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The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.
Don’t give others the power to choose for you, trust the truth in your heart to be your guide.
There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
- C S Lewis

Only one person can change your life: YOU!
Holistic, mind-body counselling & coaching for adults & young
people like you ready to move on from anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, perfectionism, self-sabotage, health issues & unhelpful beliefs.

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Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.
How would you feel if you weren’t afraid?
“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement.” – Brené Brown
What’s stopping you?

Isnt time you “Marie Kondo”-ed the Mental Clutter from the “Home” inside your Head?

February 26, 2019

By Catherine Nyika, Holistic Counsellor, Social Worker, Educator and Certified EFT Practitioner

As I write, Marie Kondo Mania is sweeping across the world like a tidal wave and little old Bondi, in Sydney, Australia, is no exception. Just recently I stopped to pick up a girlfriend who had been struck down with the Kon Mari bug, on our way to our weekly social netball competition. As she slumped into the passenger seat I couldn’t help but notice she seemed forlorn, and melancholic. She shared with me she was feeling exhausted, and a tad irritated which is out of character for her. I wondered if the “Super Moon” was impacting on her moods as I also had found myself quite irritated and agitated during the week. “No – I’ve been Marie Kondo-ing my house, it’s so intense”, was the response. As I sighed deeply, out of my mouth came the words, “Oh no! Not you too”!


In case you’ve been asleep the last few months, the famous “KonMari Method” for de-cluttering your life has made it to Netflix with the touching and inspiring documentary series entitled: “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” Over the eight episodes of the show, renowned tidying expert Marie tries to help overwhelmed people de-clutter their homes and in the process, their lives too. Each episode follows a different family with varying life stories and situations, desperate to make changes to the chaos of their homes; there’s the ‘empty nest’ couple whose who have spread themselves across the entire house since the kids have moved out, the young couple with toddlers trying to stay on top of the daily grind and keep their relationship alive, and the middle aged mother of adult children trying to move on after the death of her beloved husband. Rather than focussing solely on throwing things away in the attempt to de-clutter, which can only cause unhappiness, Marie Kondo asks the families to hold each item in their hands and agree to only keep those which “spark joy”. 

My friend had spent the day going through the tidying of all her old photography boxes and found herself caught up in the visual reminders of where she “could’ve”, “would’ve”, “should’ve”, and “didn’t” pursue things, people and places in her life. The process of de-cluttering and letting go of the remnants of this time in her life had left her feeling sad and torn between the ‘holding on’ and ‘letting go’. No joy was being sparked in this challenging exercise. So, maybe this because my friend had not followed the Kon Mari ‘ideal order’ in which you tidy up (she had mistakenly placed her photos under ‘paperwork’ instead of ‘sentimental’), OR is it because letting go of anything symbolic, with the love and grace required can just be so incredibly hard?

Similarly to the participants in this documentary who live life inside a house jam-packed with ‘stuff’, many of the amazing clients I get to work with find themselves constantly distracted living a life jammed packed with ‘emotional stuff’ that just isn’t ‘sparking joy’ for them. The only difference is that rather than asking me to help them organise the mess of the house, they take me for a tour around a messy head jam-packed with self-sabotaging, self-limiting and self-defeating internal clutter. This is where I am in my element.

Instead of drowning in closets full of clothes never worn and cupboards overflowing with Tupperware, the clients I see may find themselves drowning in; 

  • Regrets from the past that cause guilt and worry
  • Long-term projects still to be completed
  • Deadlines for work
  • Unrealised dreams, goals and ambitions
  • Blatant reminders that their relationships with partner, kids or friends are suffering
  • Or ill health that they recognise is a result of on-going stress and overwhelm

There’s no doubt that living in a home that is free from chaos, clutter and disorganisation offers us a sense of peace and ease, so why is it that we really struggle to establish or want to establish that same sense of peace and ease within our own emotional lives? Just Image the joy that would be sparked by simplifying and organising our lives by getting rid of the mental and emotional clutter of anguish, stress and overwhelm. You know what I’m talking about, the negative inner mind chat you’ve been experiencing every damn day, the voice that tells you; you will never be good enough, that you will be ‘outted’ for the fraud or imposter you are at work, that you are not truly deserving of the good things in your life!

Just like the Kon Mari Method for de-cluttering your home, sometimes all you need is a road map or a formula to help you to de-clutter the chaos in your mind. This is where I turn up to give you that road map necessary to access an emotional and mental breakthrough, and in the process, bring the joy, peace and ease back into your life. That road map is Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and it will change your life as it has mine.

In my Sydney and online based Holistic Counselling and Coaching Clinic, The Inner shine Clinic, I often talk to my clients about learning to “come home to yourself” – a self that feels at peace, at ease and de-cluttered from outside unhelpful noise as well as internal negative dialogue. Of course we all walk around with our wounds, our memories, our traumas and our losses. We then make sense of our lives through our live experiences, helpful or otherwise. It’s natural and normal but just like your physical home, things get messy and chaotic when you don’t make the time to go through all the ‘stuff’ you have stored up inside your mind. Many of the experiences, labels and beliefs we keep stored up in the attics of our mind have been stagnant and gathering dust for some time. Even when we no longer need to hold on to the stale old energy, deep in our sub-conscious we believe there is actually a benefit to holding on, to staying small, to staying stuck to the mental clutter. It takes courage to transform and burst out of the cocoon, new, raw and vulnerable – sometimes if feels safer to stay stuck where we are!

