Author Archives: Lisa

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13 Reasons Why

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Controversially Netflix, produced a program that has taken a lot of bashing for its portrayal of suicide and its normalisation, called 13 Reasons Why.  Suicide is a sensitive subject at the best of times; its rarely spoken about and if it is whispered about behind closed doors.

I agree that 13 reason why is a dramatised version of reality and yes in places it will be embellished for effect and possibly shock factor, though I will not condemn them for making a program that has managed to get people talking about mental health and suicide.

THE FACTS

The Samaritans  Suicide Report states that  6,581 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland in 2014 and still as a society we are unable to prevent it, let alone deal with the stigma of mental health.

When someone takes their own life, they have lost all sense of reason and hope, they believe wrongly that they have no option, that the support they need isn’t there,  IT IS!

13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons why is about a high school girl, Hannah! who ends her own life leaving behind 13 tape recordings about people who’s actions played a part in her decision to end her own life. It shows a severe side to what happens can happen within school, college and work environments from ignoring someone, lying, cheating, bullying to rape.  Are we all naive enough to believe this doesn’t actually happen? and do we all believe that these things do not contribute to someone ending their life?

Although no one is to blame for someone committing suicide, there will be many people that will be:

  • blaming themselves,
  • believe they could have stopped them
  • why didn’t they talk to me

Left Behind

The fact is, we can all say we would behave differently!  That we have never bullied, misjudged, ignored or made someone feel small!   Putting our own needs before someone else!  Perhaps they even thought if only I had done this, stood up for the person, stepped in and even made time.  People left behind will be often feel guilt.

The program display these within the 13 tapes! YES, none of the recipients of the tapes report them, or even look at gaining support!  My thoughts to this would be because they are fearful about Blame and fear! Along with, do teenagers tell their parents everything? Or do they keep secrets that can be harmful to themselves or others?

I totally agree with Ged Flynn, the chief executive of Papyrus in his warning:

“parents and young people viewing the series should be aware that when watching this programme there is a danger that suicide is romanticised and sensationalised”.

TV isn’t real life,  even most reality TV programs are dramatised for effect. We are in fact comparing ourselves to fictional characters with fictional situations.   That subconsciously can have a negative effect on peoples mental health.

I would say is it has got people talking and opening up conversations that I believe would never have happened.  In my opinion that can only be a good thing.

 

 


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Saying Goodbye

Category : Uncategorized

This week sees me say goodbye to a job that I have held for 15 years. I say goodbye with mixed feelings in my heart and above all else knowing that the time is right.

Saying goodbye to a practice that at one point I enjoyed and cherish has not been an easy decision.  Dentistry has been my world for over twenty years most of which I have spent there.  I have made friends built relationships and watched families grow! However the time came that the enjoyment I once held for a job is no longer there, my motivation and my inspiration subsiding on a daily basis.

Self Talk

Initially like most people including those that sit in my counselling chair, I questioned, was it a phase I was going through? Fear and doubt stepped in, I backed out, questioned my decision, my little self talk voice appeared!

Thankfully I have therapist angels that challenge me every day to follow my dreams and making me accountable for my actions and decisions.

This is part of what counselling is about, stepping out of our comfort zones!  Clients will want something to change, it really doesn’t matter what it is however fear steps in and forces things to stay the same!  Stepping up and taking action isn’t always easier, BUT!!! is living a half life of sadness, staying exactly the same never changing or growing living?

Saying Goodbye

It may be hard to do no matter what the situation, but sometimes it has to be done!

 


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The Person Who Walks Away

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On more than one occasion this week I have been reminded that the person who walks away also feels a great deal of pain and how often we forget that!

Relationship, Job, Country or situation doesn’t mean that the person who walks away, walks away without feeling!  Often hear the hurt persons version of accounts, and feelings!  However have you ever heard the other side of the story?

