Category Archives: Uncategorized

Boundaries

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Boundaries – a line which marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.

Boundaries are an essential part of life.  More than one billion people are active on Facebook and more than 100 million people use Instagram every month.  Posting a variety of images, statuses, comments, following others and generally sharing information with the whole world.

We share a hell of a lot of information about ourselves;  posting things that in hindsight we known we shouldn’t have.   I have watched on FB Exes slate each other,  along with public break ups, heated  arguements, paternity claims, insults and accusations.

 But why have we become a world that we need to share absolutely everything?

One hit on FB and the whole world knows your news; there is no arguements about who knew what first.   Along with  you aren’t face to face, meaning that often we are far more honest posting if something has upset us than we would be if our friend was sat across from us and possibly a part of us want a reaction.

Social Media

I have previously written about social media,  however today I think it is essential to discuss boundaries.   Not only to protect our identities but also our emotional and mental wellbeing.

We often friend people on Facebook that we wouldn’t be friends with in a different situation.  I have FB friends for instance that I have never met,  they are people who I have met in groups that I have shared a connection with, but do I tell them everything about my life?  The answer is NO! why? Boundaries!

Boundaries are essential!

When we think about personal information we  need to think about the forum that we share them with.  On Social Media they are essential because they protect us from people we don’t really know, yes we may have similar taste, beliefs and values.  But can you really trust that they are not using your information for their own personal gain? For instance the whole world knows you are on holiday and your home is empty for two weeks!

I have recieved many messages on my business page always asking for advice on a situation.  I always respond, however what it comes down to nine times out of ten they want free counselling via FB.  However my boundaries are I do not do online counselling, I only offer Skype sessions to existing long standing clients, HOWEVER  I  don’t and will never offer counselling via FB.

Counselling via the messenger service is one step too far. Face to Face contact will always be my main counselling practice;What is discussed in a counselling session is of a sensitive nature and it is essential that a secure location will always play apart into what services I offer and I believe FB messenger is not the forum for sharing intimate personal problems.   The reason is boundaries, I share my inner most secrets with my friends, I may joke, post photos, take the mick out of myself and friends, but would I want the whole world to know my inner most thoughts? NO!  So why would I use a Forum that could possibly put my clients in an even more vunerable state.

Boundaries also apply to life.  Boundaries help us to remain safe!

Boundaries within the counselling setting are their to protect clients psychological harm. Boundaries enable you to experience the therapeutic relationship, a relationship that differs from a one-off conversation with a stranger, or confiding in a friend.  Occasionally clients know that a counsellor is married,  if they have kids, perhaps even holiday destinations,  If we may get asked a direct question  we  may gloss over our personal experience but we will  only so so if we believe it is interest of the client and it never will be specifics.


BIG CHANGE

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Wow Big Change this am!

Yesterday 72% of the population stepped out  and voted in one of the biggest elections of  in my lifetime.   52% voted leave and 48%.

However I believe whichever way the vote had gone CHANGE  inevitable!

At the moment, you can read Facebook and twitter posts reacting to the BREXIT results and on occasions it is getting nasty; may be the fact that the British people voted out is a big mistake and one that we will all have to deal with the consequences,  but may be it’s not.  The fact is it is far to early to know.

At the moment there is a massive amount of fear and what ifs; we do not know what will happen and this is throwing everyone in to turmoil.   The media are stepping in and feeding our fears;  telling us what has happened.   The continuous loop of doom and gloom, reinforces the negativity and reminds me of  our own self talk.

Divorce – an official or legal process to end a marriage

I have just heard a BBC reporter describe Brexit as a ‘Divorce’.  Comparing our exit from the EU to the ending of a relationship is comparatively the best metaphor.   In most  relationship breakdowns there is one who wants to leave and  one that want to stay,  clear divides in friendships, taking of sides, with the added bonus of finger pointing and blame, the list is endless!

Change is going to happen!

Ulimately  change happens,  it can seem catastrophic, only in the long term,  be positive.  I frequently talk to clients about Change,   because ultimately this is why they come for counselling .   Yes it is frightening, yes it may not work, but surely standing still isn’t living? What it comes down to today is how are our government (including the Bank of England) going to respond?

Louise Hay always say it isn’t what has happened its the way we respond to it that causes the problem.


Masks

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Masks are a protective covering that disguises who we really are!

All of us wear Masks and often we have many that we switch for different situations. Using them to protect ourselves from been hurt by friends, family and often ourselves; sometimes knowing what we are doing and other times not, believing that we are the only ones pretending.

