"My emotional outbursts were getting the better of me" Francesca - Case Study Snapshot

business coaching case studies cast study series life coaching nlp coaching snapshots May 23, 2023
Emotions, Sadness, Outbursts, Anger, Emotion, Emotional, Feelings,

"My emotional outbursts were getting the better of me"
- Francesca - Case Study Snapshot

This blog is part of my 'Case Study Snapshot Series'. A series of blogs where I take snapshots in time of my clients and demonstrate parts of what we are working on together. These blogs allow you, the reader, to capture snapshots in time and hear about how the use of coaching, NLP and psychology helps me to support my clients to navigate their lives and make shifts and movement in their desired direction. All names and personal details have been changed to protect client confidentiality. 

When I first spoke with Francesca* she was feeling at her wits end. She was aware that her emotions were getting the better of her and this was displaying as outbursts of anger, sometimes tears, as well as a clear difference and reduction in how she communicated and expressed herself. She said that she often felt on edge, that her patience was severely lacking and her internal thoughts were often of a negative nature.

After getting a better idea of what was going on for Francesca, I was keen to understand what she wanted instead. She spoke to me about wanting to improve her life and change certain behaviours so that she could feel happier and healthier. She was tired of going around in circles with her emotions.

She was detaching from friends/family and feeling more isolated and unclear on why she felt the way she did.

She was judging her behaviours and thoughts so it was important for me to show Francesca that she wasn't judged by myself. She may have placed judgements on herself which we would explore and challenge in time, however, with me, there was no judgement - just a curiosity to help Francesca navigate and understand her internal feelings and in turn consider where it is she wanted to go.

We began by identifying the different areas that
 Francesca wanted to improve within her life. These were:

low self-confidence,
low self-worth,
regulating her emotions,
her increasingly rising anger levels,
her ability to be and stay present.

Francesca found that her social life was being affected and described herself as having an unhealthy need for control which was having negative effects on her as well as people around her.

We explored this to raise Francesca's self-awareness and image of herself. Francesca realised she often wanted to 'be right' and as a result was dominating conversations with friends/family. She wanted to understand why she felt the need to control conversations and relationships as much as she did, so we began to be curious around the thoughts that popped into her mind, what messages was she hearing and believing.

Francesca realised her self-talk came from a place of defence and insecurity, she was cruel to herself and often putting herself down.

This was the first thing we challenged and explored together.

Alongside this, we started to delve deeper into, what Francesca wanted to feel instead. If she wasn’t feeling like she had low confidence, and if she wasn’t feeling fuelled by anger, what would she be feeling?

It transpired that Francesca is a brilliant creative writer and we used this skill of hers to help Francesca to connect with what she really wanted from her life.

By using the power of language and writing throughout our sessions as well as the time in between our sessions for Francesca to create and discover what she wanted from life and articulate this in a way that supported her creative mind and fuelled her confidence.

The more Francesca connected to her writing, the more we could slowly tap into improving some of her self-worth before we even needed to talk about it as a subject.

Her coaching was starting without Francesca really even realising so.

One of the techniques I used with Francesca was an NLP timeline technique to help her explore some of her earlier experiences of low-self confidence.

We explored, what low confidence actually meant to her. Was it a feeling, a behaviour, what did it look like to her? One of the important facts that transpired was a previous life experience had left Francesca hurt, shocked and second guessing herself. This is turn fuelled her lack of confidence at the time - lack of confidence in herself and also friends around her.

Francesca hadn't addressed or talked about this situation at the time or since, and so the lack of confidence she felt was stuck within her mind an body. In time, this then evolved and developed into anger and frustration at not 'being who' or 'living how' she wanted to. This then caused Francesca to overthink situations and explained why she rarely felt present anymore. It also affected how she trusted friends and led to some paranoia around this having a serious and negative effect on her social life.

Prior to this, Francesca didn’t know why she felt the way she did, or reacted the way she did. In her mind she just felt angry a lot of the time and didn’t know why. Now she had awareness of why she felt the way she did and almost instantly some of that anger was released because it was starting to make sense to her. We hold onto emotions in so many different ways without realising it, emotions can be trapped within us for years and have an affect on how we behave, the way we think and how we respond in situations.

We then spent some time working on how to enjoy being present, how to observe the feelings of anger when they arose in the present moment without always stepping into it, and we did a lot of work around identifying and naming emotions when they came up for Francesca to help her to understand them and in time regulate them. Our emotions come and go, and we have the choice to decide which we want to observe and which we want to act upon. Realising she had the control over this was liberating for Francesca. This was something she initially believed that she had no control over, and now she was realising that it was actually completely within her control.

Francesca and I worked together a lot in between her 1:1 sessions through voice notes and WhatsApp messages and this proved so helpful at times when she was feeling something and we could address it in the moment. Responding to her life in real time meant we got to get to the depth of the issue and the emotion straight away rather that purely only speaking in hindsight.

A turning point for Francesca was realising that she demanded so much control in her life because she felt un-seen and not valued. Because we worked together a great deal on shining a light on her strengths and finding ways she could utilise these in her day to day life meant that she started to feel more certain about herself, she began to value herself and in doing so her need to control situations drastically lessened.

*Case study used with permission and name/personal details changed.