Andre Radmall MA MSc BA, is a psychotherapist and life coach with twenty years experience www.andreradmall.com.
He works with people struggling with addictions, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and stress and provides relationship & family therapy. He also counsels entrepreneurs, leaders and people facing change.
His unique approach enables his clients to rewrite their life story and create a new future. In his new book, 'Get Unstuck - Change the Script, Change your Life' available on Amazon, André draws on his experience as a therapist and actor to help people break out of stuck patterns. This approach can be used in relationships, business or personal life.
Why did you write the book?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an epochal effect on all of our lives. Over the last 18 months, people all over the UK have faced stressful and overwhelming challenges. With it, for many, came stress and anxiety and a raft of problems as their normal professional and personal life patterns were disrupted.
Public health regulations, essential to limit the spread of the virus, such as social distancing, have made many people feel lost, isolated and lonely. However, others have been resilient to the changes and have adapted into new ways of living seeing the last 18 months as a chance to reset,
It is against this backdrop of seismic social and economic change imposed upon us by the pandemic that I decided to write my new book, 'Get Unstuck' which combines anecdotal evidence from my work as a counsellor with practical tips and advice designed to help readers move from old ways of thinking and behaving to constructing new life stories.
What problems have people experienced over the last year and a half?
In my therapy and coaching practice I have seen a massive increase of stress and anxiety in clients as a direct response to the pandemic. Many have or are continuing to experienced fear, anger, sadness, concern, apathy, or frustration, some have spoken of changes in appetite, energy, desires, and interests, some have had difficulty concentrating, making decisions and sleeping, while others have struggled with addictions or a recounted a worsening of pre-existing physical and mental health conditions.
Are we going through a time of change on a bigger scale than anything we have experienced in our lifetime?
Yes, the pandemic has brought change across the world and at a scale that is barely imaginable. This level of change is on a scale unlike anything we have ever seen before. It has affected the way we work, relate to others, including our families and even how we see our future. Unlike other changes which come and go, this one has consistently stayed with us for 18 months and shows no sign of letting up at the worldwide level.
However, coming out of the pandemic as I hope we are, a large number of people have seen some upsides to the experience, for example, they have enjoyed remote working and the opportunity to achieve a better work life balance, most are more cognisant of the importance of family and the local community, and the need to take greater responsibility for the planet.
Have we as people changed our habits? Are we living in a new normal?
We have not only changed our habits but we have got stuck in new ones. Because of the length of time that we have been socially distancing and wearing masks, we are now quite set in these patterns.
In your work as a coach and therapist it is your job to help people change. How do you help people step beyond these habits?
Well the truth is that we are all creatures of habit. I call these habits stories. We grow up being shaped by all kinds of stories about who we are. These come from our culture, gender, race and many other contexts. Above all, we get shaped by what happens to us. If bad things happen we often shrink back into a cage of fear and stress and avoidance. The pandemic has not helped these tendencies. Indeed for some, it has been a relief to be socially isolated. The problem now is that in the UK the expectations about mixing with others is kicking back in again. In my book, I give some practical tips for a) identifying the story you're stuck in b) creating an alternative narrative for your life and c) living that story out in practice.
Can you give an example of one tip for living a new story?
I have a saying that if you can't see it you can't do it. This refers to the power of visualisation. If for example you identify that your story about yourself is full of negatives like: ' I'm stupid, no one sees my worth or nothing ever works out for me' you can reverse this story with phrases like: 'I am valuable and I have important things to say'. This new 'script' then becomes the foundation for a new story. You can visualise your day in advance as if all the more positive narratives are being lived out in your life. Imagine having any difficult meetings or conversations on the basis of the new script. This resets our minds and makes us much more open to living a life less controlled by fear.
As a therapist I have come to realise that it is easy to have good thoughts and good intentions but unless we put these into action, that is often all we have, good ideas but no real change. My experience as an actor and film director has blended together with my work as a therapist to give me a very embodied perspective on real change. So I am an advocate of the action first, feelings second approach. In other words, if an actor waited to feel the right feelings for the role and story they are playing they might never get on the stage. I think it is helpful to take new actions and let the thoughts and feelings catch up.
You can listen to him on his Pivot Points podcast.
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LinkedIn: Andre Radmall