The Person Who Walks Away

I doubt anyone gets up in the morning and thinks today i’ll quit my job, move to Australia, end my relationship.  At some point the changes that they want to make in their life would have sat in their brain causing confusion and mistrust.  The issues that are present in any situation may make a person stand there and say enough is enough!  They would have also at some point decided I need to move, breathe, this isn’t working!

I have experienced the anguish of knowing that a decision that I make for the sake of myself will hurt another person.  I have sat across from clients going through the same!  They thing they have in common is no matter what the situation is, we generally do not want to hurt the people around us!

We live a lie and hurt ourselves instead!

We go through the (e)motions, we carry on in the job that is destroying us, the relationship that is toxic, the situations that are dangerous denying ourselves happiness for the sake of others.  Perhaps knowing what it is like to hurt and we don’t want to do that to  anyone else.

At some point we loved the person, at some point we enjoyed our jobs, at some point the situation gave us joy! We may not be in love with the situation but we still care about the people involved.

Walking away isn’t easy, staying is the easy option!

Living with a lie and living a half life is the easy option!  How many times have we heard parents staying together for the sake of the kids? or I can’t leave because of _________ (fill appropriately)!

Instead of ending whatever it is people continue!  A part of them wishing to escape . The other half wishing that the situation will miraculously resolve itself!  Instead of honesty regarding our unhappiness, we live not saying a word to anyone, beating ourselves up; because every body wanted their wife/husband, lifestyle/job and they chose them!  Then one day something so trivial happens and it explodes! An affair happens! they  walk out of job/relationship! IT BECOMES NASTY.

What it comes down to is it how we handle the ending of something!  Admitting that things aren’t right; talking them through with  a counsellor, partner or trusted friend then we are been honest could stop destructive behaviour. We can’t say for certain but it appears that Gwyneth and Chris chose to ‘consciously uncouple’ rather than have a destructive and nasty divorce.  May be we could aim to do the same! The person/people left behind will still be hurt, though they may have a greater understanding of what is going on!


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Presidential Election

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Today I set my alarm form 2am to watch the Presidential Election Results come in. Just like Brevity the results for most people as a massive shock. In the UK most people believe that Hilary Clinton would be not only the next President but also the first female president.

What are the Presidential Election and Brexit Results Saying?

Here in the UK many of us Brits have watched the election with interest and fear. From the media reports Clinton and  Trump were not the ideal candidates. Trump also appeared to come off worse.

I won’t go into the political side.  though I have to wander why both in the UK and USA why we have chosen what wasn’t predicted! Is it disillusion with the establishment?  Anger? Fear?

In both the Presidential Election and Brexit, Trump and the leave campaign managed to identify and say the things that people are scared of! The concerns about a variety of different political issues! that they feel unheard, disregarded and often ignored!  They played on the fears of the people and then poked them till they got angry!

Facebook and twitter posts reacting to the election results are bouncing around; on on occasions getting nasty; it could be that the American people voting for Trump is a mistake and one that we will all have to deal with,  but may be it’s not.  The fact is it is far to early to know.


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Self Talk

Category : Uncategorized

We all do it! May be only to a small degree but we do!  We talk to ourselves, through a problem we are solving to our plans for the next year! Self talk!  It can be positive, however 9 times out of 10 it is a nagging little voice that berates, ridicules and punishes us for everything.

Self talk is a Destructive Cycle

Everytime we make a tiny error in judgement, a mistake or even want to try something new, there is a little voice saying ”your stupid”, ”Why did you do that”, ”You can’t do that”.  I could go on for ages the list I have heard over the last few years is endless, each with its own unique way of actually hitting us where it hurts and stopping us believing in oursleves and creating a life we dream of.

The problem with self talk is that because we ain’t really aware of it, it is hard to stop. Firstly we need to become aware of the things we say to ourselves in specfic situations, such as when a mistake is made, and listen to what negative statement we.  When we can identifiy what we are saying to ourselves in situations we often become aware of what we are saying the rest of the time!  The fact is these statements aren’t true!  We made a mistake, they happen but how useful is it to have a constant voice telling you how stupid you are that eventually you truly believe it!