I want to share with you my ‘takeaways’ from my own recent Kon-Mari experience because I believe it highlights why de-cluttering for peace and ease should be about the ‘inside job’ rather than how things appear aesthetically on the outside. Like many other women around the world, I caught the Marie Kondo virus. It was a mild case and to be honest I got only as far organising the clothes for the family (which took me two whole days), before I decided to chuck in the towel. I found myself getting annoyed, overwhelmed and irritated, thinking “what’s the point”, “nobody will appreciate my efforts” and “it will all be a mess again in no time”. Also, surprisingly there arose in me some deep seated, suppressed angry towards my partner who I told myself, didn’t feel a calling to do HIS share of the load because he believes the tidying and organising is MY DOMAIN. The noise in my mind told me he was only willing to cheer me on from the sidelines. This internal dialogue inside the messy house in my head was too big to contain; very quickly I perceived that my core need for gender equality was being deprived, I felt triggered, out of control and I was fast running out of ‘joy’ for the project. My powerful mind in just one thought had convinced me that my partner was out to cause me suffering! Like many things I’ve had to face in my life, my mind wanted to give up before it got too hard, to throw that unwanted emotion on the pile of mental clutter building up in my internal home.

Fortunately I have in my back pocket the powerful tools of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to use as a road map for organising my mental anguish. EFT helps me stay curious to the strong emotions that I experience. It enables me to radically shift my stressful beliefs about my life and other people rather than internalise negative belief systems that are unhelpful and usually have no proof to validate their perceived power over my life.

Stagnant clutter whether it is energetic, emotional, mental, physical or spiritual, can prevent you from creating the life you want and deserve. Through the gentle process of EFT we ‘tap’ on a series of nine points that activate key body meridians. By giving voice to the tape that’s already playing out in your head while tapping these specific points, you can release tension related to those repetitive negative thoughts. When you can welcome a nurturing place in your mind where you have permission to acknowledge the struggles and stress in your life, with out criticism or judgment (as you do in an EFT session), you will respond to inner healing processes more efficiently and productively. Once you are able to release anxiety in relation to the issues that distress you, you too will have room to reframe the issue, see it from a fresh new perspective and see a way to move forward instead of staying stuck and punishing yourself with unhelpful internal dialogue.

So can you admit that all this noise in your head and all your past pain in storage in your heart don’t “spark joy” in your one beautiful life? Time to realise that your internal wellbeing is far more important than the appearance of your external home.

So why do you stay stuck in the emotional clutter, when you could Marie Kondo your internal home too? Now that the house is organised, it’s time to become practiced at the art of organising mental and emotional clutter. Open the door to the clutter and blockages inside your busy mind and asked yourself if certain feelings, issues or people in our lives are truly sparking joy OR if they need to be gently thanked, let go and removed?

If you would like to:

  • Feel more relaxed in your internal home,
  • rewire the limiting cognitive dialogue of your exhausted brain to enable a change in mindset and
  • restore your natural energy back into your wonderful body so you can
  • relieve negative feelings, emotions and physical ailments that originate from the energy disruption you currently experience;

Then it’s time to experience my favourite strategy for clearing your mind clutter and other negative  emotions, quickly and effectively. Head to the website homepage to book in at The Inner Shine Clinic to learn the Emotional Freedom Techniques that will finally set your mind free. Availability for new clients now:https://www.theinnershineclinic.com.au

* Images courtesy of Unsplash.com 

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Create a Life You Don’t Need a Vacation From: Moving Beyond “I’m not Enough-ness”.

February 5, 2019

By Catherine Nyika, Holistic Counsellor, Social Worker, Educator & Certified EFT Practitioner

“Atelophobia”; [A-tel-o-pho-bia] the fear of imperfection. The fear of never being good enough.

Nicola* arrives home from work and crumbles into a heap on the sofa. She longs to pour herself a large glass of wine but instantly remembers that her New Year’s resolution was to avoid ‘unwinding’ with alcohol and besides, she knows it’s not great for her waistline.

Nicola’s best friend has suggested she try out this great yoga class tonight to help easy the stress and overwhelm, but the thought of yoga or meditation makes her squirm as it challenges the fragile part of her that doesn’t like stillness and always wants to get things ‘right’.
“What if you can’t do it and you embarrass yourself in front of everyone”, the voice of the inner critic screams silently. Nicole doesn’t go. She can’t bear to feel worse than she already does.

On the outside, Nicola appears to look like she has it all together. She needs you to think she has it all together because anything less than that would be a failure. She’s always been a high achiever, determined, focused, reliable, and motivated. Her friends would say she has the “ideal perfect life” on paper and is hitting all her targets at work and appears to balance work and personal life with ease.

At work Nicole realises she is a bit of a people pleaser. She has a desire to do well and an overwhelming fear of the consequence of not doing well. She feels great when she is approved of and affirmed by her boss but feels completely shattered when she doubts her performance is to the best of her ability. The illusion of “always needing to appear strong and capable, have it all together and be in control of everything”, (especially her emotions), has taken its toll on Nicole. It’s impacting on her physically, mentally and emotionally and she’s burnt out due to constant worry, fear and doubt about whether she is good enough. It’s become harder and harder to deal with the setbacks in her life and she realises its now interfering with her significant relationships.

Perfectionism or what I like to call “I’m never enough-ness” effects so many highly successful women, perhaps just like yourself. In a world where women can do anything and everything, strong women want to seize every opportunity to shine. When you are a self–directed perfectionist, you tell yourself, it’s not ok be mediocre, or vulnerable, and that it’s definitely not ok to share your inadequacies, insecurities and disappointments.

The dark side of having extremely high standards and being constantly so hard on yourself is that it can lead you down a path of anxiety, depression, and addictions. “I’m never enough-ness” fuels fears, procrastination, frustration and disappointment. It seeks to crush your self-esteem because the reality is, you just can’t keep up. This is what happened to Nicole*.

