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Authentic Living: Mindful Listening

“She had blue skin,
and so did he.
He kept it hid,
and so did she.
They searched for blue
their whole life through,
and passed right by
and never knew”.

– Shel Silverstein

Authenticity is living life with your blue skin on show. When speech, actions, beliefs or thoughts are incongruent with each other this may feel jarring or difficult. Counselling can help strike a balance between these aspects of life, and find a way to enjoy life in a way that provides harmony that is congruent with our core values. Remember that being congruent is also about […]

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     Let’s Talk About Sex: Having ‘The Conversation’ with Your Child

 Let’s Talk About Sex: Having ‘The Conversation’ with Your Child

Sex is a topic which most parents may find difficult or uncomfortable to discuss with their children. A study in 2007 by Izugbara looked at home-based sex education between parents and their children in a rural part of Nigeria. The researchers found that when parents openly discussed sex with their children, difficulties in exploring sexual identity and accessing safe sex information decreased. It may be tempting to only discuss sex in the context of STD-avoidance or abuse-awareness, however it is equally important to discuss sexual identity with your children […]

By |April 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Can Sad Music Be Used as a Therapeutic Tool?

It is thought that most people do not actively seek out sadness. Our assumption is that we have an innate drive strive for happiness and seek to minimise sad emotions. However, this is not always the case. Also, it certainly doesn’t explain the popularity of melancholy music. What psychological mechanisms are at play during the consumption of this genre? Why do we sometimes have the tendency to consciously choose sadness over joy? Importantly – can music therefore be used as a therapeutic tool in counselling?

One study (LeDoux, 1998) found […]

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    How Social Labels Affect Therapy: Matching the Client to the Counsellor

How Social Labels Affect Therapy: Matching the Client to the Counsellor

In the world we live in today, everything is ascribed a label: politics, gender, class, the list goes on. Why has it become apparent that in contemporary culture, we appear to have a somewhat inherent desire to dissect the most natural elements of human life into marketable, universal and objective categories? And critically, from a person-centred counselling perspective we must question: how do these labels help or hinder relationships during therapy? Indeed, one argument may be that these clear-cut ways of defining people offer comfort and clarity, and possibly […]

The Use of ‘Self’ in Counselling

It may be more comfortable for counsellors to inhabit both a ‘counselling brain’ and a ‘personal brain’. One concerned with professionalism and theory, and the other incorporating everything outside of the working day. This may, to an untrained eye, be the most professional and distant way of approaching any workplace. However, in a discipline which is grounded on empathy, compassion and thoughtfulness, we must ask – is it ever appropriate to merge these two distinct ‘brains’? Personally, I would argue that to blur the distinctions between the personal and […]

Alternative Mental Health Care Gains a Foothold

Alternative Mental Health Care movement toward largely non-medical approaches, focused on holistic recovery rather than symptom treatment, is growing in the United States and is present in Great Britain.
 
Acceptance is Key:
Being accepted by your peers is always a powerful healer and motivator, helping towards recovering. This recent article outlines the story of a young person who was not helped by the medical system and only found relief through an alternative mental health care movement which is growing in the United States. My message is that the Hearing Voices Movement […]

Tackling Insomnia

For those tackling insomnia.  If you want to change any habit, getting enough sleep is a key first step.
Recently, I had a bad night of tossing and turning. I was up for a few hours, then overslept the next morning. While I was lying there, unable to sleep, I knew I was breaking one of the most basic back-to-sleep tips for tackling insomnia — the tip to get up, rather than toss and turn.

Though, to give myself credit, I was following some advice because I’d just read Andrea Petersen’s Wall Street Journal article, “Middle-of-the-Night […]

By |August 14th, 2016|Wellbeing|0 Comments

Child Development

 
This Child Development Study shows that by age 3, kids know when you owe them one.
 
“If we’re being honest, most of us would admit that we keep an ongoing mental record of who has done what for whom among our relationships. It sounds a little churlish but this mental note-keeping is a basic aspect of social functioning that means we can avoid being taken advantage of by free riders. It also helps us decide who to turn to when we’re in need.
We can look to child development to tell us […]

By |August 12th, 2016|Psychology|0 Comments

Be more effective

To be more effective all you need is a single breath.
Just 6 Seconds of Mindfulness Can Make You More Effective – Mindful
I’ve just spent all morning trying to integrate @Scoop.It with my website and now I need to be more effective by taking my own mindful advice. I smile to myself. So this is quite a literal mindful experiment to see if it works.

Mindfulness for leaders is explained here. I especially like this paragraph because it recommends a non-judgemental attitude and attentiveness, which, are qualities you will receive in […]

By |August 12th, 2016|Mindfulness|0 Comments

A social conscience

A social conscience: How can Therapy offer a Solution and Happiness?
Some forecast doom and gloom. We are living in difficult times. Human suffering and social injustice are experienced on a global level.  As therapists we see these difficulties in our clients.  Poverty, abuse, social difficulties for example, enough to make anyone angry in a healthy way.

In therapy the individual is understood in relation to their society. A social conscience begins with social awareness.  Therapists therefore have the insight to contribute towards social policy in a wider arena.

Real power for change […]

Self-harm following Bereavement

Self-harm following Bereavement:  I was moved by an article on children losing a family member through suicide and their subsequent use of self-harm as a form of coping.
The process of bereavement is never easy. It is a natural process that we all undergo; longer for some, shorter for others, however, the loss of a parent or close family member is one of the most profoundly affecting losses a child would ever face. So when a parent takes their own life this has a devastating effect on their child.

A death […]

Transition to University

Transition to University: Not Just a Piece of Cake.

Big changes can be emotionally intense for some individuals. A good example of this is the transition that many students endure from higher education to university.  Although circumstances differ for each individual, many choose to move out of their family home and into halls of residence. This new independence can be overwhelming.  Consequently, a proportion of students can experience anxiety, stress or forms of depression.

Research into this transitional period, (Smith and Hopkins, 2005), found that there is a great difference between […]