Masks are an important part of counselling because often they actually hide who we are; not only from the outside world but also from ourselves. Pretending we are something we are not with a constant facade.

We often see someone and make assumptions!  What they present to the world is who they are, but is it really them? Explaining masks to clients can be difficult, Don’t be fooled helps, including how damaging they can be.  The most important thing is recognising what masks we use.

Don’t be fooled by me!

Don’t be fooled by the face I wear, for I wear a thousand masks, masks that I’m afraid to take off and none of them are me.

Pretending is an art which is second nature to me – but don’t be fooled.

I give the impression that I am secure , sunny and unruffled, within as well as without, that confidence is my name and coolness my game, that the waters calm and I’m in command and that I need no-one.

But don’t believe me. Please.

My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask.

Beneath this lies no complacency. Beneath this dwells the real me in confusion, in fear and aloneness. But I hide this.

I don’t want anyone to know it. I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear of being exposed.  Thats why I frantically create a mask to hide behind, a nonchalant, sophisticated facade to help me pretend, to sheild me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only salvation and I know it – that is if it is followed by acceptance, if it is followed by love;  it us the only thing which will assure me of what I can’t assure myself – that I am worth something.

But I don’t tell you this.  I don’t dare,  I am afraid to – afraid yout glance will not be followed by acceptance, will not be followed by love.  I am afraid that you will think less of me, that you will laugh at me, and your laugh would kill me!

I’m afraid that deep down I’m nothing, that I am no good and that you will see this and reject me.  So I play a game, with a facade of assurance without and a trembling child within.

And so beginnings the parade of Masks.

Charles C Finn.


Cost

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Recently on the Counselling Directory Website a counsellor had a rant about constantly getting asked for concession prices.  I have to say I cringed and generally felt very uncomfortable, however I could see this ladies point of view. Honestly feeling that the subject of Cost is something that perhaps needed addressing.

Although most therapists will have concession rates and/or mates rates concession rates can often devalue the therapy process.  Many people believe that counselling, life coaching, mentoring and many many therapies are expensive, however before you write off counselling as an unnecessary expense I’d like you to read this blog to understand that counselling along with all the other therapies that are avaliable are an investment in health and our future selves.

I will address the elephant in the room to explain the therapists perspective

COST

  • Counsellors and therapists do not do it for the money it is a vocation
  • All therpists will have spent thousands of pounds on their training.  Hoping that  the they will make a differance in someones life.
  • There are costs that they outlay per client, weekly, monthly, yearly which will include Rent, compulsory continual professional development, insurance and governing body fees.
  • Often the price of a therapy session weather it be counselling, accupunture, an aromatherapy massage will include the cost of equipment.  Often most therapists will spend time between sessions researching, attending supervisions, reading and writing notes; therefore whatever you pay also covers those costs and time inbetween sessions that they spend working solely on you.
  • We pay national insurance and tax (along with, often  paying an accountant)
  • There is a point when most therapists are unable to offer concession rates.   Because the amount of people who need/ask for it often puts a counsellor/therapist in a difficult position.  Why?  They have overheads that they have to pay and having too many clients paying a lower rate often means they are working at a huge loss.  Yes they are part of the caring community and they are there to help believe me! However if they are unable to cover costs then they often will have to give up their therapy business.

    TO BE BLUNT FOR A MOMENT!

    If you were asked by your boss to reduce your hourly rate/salary by half with the same personal and professional outgoings would you be able to live at the same standard? As much as I hate to say it, asking for concessions is the same thing!  (and yes maybe I am justifying but just because a price says £40 per hour doesn’t mean that is what the therpist takes home).

Counselling on average costs between £35- £45 per session, that is a lot of money,  I completely understand, however  what  it gives you is far more than the designer bag, latest iPhone, gadget or car.

Feedback from  my clients often says that Counselling has given them:

  • Provides a none judgemental enviroment for you to talk through what is happening
  • Personal growth
  • Personal understanding
  • Increased confidence and self esteem
  • Healthy Relationship
  • Emotional and physical health – including improved level of energy
  • Emotional Stability
  • That you are ‘good enough’ and do ‘matter’
  • You are important to others and ave a voice and people hear what you say
  • You re interesting, involved, included, valued and understood
  • That you  able to trust, be  spontaneous, free, creative, enthusiastic, playful, and curious
  • Be in touch with  feelings and instincts
  • Be positive about life and it’s opportunities and can handle difficult situations and/or people
  • Can come to terms with past traumas
  • Are able to move forward in life
  • And able to meet your own needs

To me the that is priceless!