If you relate to any of Nicole’s story, I can help support you to get your life back on track with EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Coaching and Holistic Counselling. By combining talk therapy and tapping on acupressure points, I can help you to gently let go of your core beliefs around your worth, your value and your “enough-ness”. You can rewire your mindset for self-love, self-acceptance and “enough-ness”. Learn how to restore your body’s natural energy so you no longer feel overwhelmed or burnt out.

It’s time to truly know that you were not made to be perfect and that you are amazing as you are. You were made to be authentic so stop striving to live up to some preconceived notion of what ‘success’ looks like. It’s the imperfections that make you and the things around you beautiful.

If you would like to find out how you can work with me, email me at:
[email protected] or go to our website to find out about our coaching packages: https://www.theinnershineclinic.com.au/

*not client’s real name.

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8 Things to Say “Goodbye” to in 2019, So You Can Live your Best Life.

December 31, 2018

By Catherine Nyika, Holistic Counsellor, Social Worker, Educator & Certified EFT Practitioner


“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello” – Paul Coelho

As we close the door on another year, what are you saying hello to in 2019?

Here are some Inner Shine Clinic suggestions for you:

  • Hello to backing yourself no matter what
  • Hello to being courageous
  • Hello to stillness
  • Hello to letting your light shine on the world
  • Hello to self-love….self-acceptance…..a love affair with yourself……


If you are brave enough to let go of what has held you back and frustrated the hell out of you in 2018, amazing things lie waiting for you, this I know for certain. In 2019 its time to say “hello” to your gorgeous new self!

It’s so tiring to constantly compare yourself with others, you kid yourself that the ‘perfect’ people I see you following on instagram really do have “the best life ever”. Perhaps you see the life you long to have but you tell yourself, it could never happen to you, it’s out of reach. Admit it to yourself, it’s soul destroying to consistently berate yourself for not sticking to that diet, for shouting at your kids, ‘screwing up’ at work, or struggling to maintain relationships with others when you feel so exhausted all the time. Are you sick of always feeling that you are not good enough, clever enough, successful enough – just not enough! It’s ENOUGH! Things have to change because you are and have ALWAYS been amazing and more than enough, just as you are, right here, right now.

So dear one, are you committed to saying goodbye to the things that just don’t serve you anymore? New energies are coming into your life and all you need to do is say goodbye to these 8 things that have held you back in 2018.

8 Things to say goodbye to in 2019:

  1. Trying to please everyone: it’s not your job to make other people happy and you can’t please everyone, all the time, so stop it!
  2. Living in the past: you can’t prevent, fix, stop, change what has already happened so stop ruminating on the past and let it go – you can however influence your future and create the energy you would like to move towards.
  3. Over thinking: our precious brains do so much for us and sometimes they are relentless in their quest to make us feel like absolute losers. Thank your mind for alerting you to something that is worrying it and give it permission to take a break. Feel into your body, the truth of what is really going on. Try to live in the present moment rather than over-think the past or worry about the future. When you say goodbye to over thinking you will also be saying goodbye to suffering.
  4. Fearing change: to start a new chapter in your life, you have to finish one first. Change can be hard, I get it, but staying stuck where you are is even harder. Change needs to happen in order to grow. You’ve outgrown the old ways and you know it. EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or Tapping is a fantastic tool for helping shift your fixed mindset if your fear of change is too overwhelming.
  5. Being afraid to be your authentic self: Brene Brown says “authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are”. Close your eyes and ask yourself, “Am I truly being myself”? Have you been covering up your true self and being who you think others want you to be since you were a young child? When you don’t feel free to be “yourself”, dis-ease shows up in the body. It’s your body’s way of telling you “hey, I’m not happy, I feel like a fraud”. This year I finally embraced my authentic self and it was the most freeing and liberating experience. Go on, I dare you to be bold! Start “doing YOU”!
  6. Thinking you are not good enough: you have internalised this old negative message for way to long! Perhaps you learn this limiting belief from your family, a teacher, someone you trusted when you were too young to even comprehend that it wasn’t even your belief to take on! Your journey to self-love will be on-going but this is one message that needs to be eliminated right now! You are enough, just as you are, full stop.
  7. Sacrificing your happiness for others: when you say ‘yes’ to meeting another’s needs for happiness, you are often saying “no” to your own precious needs. This is something that women in particular have done and have been expected to do, since the beginning of time. There is a difference between whole-heartedly wanting to make someone else’s life more wonderful and compromising your own needs. When you “sacrifice” your happiness, it comes at a cost; to you AND to the person you are putting first. That cost can manifest as resentment, anger, disconnect, isolation, stress and many other negative symptoms. In 2019, you are putting your needs first!
  8. Thinking you have no purpose: We don’t all need to know our true life’s purpose in 2019, but we do need to say goodbye to the notion that our lives won’t contribute or serve any purpose because it’s simply not true. In 2019 I invite you to explore what lights you up. If you are not waking up feeling excited about your day, if you are in a job that isn’t fulfilling you anymore, if you find yourself surrounded by people who bring you down, or if you are ignoring your dreams because you are afraid of change, the chances are that it’s time to reconnect to your hearts purpose.

A gentle EFT session to kick-start the year will guide and inspire you onto your path of finally living your best life in 2019. I’m so excited for you; it’s going to be an amazing year!

To learn more about how EFT can support you to really say goodbye to the things that held you back in 2018 please email me at [email protected] or check out our website.

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Feel Inspired & Empowered to Shine with My Top Ten Podcast Recommendations

November 13, 2018

By Catherine Nyika, M.Ed, Accredited Social worker, Counsellor, Coach & Certified EFT Practitioner.

