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As Winter Approaches…. – November 2015

9. November, 2015|Blog, Uncategorized|No comments

The importance of looking after ourselves is a priority as the days shorten and winter approaches.  Viruses and bugs are rife and the lack of sunlight affects many people.

So, how to cope and remain healthy, both in mind and body?

  • Eating sensibly and regularly is paramount.
  • Drink lots of fluids, especially water.
  • Be like an animal and hibernate when you can by getting lots of sleep and rest.
  • Take Vitamin C to ward off colds etc.
  • Exercise: walking, yoga, pilates, running, swimming – whatever is enjoyable and gets you out of the house.

Hopefully by focusing on our wellbeing it will be a healthy and happy winter.


The views here are the author’s and are intended for general guidance only

What is Personality Disorder? – September 2015

14. September, 2015|Blog, Uncategorized|No comments

Personality disorder can be difficult to define as the way we behave – and appear with different people – can vary depending on the situation we are in, for example, at work, at home.  Research shows up to 1 in 5 people might have a personality disorder and it can result in depression, drug taking or alcoholic problems.

Those with personality disorder tend to find it difficult to:

  • Make or keep relationships.
  • Get on with people at work.
  • Get on with friends and family.
  • Keep out of trouble.
  • Control feelings or behaviour.
  • Listen to others.

Personality disorder can be caused by upbringing (physical/sexual abuse in childhood, violence in family, parents who drink too much); early problems (severe aggression, disobedience and repeated temper tantrums can be a sign in childhood); triggers (drugs, alcohol, problems with family/partner, money problems, anxiety, depression/other mental health problems, important events, stressful situations).

Those with borderline or emotionally unstable personality disorder can display the following:

  • Impulsiveness.
  • Trouble controlling emotions.
  • Low self esteem.
  • Self-Harm.
  • Make relationships quickly but easily lose them.
  • Paranoia or depression.
  • When stressed, may hear noises or voices.

How can Personality Disorder be treated?

  • Psychological – talking therapies individually and/or in a group.
  • Physical – medication such as antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, mood stabilisers.
  • Self – unwind when stressed, sleep, eat a balanced diet, avoid too much alcohol, regularly exercise, take up an interest/hobby.



The views here are the author’s and are intended for general guidance only













The Therapeutic Relationship – July 2015

8. July, 2015|Blog, Uncategorized|No comments

Whatever theory or theories the counsellor uses when practising, the therapeutic relationship is at the heart of the therapy process.  It is important that the counsellor and client can work together engaging with each other in a relationship of mutual respect and trust.  Not much work will be achieved if this does not exist.  At times, a client may never have had a relationship of this nature and it will take time for this to develop.

As in life, sometimes the counsellor and client will be unable to work together.  On the one hand this needs to be acknowledged by either or both of them and perhaps refer the client onto another counsellor.  However, on the other hand, this may be an opportunity that opens up a whole new field of possibilities to work with as the client learns how to handle a difficult relationship, drawing on past experiences and giving them confidence in how to cope in the future.

Regular reviews and checking in all assist in the development of the therapeutic relationship and ensure the client’s goals are met.  There may be clues as to how this process is going if the client is often late, for example.  By bringing it into the room, there is hopefully time to discuss and explore what is going on which all is part of building up the alliance between counsellor and client.


The views here are the author’s and are intended for general guidance only



Self Harm – May 2015

12. May, 2015|Blog, Uncategorized|No comments

Self harm can take many forms: cutting, overeating, overexercising, to name a few.  It is a way of expressing emotional pain and distress which is unbearable.  For those who self harm, it can be a form of control over the body and often as a result of anger.

In counselling, it is important to do the following:

  • Be non judgemental and normalise it.
  • Keep in in the here-and-now (not the white elephant in the room).
  • Gentle exploration, accepting, empathising and keep it real to create a feeling of safety.
  • Allow autonomy.
  • Contain and be boundaries, using immediacy and challenge when appropriate.
  • Be aware of contract.
  • Suggesting coping strategies such as ice cubes instead, use of clean instruments, less times a day.
  • Take it to supervision.
  • Remember it prevents something worse such as suicide from happening.


The views here are the author’s and are intended for general guidance only



Insomnia: The Curse of Not Sleeping – March 2015

12. May, 2015|Blog, Uncategorized|No comments

At some point in our lives most people can have trouble sleeping whether it is due to stress, illness or having a young baby.  Sleep deprivation is like a form of torture – with little or no sleep, our bodies cannot function properly leaving us open to catching the latest bug or virus doing the rounds and affecting our concentration.

So how can we sleep?

  • Bed is often a sanctuary – avoid the association of lying in bed and being awake.
  • Get up when awake, walk around the house – don’t fight it, accept it.  It is not a problem being awake and it is not a threat e.g. I’d prefer to go to sleep but I’m awake at the moment.
  • When back in bed, think: this is a nice comfortable bed, how lovely.
  • Be warm.  If cold, perhaps warm yourself up with a hot drink and/or hot water bottle.
  • Try eating foods such as peanuts and peanut butter.
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol and a heavy meal before you go to bed.
  • Be mindful and focus on your breathing.
  • Don’t think about how you will feel the next day, what you have got to do, and to make sure nothing goes wrong.
  • If you still can’t sleep, get up again.
  • Accept thinking then go back to bed.


The views here are the author’s and are intended for general guidance only