I believe Counselling is a life time investment, it is not a disposable item.  Before dismissing counselling (or any other therapy that could help you), as expensive think about what you want  to achieve on a personal level in the next 12months?

Be honest about what you can afford and look for therapy options within that budget!  For example acupuncture can often cost £55-£65 per sessions and very rarely will it be just one appointment, however there are community clinics in various locations that are often half the cost.   Along with many colleges and agencies who have students requiring case studies that involve a paying a reduced rate. On occasions therapists may also be looking for case studies for further study.


Shades of Colour

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Many years ago I sat on a train and listened to my family take on my life with gusto. At the time I had made a choice to enjoy myself, putting my needs first and making the choice to stay single!   As many people can imagine my choices were not going down well!  BUT WHY? The phase ”Lisa, the world isn’t black and white” was banded about.   Although I agreed the world is full of shades of colour they were missing my points, I needed to do the things I was doing to protect myself, work out my needs and to make a massive change.

The world is full of shades of colour!

We are all individuals and we need to find our way, making our choices based on what are needs are. We maybe ‘wrong’ we maybe ‘making the biggest mistake of our life’ but that is up to us!  Loved ones often find us changing hard, to especially if  they do not understand or agree with them; often disagreements will happen, where they will do everything in their power to stop the change.

Why? Change for many is a very scary thing, people like things the way they are. Along with the possibility that when someone makes the decision to change it can often highlight the things that we also need to change,  making us feel uncomfortable.

Change is an important part of growth, for instance are you the same person you were when you were at school?  You may say yes, however I want you to think about this before you answer, before you answer!

The important thing I always think about is what is right for you isn’t always right for me! and vice versa.  If we all had the same taste, same thrills, same ambitions, the world would be black and white!  Its imortant to acknowledge that my decisions are right for me, without drama and at the same time recognise that your decisions are yours and right for you.


Toothache

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A few weeks ago I attended a CPD day on marketing, the lovely Deborah and Tracey encourage us to look at awareness day for us to blog about.   So today as I breifly flicked through the February awareness days I came accross National Toothache Day!

Yes Toothache Day!

Toothache Day has seriously got to be a joke, right! NO it exists! The National Day calender are unable to find out who evented the day.  As I sat and chatted to my dental colleagues about a day that none of us ever heard of (considering most of us have worked within the job 20 years and above) we ended up recognising dental cares importance, and how there is a large number of the population who do not attend because of Fear!

Toothache Day relates to the Fear of the dentist, Fear in general relates to counselling!

A massive proportion of the population, have a fear of something, the dentist, public speaking, spiders, heights, flying; the list is endless, some of the appear rational, some of them appear irrational to an observer.

Fear is natural, we are born with it! It is a survivial mechanism that is built within us, however fear becomes a problem if it stops us doing things.

Sue Jeffers Book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway is often a book that I recommend (lend even) to clients.  She encourages people to acknowledge the feeling, take a deep breathe and go with it!


Story Telling

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National Story Telling week starts 30th January until 6th February.

National Story Telling week is about using the oral tradition of storytelling.  Story telling is first way of communicating life experiences and using creative imagination. Taking place in storytelling clubs, theatres, museums, schools, hospitals and care homes a web of stories will be spun with sufficient magic between the breath of the teller and the ear of the listener.

Stories are more than just fairy tales.  They are things to inspire our imagination, connect with our innerchild. Which links in to a connection with counselling.

Story telling doesn’t have to be make believe!

We all have a story to tell about who we are;  joy,  pain,  adventures,  stupidity and triumphpant. Before you think I’m telling you to stand there and tell the world ‘warts and all’ the ins and out of  your life, I’m not!  Counselling is simply a way for you to tell your story.

Counselling provides the time and space for you to be able to tell your story!  In a safe judgement free enviroment.  There may be questions however it is about you! Your feelings and your problems that are having a negative impact on your life.

Story telling is healthy, in the form of off loading, sharing our problems, or with reconnecting with long lost stories from our past, when we think of the stories from our childhood, we reconnected with something, we remember things long forgotton, which happens to be part of Emotional Therapeutic Counselling process.

If you would like to share your story and have thought about counselling please don’t hesitate to contact us

If you would like to know more about story telling events in your area the Society of Storytelling will be able to help.

Interesting enough The Foundation for Emotional Therapeutic Counselling annual conference this year is by Gerry Pyves  a Transactional Analysis Psycotherapist and is on Using Fairy Tales to Access the Unconscious Narrative.