I need to confess that I am a podcast junkie! I listen to an episode of an hour-long podcast at least once a day and my all time favourites will be on rotation dependant on my mood. You may find me listening to a podcast as I fold up laundry, whilst I do my daily exercise, as I drive to work, as I cook dinner, and sometimes as I wind down from my day and get ready to sleep. The right podcast at the right moment can; motivate & inspire me, it can offer me a different perspective on a problem I may be experiencing, it can provide me with information on a random topic I knew nothing about, it can make me laugh till it hurts or when needed, it can touch my heart and help me release some much needed tears of emotion.
Podcasts have grown in popularity, drawing listeners in with the narrative style of media allowing us to feel as though we are in some way personally connected to each story. As of 2018 there are over 525, 000 active podcasts and many of these have highly engaged audiences who stick around for a long time. There is research showing that audiences are more likely to retain detailed information when it is delivered as part of a narrative via a podcast rather than simply listening to a list of facts alone because us humans tend to think in stories.

As someone who works within a helping profession my podcast library leans heavily towards the self-help/self development section. Podcasts have helped me through the darkest moments as well as affirmed the joyous moments experienced when I feel my best self, recognising how far I’ve come in my own healing journey. I am not afraid to share my podcast library unlike my Spotify playlists. In fact, you might find me at a dinner party sharing my most telling and intimate podcast library with a total stranger. Every time someone views my library and then recommends another podcast to me I subscribe straight away because I choose to see it as a sign that there is a gift hiding inside one of those episodes, just for me. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear” (Buddha). Yet in a time when our smart phones are having a pernicious influence on us thanks to social media overload, the ever faithful and uplifting podcast in my library serve to keep me connected to my humanness and also my pursuit to see and be the good in the world.
So, without further ado, I would like to share with you ten of my current favourite self-development podcasts in no particular order (because that would just be too challenging): 

1. Super Soul Conversations with Oprah: “Who is Oprah”, said no one! Who doesn’t love this podcast, seriously? Oprah gets better and better with age and with this podcast she seeks to “awaken, discover and connect to the deeper meaning of the world” around us. Her choice of guests and topics just inspire the hell out of me. She hand selects the most influential thought leaders and spiritual luminaries in the world to share “a-ha moments”. Oprah asks “big” spiritual questions of all her guests including “what is the soul”? I like to practice my answers, should I ever receive the call that Oprah wants to interview me. This podcast is guaranteed to light you up and “bring you one step closer to your best self”. 

2. Under the Skin with Russell Brand: The Russell Brand I remember was an obnoxious drunk who moved from one volatile destructive relationship with another celebrity to the next. This Russell Brand will explode your brain. I sometimes have to listen to an episode a couple of times in order for the depth of concepts to truly ‘land’. These conversations with Brand’s guests get very intellectual and deep. If I could recommend just one episode to you it’s the one with Dr. Gabor Mate (renowned addiction and childhood trauma specialist) discussing what happens when damaged, traumatised people lead the world and alludes to a certain US president. It’s a fascinating episode and well worth making time for.

3. Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert: If you haven’t read “Eat, Pray, Love” then you’ve probably watched the movie I’m guessing. Author of “Big Magic” and “Eat, Pray, Love”, Elizabeth Gilbert hosts a brilliant, inspirational podcast where she helps aspiring creatives to overcome their fears, their creative obstacles and empowers them to “create more joyfully”. There is a little magic in every episode for everyone. This podcast really helped me to “show up for myself” as I moved into private practice, which was what my heart was calling me to do.

4. Kind World: This is a gorgeous, uplifting podcast with short 5-10 minute episodes featuring stories that will remind you that the world is a good place (something we need to remind ourselves of when we are in a bad space in our own lives). When I listen to short stories of the kind, selfless and caring acts of complete strangers, then I feel inspired to shine my light and be an active participant in this “Kind World’. A delicious podcast for people who feel they don’t have much time for podcasts!

5. Live Awake: I just need to say; I am SO in love with Sarah Blondin creator of Live Awake. Once when my friend an I were trapped in a 75 minute post Ed Sheeran concert traffic jam with our tween daughters, I put on a couple of episodes of this exquisite guided meditation and everyone (apart from me as I was driving) was lulled into a blissful sleep. Sarah has the voice of an angel. She composes gentle spoke word reflections alongside grounding music and guided meditation in order to bring you back home to yourself. If you struggle to unwind at night with too many thoughts and inner critic dialogue pushing you down, then you need this podcast in your life. Of “Live Awake” Sarah says: “It is a place where one can come to close their eyes and rest a while on their breath, and see all they trouble and toil alongside is truly a gold lined cloud, holding a message of great hope and learning cradled within it”. Ahhhh, divine!

6. Low Tox Life with Alexx Stuart: If you would like to improve your health and wellbeing whilst being ethical and sustainable, then this podcast is for you! Host Alexx Stuart is down-to-earth, warm and just so real. Her podcast rejects the notions of perfection (yay!) and is a relaxed and curious dialogue with guests rather than a “this is the right way to live” approach. I love the way you don’t have to be a complete vegan hippy to get something out of this podcast in order to start feeling more awesome about your health and wellbeing. The topics covered are fascinating and vary from mind happiness to fashion, life coaching, sustainable foods, inflammation to energy healing and modern mystics – this podcast is never dull.

7. All in the Mind ABC RN: I am fascinated with the mind/brain/body relationship and the connections with our behaviours. The therapist in me is drawn to this radio programme podcast as a passive form of continued professional development. Some episodes are highly scientific, some are very personal but all are very interesting. Some very important topics discussed include; The art of empathy, mothering and mental illness, preventing suicide and the mental health of refugees, which is a topic very close to my heart.

8. Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel: I’m new to this podcast and I love it. A friend with great taste recommended it to me. If you’ve ever had a problem with a relationship (and who hasn’t?) then Esther is your go to therapist. Esther is a Belgian psychotherapist who explores the tension between the need for security and the need for freedom in human relationships. She is recognised as one of “the most insightful and original voices on modern relationships”. In her podcast “Where should we begin”, Esther lets us listen in on couples’ real and unscripted consultations – hmmm, a bit voyeuristic I hear you say? It says more about me than it does about you really! Needless to say, this makes for juicy listening especially when couples learn new things about each other during a session! I think this podcast allows us to feel less alone in the world and that we are not the only one out there with relationship issues. Perel is a master in what she does and she inspires me to be a better therapist.

9. The Art of Authenticity with Laura Coe: I know the word “authentic” has become a bit of an annoying buzzword, but it’s what I’m striving for in this world – the quest to be more honest, more vulnerable, and more REAL in my life. The Art of Authenticity is “a real-world guide on navigating a life of meaning and success, despite what life throws at you”. This is also the intention behind my private practice, The Inner Shine Clinic in many ways. Laura interviews many amazing thought leaders, authors, entrepreneurs and CEO’s on what being authentic means to them. Guests speak to their failures as well as their successes and there are subtle lessons for all of us to take into our own lives. Some great episodes include: “Can a single act of compassion make a difference? The answer is yes”, “Are you racing through life without experiencing stillness” and “Are you afraid that you will be Self-Absorbed if you are true to yourself”.

10. The Tapping Solution with Nick Ortner: As an EFT Practitioner I get so much value from this podcast for myself as well as recommending it to my clients. In this podcast Nick covers topics such as Tapping for clearing a traumatic event, Tapping for loss and Grief and many other important issues. In between coming to clinic for 1:1 support, you can tap along with Nick as he guides you through meditations and conversations on relevant issues. The Ortner family are doing great things for spreading the word on how life changing and helpful Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can be for people wanting to make significant, long lasting changes in their lives.

So there you have it, my top ten podcast picks, for the moment! If you have any suggestions or recommendations for podcasts that have inspired you or supported you through tough times, then please reach out to me at: [email protected]

Happy Listening!


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Six Reasons Why an HSC Wellbeing Coaching Session Today Will Help Your Child To Thrive During Exams Focussed, Productive AND Stress Free.

October 1, 2018

By Catherine Nyika, M.Ed, Accredited Social Worker, Counsellor, Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner


I’m cringing as I think back to the days when my friends and I used to take caffeine pills we’d got hold of from the petrol station in order to stay awake all night and ‘cram’ in any last minute study before exams. Goodness only knows what those pills use to do to my strung out adolescent body and mind. I wonder now if all the stress and pressure was even worth it? I know I could have done better if I’d pushed myself harder and yet I remember vividly, my mental wellbeing took a battering over that time.

Now, more than ever before, our young people struggle with increased levels of stress and pressure. With HSC looming around the corner, this stress and pressure can easily build up and become too overwhelming for many adolescents. This is the time of year we need to keep a close eye on our children sitting senior exams. Whilst we want them to do well and achieve to their highest potential –we also know that mental health statistics for our youth in this country are not looking positive and the reality is that extra pressure can lead to young people feeling on edge. According to the 2017 Mission Australia Mental Health Youth Survey, the top issues of concern facing our teens are 1) coping with stress, 2) school or study problems and 3) body image.

The constant pressure on our teenagers to deliver top HSC exam results in this country is neglecting their harder-to-measure qualities and character such as self-reliance, emotional balance and determination. We often read in parenting education forums about how we need to teach our kids to have ‘grit’ and become more resilient. But does ‘grit’ go hand-in-hand with unhealthy behaviours such as staying up all night or staying hidden in the bedroom eating poor quality food for weeks on end in the quest for achievement?

This leads me to the following questions; how is HSC preparation readiness impacting on you and your child in the lead up to exams and what are YOU doing to ensure your child’s emotional and mental wellbeing stays intact over the next month? Do you find yourself feeling on edge and constantly nagging at you’re child to stay focussed only to find them retreating further and further from you? Do you wonder how much work they are actually getting done but mindfully set out to not stress them out more than they already are? Do your own personal needs for success and achievement get in the road of hearing your child’s academic goals? How confident are you that your child is coping OK emotionally and mentally right now?

Recent Australian research conducted by Bond University Clinical Psychologist Dr. Peta Stapleton has shown that EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) significantly reduces fear of failure in adolescent students and also improves their self-perceived difficulties. Many other studies in the USA have examined the effects of EFT on test-taking anxiety and depression in students (Church, De Asis, Brooks, 2012).

EFT is an easy to master and use stress management tool, that achieves immediate results and young people really enjoy it, as it’s a self-empowering tool that ultimately allows them to feel better about themselves. The Inner Shine Clinic works with teenagers as well as adults to realise their goals, and to highlight and eliminate the barriers that get in the way of their desired performance results. We use EFT (emotional freedom techniques) which a combination of ancient acupressure and modern psychology, also known as ‘Tapping’.