When we know what we are saying we can try to stop it!

Affirmations or mantras are a really useful way if breaking the cycle.  Affirmations are a positive statement that we can say to ourselves at times when we are beating ourselves up and in stressful situations.

Self talk is a massive part of my counselling practice and I use an exercise to help clients identify what they thinking and are saying to themselves, from this we will work out a affirmation that they can say when they become aware of  their negative self talk.  Initially they find it  hard but after a while the positive statement will kick in the moment the negative trys to pop in.

Initially most of my clients will use ”I love and approve of myself”, which is a standard affirmation that Louise Hay uses and talks about in her books.  However I have found that my clients who make it their own and  find something that resonates with them are able to grasp their self talk quickly.

So next time you go on to beat yourself up! Stop, take a deep breathe and repeat to yourself whatever mantra works for you.

Than you for reading

 


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Forgetting to Play

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Forgetting to play is about the part of us that we lose when life gets in the way! Responsibilty of bills, family, work, childern the list is endless.

I have written about responsibility several times and I believe that tour emotional wellbeing is down to ourselves.  However I also believe there is a downside to it!

When we watch childern, the simplest things give them pure joy.  There laughter is infectious and their wander about the world inspiring.  Somepoint we lose this, is it because we are too quick in our desire to grow up?

Recently on a family outing, whilst we watched our kids running around and enjoying the giant bouncing pillows my brother in law commented on the the adults who were also bouncing!  I laughed and pointed out that life and responsibilty stops us doing things things that we once loved!

Think about it for Five seconds

When was the last time you dis something just for pure enjoyment? laughed so hard you cried? I am not talking about th standard past times that adults take part in such as going to the gym, photography, reading or eating/drinking or catching up friends! I’m talking about the daft and the stupid, recapturing something from our youth, or even trying something knew!

When was the last time you went down a slide, went on the swings, painted your hands with PVA glue just so you can peel it off, played with poster paints, jumped in a puddle or on a bouncy castle?  All these things connect us to a part of ourselves that at somepoint we forgot about, a side that needs to come out once in a while.

Forgetting to Play

I am just as guilty, life can always get in the way and although this weekend I attended a CPD course on colour (Art Therapy);  I had the opportunity to play with water colours for the majority of the day. What I did do was connect with a part of myself I had long forgotten, to the point I could even remember washing paintbrushes at primary school,  and I found an enjoyment about painting for painting sake, that definately was lost!

This week I challenge you to find something long forgotton that provided you with joy, wander and laughter and for once forego the responsibilty for just 10minutes.

 


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Hindsight

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How Many Times have you heard in Hindsight I Should have………..

Hindsight:  the ability to understand an event or situation only after it has happened: With (the benefit/wisdom of) hindsight, I should have taken the job. Inhindsight, it would have been better to wait.

Hindsight is a funny thing! We make choices based on facts, needs and wants at the time a situation arises and if we truly knew the outcome of any event would we do make the same decision?

This week I have been refelcting back  on my life, something I believe that we need to do!  I am not talking about wallowing I’m talking about looking back and seeing the lessons that I have learnt from past mistakes, relationships and taking time to see if I have truly learnt from my own hindsight!

If something repeatable happens a to us are we listening to our own needs and learning?  Yesterday I met a lovely friend and mentor Tracey Mason, and we discussed  that we need to change our behaviour and our beliefs about situations to truly learn, if we don’t the same thing will keep happening!

How many times do you hear (or even said):

Why does this keep happening to me?

If only I had?

I should have?

Yes we can be unfortunate!  Breaking the cycle is essential for us to live the life we desire, if we don’t we will continually get hurt by our repeated mistakes.

Change is essential and looking at hindsight helps us see what is needed.

If a situation happens again  we need to remember and act respond differently to our previous behaviour!

