having had a blazing row with her partner, which ended up with them both not talking to each other for days. As my client is a highly sensitive, empathetic person, she finds it difficult to talk about how she’s feeling and generally tends to keep all of this to herself. I suggested she use the NVC technique to calmly express herself to her partner. This is what she came up with:

When I hear you shout at me because I have spent time with my friends rather than with you, I feel guilty and angry because I need to have my girls’ night out, it helps me to unwind, and I enjoy spending time in their company. If you want to spend time with me, how about going to the cinema this weekend?”.

As you can see from the above example, my client used the word ‘I’ most of the time, and only included ‘You’ in the request phase of the process. This is a guarantee of non-judgemental communication and a creative idea of how to improve her relationship with her partner. He is now able to understand why she spends time with her friends, even if he doesn’t approve, and is in a position to accept her invitation to the cinema. Instead of the shouting escalating into a row, which is what happened previously, any future conflict will be able to be resolved peacefully using clear, positive words that are used to simply state the facts from my client’s point of view.

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to totally change your perspective and improve the way you communicate with others!

If any of this sounds familiar, I invite you to reach out to me, either by sending me a message or booking your SOUL call, a 30-minute call to explore how I can best help you.

This blog was originally written for the online coaching magazine, International Coaching News, and published in the 26th edition in September 2019.

The Power of Tapping Our Fears Away

When I first discovered EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) back in 2018, I was so amazed at its power that I trained to become a certified practitioner. I’d previously had therapy to help me heal from a slipped disc at the bottom of my spine and had also trained in NLP (neurolinguistic programming) as part of my diploma in Performance Coaching. But this took things to the next level… or rather it took them a lot deeper.

Here’s the reason why: whenever we experience a traumatic event (it could be a single event or something that is repeated), our body registers it somewhere, together with the emotions that we felt at that particular moment in time.

As the majority of us are extremely resilient, even if we don’t admit it, we can often tend to ‘just get on with life’… until life decides to remind us of a particular traumatic event, in the form of a limiting belief, lack of self-esteem, self-confidence and/or self-love, for example. Depending on what we experienced and on our individual capacity to heal, “traditional” coaching can be enough to accept this, process this and move forwards.

In my experience, there are times when more traditional coaching methods simply don’t work for deeply embedded trauma, fear, or stress because the obstacle pops up further down the path the client is on. In this blog, I’d like to share the origins of EFT, the benefits of having an EFT session and how it works.

The Origins of EFT

EFT was founded in 1991 by Gary Craig, a student of the late Roger Callahan, the father of tapping therapy. Callahan was one of the founders of energy psychology, which can be described as “acupuncture without needles”, and is a combination of exposure therapy and meridian point stimulation. If you don’t know what exposure therapy is, it involves exposing the patient/client to the source of anxiety or its context, without the intention to cause any danger.

As I’ve already mentioned, traumatic events trapped in our mind/body can have a negative impact on our life, and it is believed that energy psychology techniques can help us release these events more rapidly than if we simply talk about them. The process of tapping on meridian points is intended to send signals to the brain, to help it to regulate any physical and emotional reactions affecting our health and well-being.

The Benefits of EFT

Tapping on acupuncture points is thought to help stabilise cortisol levels and balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, thus reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress, among other issues.

It has been found that EFT leads to a 68% decrease in physical problems, such as pain and disease, and a 45% decrease in psychological problems, like anxiety and depression, fear, and phobia.

The results can be very quick, and it sometimes only takes one EFT session to bust through a client’s blockages and move forwards. Here’s what some of my EFT clients have to say:

Carolanne “My session with you was enlightening, unexpected and deeply healing.”

Sarah “Sarah guided and supported me beautifully throughout the process of releasing the energy of some very painful childhood experiences, and I felt so much lighter afterwards.”

Lucille “Straight after our session, I felt my energy begin to move again, releasing blockages that were stuck in my body.”

How EFT Works

So, how does EFT work? One of the wonders of EFT is that you can practice it alone, without any former training, whenever you feel stressed or anxious about something relatively minor. You can access my introductory video explaining what it is and how to do an EFT sequence here:

The steps below are to be followed if you are doing this alone. They will vary if you have an EFT session with me, as I’m trained to deal with trauma and much deeper issues. Part of my expertise is the ability to create many different reminder phrases and introduce them at the right time during the tapping process. 

I’m also trained in making sure that you’re safe during and after the session and dealing with extremely intense emotions that can come up while tapping certain meridian points. When working with me, you will repeat everything I say and will be guided throughout the whole process. I also use some NLP techniques to identify and get to the heart of the problem and the trapped emotions.

The 7 Step Self-Help Process

There are 7 steps to the self-help process, and it’s important to follow them in this order:

  1. Recognize the problem: First of all, you must identify your problem. It can be physical or emotional, but focus on the issue that is troubling you, for example feeling stressed about losing clients.
  2. Create a reminder phrase: After identifying the issue, make a short phrase that summarises your problem. Fix it in your mind, so you get focused during the rest of the process, e.g. I’m really stressed about losing clients.
  3. Rate the issue: Now, rate the intensity of your problem on a 0 – 10 scale and understand how important the issue is. 10 indicates that your stress is through the roof. It’s not uncommon for my clients to begin with an intensity of 8 or 9.
  4. Set up an affirmation: Create a self-affirming statement, which is positive. Repeat the statement frequently so that you will feel better when you think about your problem. For example, “Even though I am really stressed about losing clients, I deeply and completely accept myself”. Repeat the statement as you tap on the meridian points mentioned below, in step 5.
  5. Perform the tapping sequence: The tapping process should cover all 8 meridian points of your body in the following order. You will begin with the top of the eyebrow, then move to the side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, under the chin, under the collar bone, under the arm, and finally the top of the head. The tapping must be very gentle, but it should be constant and firm taps. Use your index and middle fingers to tap.
emotional freedom technique EFT diagram
  1. Re-rate the issue: Now, rate your issue on the same scale from 0 – 10. The aim of this reassessment is to see how much better you feel and to ideally reach an intensity of 1 or 2 maximum.
  2. Repeat the process if necessary: If you still struggle with the same issue, you can either change your affirmation statement with some more positive sentence and/or repeat the whole process again.

I only recommend doing EFT on your own for relatively recent, non-traumatic events. Click here for my latest video called Tapping Into Joy, which will guide you through the emotional scale to reach a feeling of joy. If you’re struggling with childhood trauma, intense stress or deep-rooted fear, for example, then please reach out to me, either by sending me a message or booking your SOUL call, a 30-minute call to explore how I can best help you.