Game Changing Outcomes for HSC Students:

When your child comes for an individual coaching session for HSC wellbeing and success session at The Inner Shine Clinic, it will:

  • Help your child to have better focus and concentration and therefore less stress and anxiety
  • Eliminate anxiety/nerves heading into exams therefore increasing performance
  • Help your child to feel calm and respond to difficult emotions in a self-empowered way
  • Help your child to reach their highest potential academically and personally
  • Reduce the fear of not feeling confident or not having the skills to complete a task
  • Increase optimism


Outcomes for you as a parent:

  • Encourages self-management therefore less nagging from you
  • Allows parents to empower their children so no need to motivate them to study
  • Creates better mood and temperament in your child
  • Creates a ‘team’ approach i.e. “we’re all in this together”
  • Helps parents to manage their own expectations

When combined with talk therapy, tapping with HSC students does three important things:

  1. It calms the nervous system: EFT Tapping on specific acupressure points give the nervous system the signal to RELAX. When your body is in a state of fight-flight-or freeze it cannot do any therapeutic or calming work because it’s in survival mode. Your child’s body can’t tell the difference between feeling nervous about an English exam and running from a volcanic eruption. When your child experience distress, trauma or fear, their brain’s own personal alarm system (the amygdala) gets triggered and releases the stress hormone, cortisol. When cortisol is too high for too long it can do serious damage to our bodies including adrenal fatigue, high blood pressure and heart disease. When your child’s nervous system is calm, it is in optimal condition for focussing and productive study.
  2. It rewires the brain enabling a change in mindset: EFT Tapping assists in rewiring the cognition of the brain to enable a change in mindset. Tapping goes deeper into making changes in your child’s life than traditional talking therapy. It is simple, gentle and incredibly effective. When your child taps with their coach they will tame some of the constant negative chatter that’s been stressing them out. Once your child’s mind is relaxed they will be supported to identify some of the destructive scripts and limiting believes that have been playing out in their life. Once they have tapped out the negative feelings in the body, they can then tap in the feelings they want to move towards, therefore changing their mindset for growth and optimal health and wellbeing.
  3. It restores the body’s energy: Tapping can restore the body’s energy. Your child’s body like everything in the universe is made up of energy. When your child restores energy back into their body they will relieve the negative feelings, emotions and physical ailments that originate from the energy disruption. Even problems such as phobias, post-traumatic stress alongside other imbalances in their energy system will be gently relieved during their session.

During the 60-minute session we will:

  • Tap on setting positive intentions for achieving specific academic goals
  • We will look at the specific barriers to achieving the goals
  • We will teach your child the technique to reduce stress instantly and with long lasting results – this technique can be easily applied before and during the exam so enable them to stay focussed and relaxed.

Studies at Harvard Medical School have revealed that by using EFT Tapping, the distress that gives rise to the problems your child faces heading into HSC can be drastically reduced. If you would like your child to learn this powerful technique before exams start you will be investing in both their academic and mental health wellbeing. The tools learned in their individual coaching session will ultimately place the power back into their own hands. They will identify their limiting beliefs around achievement and success and these simple yet profound tools will assist them to become balanced, healthy, emotionally intelligent and confident adults. 

It makes sense that you would like your child to do well at HSC and get the ATAR they deserve. It is also important that we keep our own stress and anxiety in check as ultimately it won’t support our kids to shine. If you would like your child to thrive rather than merely survive during their up and coming HSC exams, please click on the link to book in for this amazing investment in your child’s mental and academic wellbeing. For this month only to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month (which we are super passionate about), we are reducing the cost of our 1:1 consultations by 40% when you book and pay online for our Facebook Mental Health Awareness Month Promo. Limited sessions available so please book now: https://www.theinnershineclinic.com.au/bookings/

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3 Reasons Why “TAPPING” Will Be a Game Changer for Your Mental Wellbeing

September 26, 2018

By Catherine Nyika, M.Ed, Accredited Social Worker, Counsellor, Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner

You didn’t even realise things were getting too much to handle until you couldn’t ignore it anymore. Then that stoic part of you went and did ALL the right things to cope with it and to even conquer it. You read every self-help book you could get your hands on, spoke to your doctor, looked at your diet, your exercise, your sleep habits. You booked in to see a counsellor and you even ended that relationship, quit that job and took those pills. Everything seemed to calm down soon after and you thought storm was over and were able to get your life back on track. You were back to feeling like your old self again, until the dark cloud hanging over you reappeared.

Recent surveys on women’s health indicate that two thirds of Australian women report feeling nervous, anxious or on edge nearly everyday. It’s hard to feel inspired by yet another self-help blog post. No one would blame you for feeling sceptical about trying something new especially when that technique requires you to ‘tap’ on your face and body. You are open to suggestions but ‘tapping’ just seems a bit ‘woo-woo’ even though someone you know tried it and liked it. Perhaps your curiosity gets the better of you because this blog will claim that tapping will reduce stress and anxiety and make you feel better, with long lasting effects in a short space of time.

It’s a long shot.

Reality kicks in to remind you that; NOTHING has worked for you yet, it’s cost you a fortune in therapists, supplements, self help books and mindfulness apps and you are done trying. Maybe you’ll just have to face the fact that this anxiety is a part of you now.

We live in an increasingly time-poor, disconnected, rest-deprived society. We are more stressed, unhappy and disconnected than ever before. Life gets messy at times and we all get overwhelmed with the pressures of life and can sometimes feel like we are “close to the edge”. In today’s social media culture, we are continually comparing ourselves with others and will be instantly gratified with ‘likes’. We seek comfort in switching off the mind with online games and other addictions that we think will help us to calm down but in actual fact cause us more anxiety in the long run. Imagine how hard it is to cope when major life transitions occur for us such as grief, loss, divorce, financial worries, parenting stress and trauma. No wonder our mental health statistics for adults and teenagers are so grim. With so much going on alongside the usual daily challenges of life, we are facing a whole new set of struggles like never before. This is why as a mother, an educator, therapist and clinical social worker, I believe society is in need of a new set of tools to help with these challenges.