I often think of reasons, seasons and lifetimes, which is a lovely poem.  It explains that people come into are life for a reason, a period of time or are lifetime friends; I believe that this fits in to hindsight!  If we don’t change ourselves, protect ourselves and ignore our life lessons we will never be able to move forward and have the life that we spend many a day, dreaming about

Change happens we cannot stop it, it came be difficult, even uncomfortable but changing are opinions, perspective and asking for help if needed, we can learn from our past to create our future.

Thank you for reading


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Gratitude

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Gratitude according to the Oxford english dictionary means:  quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

When the world appears to be against us gratitude is something we often forget about, all we can see is the bad, we can’t acknowledge or look at the little things that even for a short time put a smile on our face, or touched us in someway; we often able to express gratitude and/or kindness to others but not oursleves!

Focusing on the bad creates more bad, I agree that sometimes we need to lick our wounds, wallow, cry but at somepoint we need to let go, yes the feelings are still there but if we keep looking for the bad we can’t see the good.

Letting go isn’t that easy, if we could turn off our feelings like a light switch I’m pretty sure on occasions we all would do it, I believe that to truly let go we need to work through the feelings, however at the same time we need to look at the little things that help us to see the good things in our life.

Concentrating on saying thank you for the good things opens us up to registering that there are amazing things withinour lives, and adjusts our focus.  I often will ask my clients to list the things they are grateful for so they can register this.

GRATITUDE IS MORE THAN SAYING THANK YOU TO SOMEONE!

Gratitude is’nt just about saying thank you to the person behind the shop counter, your friend for cooking you dinner or even your Mom for doing your washing, it is about registering the small simple things that make a difference to our life.  It may be the 10 cups of tea/coffee that you drank that day, the 8 hours sleep you managed to get the night before, or it may be the surprise party or gift someone gives you, but it will also include be the food you eat that provides nourishment, the water you drink that keeps you hydrated, having 5 minutes of peace before the kids wake up!!  The list is endless.

The challenge is every night before you go to bed is to think of 10 things that you are gratful for and to try to sleep on that positive note.

 

 


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Caregiver

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When you hear the term Caregiver you instantly think of people who are looking after people who are terminally ill. In todays world a caregiver is something more: especially in relation to all aspects of health including supporting those with depression.  At times a Caregiver can seem unsupportive, it isn’t because they don’t care it because they have no guidence in how they can help with depression.

It is easy to forget how a Caregiver is effected by depression and I think it is important to remember that its not soley the depressed person who is effected.  Although I will never breach confidentiality and discusss my client or their sessions with a caregiver or relative,  they often will ask how they can help their loved one and I also believe it is important for them to recognise their need for support.

What no one will ever tell you is how living with someone with depression effects the surrounding people weather it be a partner, sibling, friend, parent or child. Watching someone who is depressed and not knowing how to help them and living with constant negativity can effect relationships.  Alhough difficult the caregiver has a vital role to play in the recovary of their love one; by being there they are showing support and can have a greater understanding of what is happening and how their love one is, which can help with the recovary process.

Whoever the caregiver is, they will often take on everything in order to help, all the worries and concerns, the day to day running of life, forgetting their own personal needs and wants.

How often have you heard ” I don’t get depression”?  

Acceptence is part of the road for recovery!

Unless you have been directly effected by depression you have no idea how mentally, emotionally and physically draining; if you could snap out of it you would, accepting depression is part of the battle.

Things that may become apparent when a love one is suffering with Depression:

  • Overwhelming sense of tiredness
  • Difficulty in getting going
  • Slip in personal hygiene and/or appearance
  • Unable to meet deadlines
  • Loss of ‘je le vie’
  • Withdrawing from friends and social events, becoming distant and wanting to be left alone
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Inability to relax
  • Only seeing the negative
  • Overindulgence
  • Talks about ”no longer being here”

The Don’ts

Say:

  • ”snap out of it”
  • ”its all in your head”
  • ” Man up”
  • ” your attention seeking”

If it was that simple snapping out of it would be easy! Depression is an illness that has no boundaries sex, race or religion it doesnt discriminate.

