As a counsellor and psychotherapist, I also experience life’s difficulties and troubles. Like my clients, I have times when my emotions take over. I have to stop and stand back and reflect. An effective counsellor understands feeling weak and vulnerable. We know what it means to make changes to our world in order to be able to function in a healthier way. I know what it means to look after my own well-being.
These are uncertain times for us. Anxiety caused by the corona virus is rising daily. The lack of control and power is making some of us feel extremely vulnerable. Emotions are running high. We are worried about ourselves and our loved ones. We all know people who are particularly vulnerable and risk. Our physical health is at risk. But so is our mental health. But we can learn how to minimise the anxiety of the corona virus pandemic.
Do you feel stuck? Are you doubting yourself? Why this is happening? The answer could be really simple: you might be stuck in certain, limiting ways of perceiving yourself and the world around you. Inflexible thinking is exhausting. It causes stress and anxiety. It results in black and white thinking where options are either very limited or simply not available. When we are stuck in in this mode of thinking, we are blocking ourselves from our real potential. Inflexible thinking can lead to anxiety, stress and depression.
A healthy mind goes alongside a healthy body. It may be an age old little saying, but the evidence that exercise can boost our mental health is growing all the time.
There is a brilliant article in The Guardian that explores the link between exercise and mental health problems like anxiety and depression. One of the first questions I ask a client (along with “how is your sleep?) is: “Do you exercise?”
My official title is Psychotherapist. But I also call myself a counsellor and a coach. And a question I hear regularly is: “Do I need a psychotherapist, a counsellor or a coach?” For some the idea of “psychotherapy” is frightening. It suggests mental illness. Or that there are mental health issues that need to be resolved and that it will be a lengthy, emotionally painful process. In my opinion, it does not need to be either. I see many clients who are living with depression or the impact of terrible traumas. But the style of psychotherapy I use aims to resolve these as quickly and as with as little emotional pain as possible.
But there are many others who give me a ring and come along to see me who are living healthy and, mostly, fulfilling lives. Why have they asked to see me?
I was recently asked by Brighter Spaces in Islington to write a blog for them. Having a strong background in education, I decided to follow a regular theme of mine: stress and wellbeing difficulties in teenagers
Something is happening to our teenagers and we, the adults, need to start listening. I have a background in secondary schools as I have only recently left the classroom in order to follow my psychotherapy and counselling career on a full-time basis. Over my teaching career, I have seen a massive shift in what is troubling young people. It is far too easy to lay the blame on social media. Frankly, I am bored of hearing that as THE reason behind the difficulties our young people are having. We need to look beyond that and ask ourselves: what is really going on?
If you are someone who is wondering what “self care” is or what you can do to take better care of yourself, I would suggest giving this book a read. In this book, Karin explains and guides you through what it means to take care of yourself. Our modern world can be tricky and yet she explains simple and practical strategies that you can start your new self care regime immediately.
Most children will go through a phase where they might find the world around them and the ensuing emotions a little tough to handle. This can lead to anger or temper tantrums; poor sleep and a raft of other childhood emotional difficulties. For parents these phases can be equally tough. Parent and child often do not have the coping skills to manage these difficult phases. Parents often ask me if there is anything they can give their child to read that might make understanding what they are going through a little easier.
In Part 2, I looked at factors that can cause stress in the workplace. Now, I am going to focus on some stress busting techniques in the workplace. I have written about stress and work life balance before. But here are some reminders and some new tips that are aimed at keeping the stress levels as low as possible.
In this first part of this series on Workplace Stress, I am going to explore the foundations of what we need in order to be emotionally and mentally healthy within the workplace. Over the next few blogs, I am going to show you how to recognise and prevent stress in the workplace.
Shakespeare knew what he was talking about in Henry IV, Part 2! A good night’s sleep is essential to our physical and mental health and general wellbeing.
One of the first questions I always ask a client is: tell me about your sleeping routine. A disrupted sleeping pattern is usually a clear sign that the client is experiencing emotional difficulties. It is not always easy to determine which came first. But the link between poor or disrupted sleep and emotional and physical difficulties is very clear.