EFT is that tool as it gets to the root cause of the issue and puts the power back into the clients hands, so you are actually healing yourself. So many of us are just trying to survive when really we would love to be thriving. Imagine learning a tool that can greatly reduce stress, overwhelm and anxiety in a short space of time with often long lasting effects. Once you have learned how to help yourself, you can teach to your family, your work colleagues, your students, your clients, your community. EFT is a tool also reduces the need to spend money on on-going therapy.

I know it’s hard to feel inspired by optimistic words like ‘find your inner shine again’ and ‘heal yourself’ when most days you feel increasingly stressed-out, stretched in all directions and that you are just not coping. You SHOULD be coping however because “you’re the strong one” and that’s what others expect of you, so that’s what you show them even though deep inside it hurts so much. You may be telling yourself, there is just no time to put yourself and your needs first because there’s the stuff that’s going on with your kids, your partner, your friend’s separation, your work. You know that you just have to “suck it up” because life just goes on – your ‘stuff’ will just need to wait. If you are to speak honestly, you feel that you are merely surviving in a world that’s become increasingly wearying to you. So many people out there are feeling just like you. Some will put on the ‘bandaid’ to make it feel better for a while. Some may even re-apply it over and over again as a coping mechanism for the mess and the pain, and some will try to find the courage to face this thing head on and be done with it once and forever.

There is hope and there are two paths.

Which one with YOU choose?

“F-E-A-R has two meanings; Forget everything and run OR Face everything and RISE. The choice is yours” –Zig Ziglar

You choose to move out of your comfortable zone because you KNOW that’s where growth happens and sticking with what you know hasn’t worked for you.

The hard evidence

Over 100 research studies, review articles and meta-analyses that have been validated and published on the science behind energy psychology, and it appears that EFT (emotional Freedom Techniques) isn’t nearly as ‘woo-woo’ as it sounds. Studies have found that EFT effectively treats; depression, anxiety, food cravings, pain, trauma and PTSD

Latest research shows that EFT works to calm the central nervous system, rewire the brain for positive mindset and restore the body’s energy, which is naturally wired for wellness. Whilst the evidence based research is still in it’s early stages here in Australia and New Zealand, the results for clients in my wellbeing clinic are proof enough that EFT can make you feel relaxed and calm almost instantly with long lasting results. Research in Australia is being led by a game changing Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Peta Stapleton at Bond University in Queensland. Dr. Stapleton is paving the way for healthcare professionals to feel more confident in their delivery of energy psychology. Due to the profound results of her clinical trials, many other clinical health and wellbeing practitioners like myself feel confident that this innovative intervention is set to become the future of therapy. Just like acupuncture and Mindfulness, new things take time to grow on people and that’s ok. It’s just unfortunate many people like you continue to suffer while waiting for a major breakthrough in our mental healthcare system and a time that practitioners who actually practice energy psychology feel safe enough to come out of the closet to their sceptical peers.

When you book into The Inner Shine Clinic you will be taught how to use this simple, gentle, incredibly effective tool to enable you in your own healing abilities at home. Talking with your counsellor in conjunction with tapping is enough to help you start living the life you truly deserve. EFT can put the power back into your own hands to facilitate your own inner healing. Why wouldn’t you want that for yourself and your loved ones?

If you are still thinking EFT is too ‘woo-woo’ for you, believe me, I get it. The first time I ever watched an EFT You Tube video I was a little sceptical but had an open mind. I was being instructed to use my fingertips to tap on certain pressure points on my face and body. As a traditionally trained and evidence based clinical therapist, my initial thoughts were, “that looks really weird and a bit ridiculous’ and then ‘how can that possibly do anything to help my clients who are struggling with serious and distressing issues”? Yet today I am an accredited certified EFT Practitioner and integrate EFT into almost all of my sessions. I work to empower people like you to ‘tap’ on themselves because what I know for certain is that, IT WORKS! After tapping along with that You Tube video I mentioned I felt ready to book a session with an EFT Practitioner I’d found online. What happened for me during that session was quite profound and after 12 years of working therapeutically with people, I had what Oprah would describe as, “an a-ha moment.” I realised I had found the missing tool in my empowerment therapy tool box and I needed to read every research article written about Emotional Freedom Techniques and why it works the way it does.

EFT is not a new therapy, in fact it’s been around for decades. It is derived from the work of Psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan’s Thought Field Therapy (TFT) from the late 70’s and early 80’s. His research was the being of the new era of energy psychology. Energy Psychology simply refers to a collection of mind-body approaches to human wellbeing with a focus on the relationship between our thoughts, our emotions, our behaviours and sensations in the body. In asking people to tap on all of the acupuncture end-points of the body whilst thinking about their issues and using affirmations, Dr. Callahan was able to help his clients in ways that had never been possible before.

This all makes so much sense to me because we are all made up of energy. Even Albert Einstein said: “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics”.

Then came along Gary Craig, the man who developed Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) who was actually a student of Dr. Callahan’s. He recognised where the technique could have more instant and long-lasting effects for clients and having a background in engineering, he redesigned and perfected the technique to where it is today. Gary Craig believed that ‘tapping’ could become a “universal healing aid” and he wanted to share it with the world. This is a sentiment that I’m sure all EFT Practitioners around the world share.

EFT as a helping tool incorporates elements of many therapeutic interventions such as acupuncture, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment therapy, motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, cognitive therapy and exposure therapy. You don’t need to understand all these therapies or to have ever heard of them because that’s not your job. What I am hoping to highlight is that EFT is a magnificent combination of so many other already accepted evidence-based interventions – It’s like you are getting eight for the price of one.

For me as a counsellor and wellness coach, EFT is the butter cream icing on the cake. It’s a serious game changer for the mental health and wellbeing industry. This tool enables me to empower you to heal yourself. Whatever drew you to reading this blog right now, and whatever you are going through, an EFT coaching session where you learn the basics of EFT will support you to take the power back into your own hands again. You have just lost your way but you already have all you need to heal inside of you. You just need someone to guide you on your way home, back to that person you were always meant to be.