Offer:

  • Advice
  • Try to Jolly them along or push them into doing something
  • Point out the social injustices of the world and how others are far worse off
  • don’t make excuses for them

Advice can be helpful, but advice doesn’t actually change the fact that someone is depressed;  it often just highlights the things they are doing wrong and from your point of view.  Yes there is always somebody worse off BUT that just makes a depressed person feel even more hopeless and guilty.

Although its important for a depressed person to participate in things, if they are depressed and don’t want to do something its important to remember this could exacebate feelings, making them feel worse.   Its also important to remember not to make excuses for them, as this can creates a cycle of denial.   Acceptance is part of recovary process.

The Dos

  • Leave relevant information lying around for them to pick up and read in their time.
  • If you are going to bring up their depression- remember it is about them and not you, listen and show that you are their for them.
  • Encourage them to see a professional-it is not uncommon for people to give reccommendations however what works for one doesn’t for another its important to find the right therapist for them.
  • Take up some of the day to day tasks whilst still encouraging them to keep a routine by simplifying tasks at work and home.
  • Encourage physical activity.
  • Journalling, can highlight patterns and triggers.

Jointly

  • Acceptance- helps the recovary process
  • Learn about depression, personal triggers and what action can be taken
  • Don’t hide it from other family members including childern.  Talk to them about depression!  Childern are far more perceptive than we give them credit for, they will know something is wrong and can easily blame themselves.
  • Joint professional help can bring an understanding of depression.

The Caregiver

  • Professional Help can provide a caregiver with support of their own, living with depression from a caregivers perspective can be frustrating, and it can be very difficult not to express feelings towards a depressed love one without the feeling that you could be making things worse.  It can also help with the constant negativity that is expressed towards them.  Negativity breeds negativity and if you are living in a negative enviroment it is important to be able to process and counselling, even just for support can help.
  • Accept that you cannot help anyone without looking after yourself first, setting boundaries is essential for your own mental wellbeing.
  • Gratitudes is one of my favourite tools to use with clients- think of 10 things that you love about the depressed person.
  • Take time out so that you can cope when the difficult things crop up.   If your constantly caring and feeling unsupported yourself, how can you deal with the difficult things come up?  Taking time out and doing the things that are important to you, meeting friends,  yoga, meditation or anything that allows you to relax and enjoy life.

 

 


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Emotion, Mind and the Physical

Category : Uncategorized

Emotion, mind and the physical play a massive part in our lives, even if we don’t like to admit it!

Emotion, Mind and the Physical

Yesterday I attended the first Super Saturday event (UNOFFICIAL) in the UK. Super Saturdays are quarterly events held across America and Canada by Beachbody coaches; helping to inspire people to make positive changes wihthin their lives; with the added bonus of exercise thrown in.

For those that don’t know, Beachbody is the company behind the exercise programs Insanity, P90X and Brazilian Butt lift!  I have followed their Programs for years, along with following many of the trainers or coaches on social media.  They all truely believe in what they do and  inspire people to train hard and live harder!

The Journey

Heather LaChance is a beachbody coach who at the moment lives in the UK. Yesterday she shared her story and I couldn’t help register the similarities of her story to the counselling process!

Heather spoke about her journey with pure emotion.  Heather registered how by making a choice to sign up to be a coach had not only changed her physical appearance, but her emotional and mental wellbeing  (along the way studying for an MBA).

By signing on to a healthy lifestyle, and with the help of her coach, some self development books, she invested in herself to make a better life!

Yes it may seem very American!  But it is about time we British dropped our stiff upper lip!  I have said it before and I’m sure that I will say it again asking for help is a sign of strengh not weakness.

Yesterday reinforced the fact that EMOTION, MIND AND THE PHYSICAL are all linked!  We all need to work on each aspect not just the one.