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Identity Crisis?

by Sally Stubbs(more info)

listed in holistic psychotherapy, originally published in issue 220 - February 2015

Let us consider what we are talking about here? And in particular how this information will be truly useful to you – or for someone who you really care about?

So that we are on the ‘same page’ let us consider that: 

By ‘Identity’ we mean: Uniqueness, Individuality, Self

And by ‘Crisis’ we mean: Catastrophe

Catastrophe studies and classifies phenomena characterized by sudden shifts in behaviour arising from (small) changes in circumstances. (Rene Thom French Mathematician Catastrophe Theory 1960s)

Catastrophe Theory in our mind - emotional lives has been referred to as: ‘The last straw that broke the camel’s back’ - when psychologically, emotionally and sometimes spiritually ‘our knees buckle’ ‘under the weight’ - of what appears to be only a straw.

We ‘buckle’ and ‘the world’ says to us “It’s just another ‘strawyou can deal with it!” - And we say to our self: “I must keep going - for goodness sake what’s wrong with me!”

We can be in a fury of frustration with our self - but our ‘knees’ just can’t work anymore - and we have no real idea as to why we cannot ‘keep going’ as we were! Logic applied to our circumstances, when we feel we are in Crisis, or Catastrophe, is never lastingly authentic.

For all of us, challenges of course came along in our life! And we can be proud of our selves - we did keep going - we navigated as best we could. We often came out the other side of ‘the tunnel’ - perhaps feeling stronger and definitely feeling relieved.

I have been there! Heavy challenges! For some of us, when we were a youngster, riding our bike alone for the first time is a real ‘heavy’ challenge. We cannot compare our own challenges with those of others.

For me when I was 16 months old - I was so ill I nearly died with meningitis. I continued to be ill on and off until I was aged 8. Then life leveled out - and yeah riding my 2 wheel bike alone for the first time aged 10 was a real challenge! I remember wailing in agitation “Where’s my Dad?”

Aged 19 my marriage of only 9 months ‘broke up’. And yet I kept going! That was a challenge.

Then aged 28/29 - that same marriage finally shattered. This was a time of Crisis - a time of catastrophe. I couldn’t even handle my gold fish dying with any sense of perspective or logic!

This was the time when I sought Therapy. I was rigorous in my ‘dogged’ search for what actually Works Authentically and Universally in the worlds of Therapeutic Strategies - and most importantly what strategies do not work authentically and lastingly.

Sally Stubbs at Sea

Most of us have these serious life transitions that Challenge us - around the age of 28/30 - again when we’re aged around 40 and again aged around 58/60. These Challenges’ can lead us into Crisis or Catastrophe - when we lose our abilities and resourcefulness to navigate. We can feel absolutely ‘stuck’ - like the ‘camel on its knees’ - like a boat at sea - when the weather storms relentlessly and the boat makes no headway towards safe and comfortable land. And we barely have an idea of who “I am” anymore.

What Have You Noticed?

What have you noticed about others who you care for - or you have experienced yourself, particularly in or around these ‘key’ life transitions ages? Such as:

  • Sudden personality changes;
  • Leaving a relationship;
  • Illogical change in job or career;
  • Silences - withdrawn - or inappropriate anger;
  • Substance abuse;
  • Disastrous decisions!

We could discuss at length all of the above points!

To save time here, let’s just consider the first two points.

Sudden personality changes in someone who you care deeply about can leave you adrift, circling round and round with seemingly ‘nowhere’ to go.

Someone whom you care deeply about - leaves you! They have to go off travelling - or to ‘find themselves’ or they have an affair or join a very ‘iffy’ group. You lose ‘your compass’, you feel ‘lost’ thrown on the rocks, you question yourself - you feel it must be your entire fault - you don’t know who you are anymore. This is very, very painful for you.


Sally Stubbs on Harley

The author on a Harley Davidson in America

How We can Deal with these Key Life Transitions, Elegantly?

Let us consider how to ‘Find Your Lost MoJo’. -  (MoJo meaning ‘Your Magic’)

Recently I had a meeting with the famous Dr Michael Harris, a likeminded Hypnotherapist based in Texas.

Dr Harris challenged me to ‘sleep on’ a similar metaphor to ‘your MoJo’ - which is ‘your Magic Stick’ He made reference to a movie called the Medicine Man - in which the tribal Medicine Man (temporarily) loses his ‘Magic Stick’ to science!