I get that it’s over-whelming, there are SO many counsellors, therapists and life coaches out there. How is it that I can I help you to feel better and WHY will these specific techniques I show you help? Here’s the science:

  1. Tapping on specific meridian points gives the nervous system the signal to RELAX. When you body is in a state of fight-flight-or freeze it cannot do any healing work because it’s in survival mode. Your body can’t tell the difference between feeling nervous about a job interview and running from a volcanic eruption. When you experience distress, trauma or fear, your brain’s own personal alarm system (the amygdala) gets triggered and releases the stress hormone, cortisol. When your cortisol is too high for too long it can do serious damage to your body including adrenal fatigue, high blood pressure and heart disease. When your nervous system is calm, it is in optimal condition for self-healing.

  2. Tapping assists in rewiring the cognition of the brain to enable a change in mindset. Meridian tapping goes deeper into making changes in your life than traditional talking therapy. It is simple, gentle and incredibly effective. When you tap with your therapist you will tame some of the constant negative chatter that been stressing you out. Once you mind is relaxed you will be supported to identify some of the destructive scripts and limiting believes that have been playing out in your life. Once you have tapped out the negative feelings in the body, you can then tap in the feelings you want to move towards, therefore changing your mindset for growth and optimal health and wellbeing.

  3. Tapping can restore the body’s energy. You body like everything in the universe is made up of energy. When you restore energy back into your body you will relieve the negative feelings, emotions and physical ailments that originate from the energy disruption. Even problems such as phobias, post-traumatic stress alongside other imbalances in your energy system will be gently relieved during your session.

Once you book in for your session, learn the basics and start to clear aware some of your stress and anxiety, you will then feel confident in supporting the well-being of your stressed partner, your anxious Year 12 teenager, your child with learning difficulties, school issues or big emotions and even you sensitive or anxious dog! Yes EFT for animals is a thing!

Emotional Freedom Techniques is a simple but powerful technique where you get to change how you feel in a matter of minutes AND make it long lasting. When you tap with your EFT practitioner they will show you the acupressure points on your face and body and help you know what to say. When you work with an accredited, certified and experienced practitioner, tapping can:

  • Act as a potent stress reliever and help you become anxiety free
  • Help you recover from the pain of grief and loss
  • Support your relationships to become happier and more fulfilling
  • Improve your self-esteem and body image
  • Eliminate limiting beliefs
  • Free you from the pain of a traumatic experience
  • Help relieve sadness and depression
  • Help you with chronic pain
  • Help you heal from bullying or a toxic relationship or bullying

Why do I choose to “tap” with my clients?

I’m going to share my story with you here with the hope you will see that I was just like you. My “thing” was my self-esteem around body image and the anxiety it caused me. For as long as I can remember I’ve never felt comfortable in my own body. I have always carried a little extra weight that might leave temporarily after the latest fad diet but would always come back to haunt me and tell me “see, I told you so, you can’t get rid of me”. I was constantly teased about my weight my whole life and yet I told myself “I’m not strong enough” to do anything about it. Issues of weight and the stories created about why I carried this weight have taken up a huge place in my life and it was starting to get old, boring and tiring. I was sick of hiding behind others in photographs and feeling embarrassed looking at the photos once they were developed. I would then feel bad about myself and if I felt bad I would turn to my best friend ‘food’ to comfort me. You can see where I’m going here. Then my daughter came along and I knew I needed to get a handle on my food issues because I couldn’t bear to be responsible for passing on a negative body image mindset to my beautiful daughter.

To cut a long story short, that day I had “the a-ha moment” experiencing EFT in action, my issue I presented to the practitioner was the desire to lose weight and permanently. That was what my cognitive mind wanted to work on and yet my body led me to work on something else. Something much more profound and long lasting, and that was self acceptance and the self love I’ve searched for my whole life. I can’t even tell you if I have lost any weight at all because that wasn’t the issue. I no longer weigh myself, or work out like a dog in order to make up for what I eat. And I can finally look in the mirror without berating myself, I can honestly say the ‘weight’ has zero charge in my life any more and I realise it was never the issue. A life-time of stress and anxiety over food and weight just disappear over 2 weeks of tapping because I got to the root cause of the issue and finally LET IT GO! As far as I’m concerned that was the biggest gift I could ever offer my daughter –a mummy who loves herself completely and unconditionally no matter what shape or size.

So now that you know that EFT is;

  • evidence based,
  • is the future of innovative client centred therapy,
  • can help you to heal yourself quickly and effectively with long lasting effects on a wide range of issues.

What will you do? Will you forget every and run? Or will you face everything and RISE. That choice is yours.

Click here to get started or to arrange a free 15 minute consultation. https://www.theinnershineclinic.com.au/bookings/Sessions available in person, on the phone or online.

[When you invest in your wellbeing by booking the recommended 3 sessions for best results, the third session is half price when you mention this article].

*Please pass this article on to your friends and family so we can start making this important work the norm instead of the “woo-woo”.



The holistic and, evidence-based services and interventions provided at The Inner Shine Clinic do not replace medical treatments. EFT is a way to address the emotional parts of your problems so that medical doctors can take care of your medical needs. By engaging in a session with our practitioners and by using techniques provided by our clinic, you must agree to take full responsibility for your own well-being or that of your child’s. Whilst there are no known side effects to EFT Tapping, this does not mean you will not experience side effects. You agree to never hold The Inner Shine Clinic or it’s practitioners liable for any side effects or results of the treatment.

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