† Michael and I are about to do a series of 20 minute broadcasts - on these topics. They will be riveting, informative, fun - and will give some Great tips to help you or someone you care about -  restore ‘Magic’ Do look out for the upcoming broadcasts and join us.

Will ‘Your Magic Stick’ be as powerful as it was, once you find it again?

Yes it will! It remains as bright and pure as a diamond that was once lost in the mud!

First let’s consider ‘Your Magic Stick’ as being Your Identity - Your Uniqueness - Your Self.

Call your ‘Magic’ what you will - ‘Your MoJo’ or, as a Client recently said to me ‘My Magic Wand’- and another Client beautifully said: ‘My Intended Being’. Whatever name/metaphor ‘sits well’ and resonates with You. I’m wondering if - you will want to think about it now - or think about it later when you will have a moment - of insight…………..

As my Great Genius Teacher David Grove says: “Metaphors Be with You”

Our Identity is not ‘something’ we inherited from our predecessors but rather ‘something’ we created ourselves.

When all goes well for us in the first year or two of life - in that we are warm, we are well fed, comfortable, safe and emotionally secure - our ‘MoJo’ flourishes intact.

Then - tough things happen - and one of three main things happens to our ‘MoJo’:

  • We give it away;
  • It is taken from us;
  • We hide it for our own safety.

Do these three main ways of how we lose living with the full power of our ‘MoJo’ make sense to you? OK - a brief explanation:

  1. They’, the important others/adults/peer group in our life, ‘state’: ‘You - will do what we say - you will do it our way - or else you’re ‘out in the cold’.
    Being ‘out in the cold, not accepted, not loved, is not safe - so we give our ‘MoJo’ to ‘them’ and we do it their way;
  2. They’ take our ‘MoJo’ - by all kinds of scary threats: ‘We’ll have you taken away - we won’t feed you - we will actively dislike you’;
  3. Or, the injunctions or threats from ‘them’ - cause us to ‘hide away our MoJo’ for safe keeping. We can begin to know if we ‘hid away our MoJo’- by the experience of ‘uncomfortable’ feelings or sensations in our body, such as: A churning stomach, a lump in the throat, a heaviness in our heart………….

Once we find and free our ‘MoJo’ - we are equipped to navigate the challenges of the transitions in our life. We learn to use our ‘compasses’ – we are back in touch with who we are.

Here is a way for you to begin your search for your own ‘MoJo’ - a Free Gift for you from me, taking you on a safe and interesting journey in the realms of your own Unconscious mind, where you can find and free your own ‘MoJo’.

Enjoy - with my Warmest Wishes.

Further Information on Identity Crisis?

I am very, very excited to have got together with an internationally acclaimed colleague, Angelena Boden - and in the Spring /early summer of this year we will be co-presenting in the UK, workshops on how to resourcefully navigate - ‘Identity Crisis?

Keep a look out for dates and venues on our websites, YouTube, and FaceBook.


You Tube:

Face Book:

Between us Angelena and I have over sixty years of rigorous study, research and experience.

Visit Angelena Here:

Angelena's training style has been described as unique. Highly motivational, interactive, sensitive but content and skills driven, she is passionate about making a difference to everyone who comes into her training room. With 30 years of experience with all kinds of people from public, private and third sector, from young unemployed from challenging backgrounds to senior managers managing conflict at work, Angelena uses a range of techniques designed to change the way people think.

Do please contact me with any questions or thoughts or ideas - on my private email I will be delighted to hear from you.


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About Sally Stubbs

Sally Stubbs MNCP (Snr Accred) FACH DACH is a licensed Psychotherapist and Hypnotherapist with advance training in cutting edge strategies with nearly 30 years solid therapeutic experience. Since 1990 she has been specifically writing and compiling her Therapeutic Courses, in the style of and based on the amazing and successful work of Dr Milton Erickson. Erickson is globally considered to be the 'Grand Father' of Hypnotherapeutic work, and she has been fortunate to study under his prodigy, Dr Ernest Rossi.

Her practice in the Lake District offers therapeutic courses on ailments such as stress, confidence, weight, smoking, phobias and Sally has treated well-known media figures including the columnist Liz Jones, and Brookside actor Steven Pinder as well as others. She has recently written a book called If Life Gives You Lemons - A Short Guide to Happiness and has launched a series of easy to follow CDs on these common ailments that enable you to achieve your goals by changing your mind patterns. Sally may be contacted on Tel: 017687 71377;

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