Bliss

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BLISS – What is it?

Bliss is the time of day when the world is silent, very few people are awake, there are no cars going up and down my road.  Its just me curled up on my sofa with a giant mug of coffee listening to the world!

It is 3am in the UK and I’m wide awake!  Most people would be tossing and turning in their beds, me

I’m enjoying my Bliss!

In today’s world most of us chase our tale, with very little time to do the things that we enjoy, let alone to be sit still.   Yes we will read, yes we will watch television and yes we will see friends, however we need to allow ourselves to be still.

You may be sat there thinking she nuts I’m  not getting up at 3am to be still!   I use to fight it, I use to toss, turn, tut, do housework anything that didn’t allow me to think.  It took me along time to accept that for my mind needed to be still.  Now I find that it takes a shorter amount of time and happens with far less frequency. It is the perfect time for me!  Others are  manage to do this on their train journey to work, in their lunch hour.   It is  all about finding the right time for you.

I am no expert in Mindfulness! I truly believe that to process I need time with limited chances of disruption.   My family are happy dreaming, unless its an emergency my phone will not be going off, I am at peace with my thoughts.

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

My Bliss practice will be at its most basic form of mindfulness, however it allows me the time to process anything that I’ve not had time to deal with in the day.  I truly believe that we all need some time no matter how tiny to be in our thoughts, to be still without distraction.

If you are interesting in finding out more about Mindfulness then Wellbeing at the Wishing Well are hosting a 8 week course.


Resolution

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Resolution:

A. firm decision to do something: made a resolution to get more exercise.
B. A course of action determined or decided on: His resolution is to get up early.
The time has come again to set our New Years Resolution, every year thousands of us start the year with a clear intention to adhere to them.  It be to lose weight, give up smoking, exercise more the list is endless; only for us to wander why year after year we make the same one and year in and year out we seem to fail.
Some people get round this by saying their resolution is to not make a any.   Others choose to change theirs to an aim; therefore forgoing resolution title.

So if we cross out the resolution and make our 2016 aim list instead, will we be able to achieve them?

The intention of a resolution can imply that we have to give up something we enjoy.  Weather it be smoking, giving up on the food we love or make drastic changes over night. The objective of an aim list is to list the things you would like to achieve and work out small achievable steps for them to be reached.

To give up smoking becomes: I aim to get healthy, to do this I could stop smoking, I can do this by speaking to my doctor, hypnotherapy,  patches/gum etc.

To lose weight becomes: I aim to get healthy, to do this I could to lose some weight.  I can do this by speaking to my doctor, hypnotherapy, Joining a support work.
Exercise more becomes: I aim to get healthy, to do this I could exercise more.  I can do this by speaking to my doctor, joining a gym/club, buy a Beachbody Program.
To write a book becomes: I aim to write a book, to do this I could take a creative writing course.  I can do this by contacting colleges.
To make positive change becomes: This year I want to make a positive change in my life.  To do this I could find a counsellor to help me work through everything. I can speak to my doctor or contact a local Private Counsellor.
It comes down to what works for you if resolution helps you achieve fab! If you end up beating yourself up year after year because you have be unable to keep your resolution; then try an aims list for 2016.
Wishing you all a fantastic 2o16

Obligation

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Obligation Definition:

A social, legal, or moral requirement, such as a duty, contract, or promise, that compels one to follow or avoid a particular course of action: Are you able to meet your obligations? I have an obligation to attend their wedding.
b. The constraining power of a promise, contract, law, or sense of duty: I felt no obligation to offer my advice.
c. Law A document in which a person binds himself or herself to undertake or refrain from doing a particular act.
d. A debt instrument, such as a loan, mortgage, or bond.

Christmas is a time of joy, right?

For some yes, for many no!  Apart from the increase of stress for many in people in the attempt to make the day perfect, many people are on there own, many people wish they were on the own, and many people go with the motion of force jovility.

The big question is:

HOW MANY OF US ARE DOING THIS OUT OF OBLIGATION?

Christmas demands a lot of people! Christmas parties, after work drinks, family visits, shopping, extra cooking and I wander if we are all honest how many of us are doing this because of obligation.  If you could do exactly what you wanted for the whole of December, would you:

Go to all the parties?

Commit to family obligations?

Be buying of all the presents?

Some people will say if you don’t do what is expected you are Bah Humbug!  But is that really true?  How many of us have ended up in a family argument at Christmas? Is this just stress of the build up? or is it because we are forced to spend time with people who usually avoid?

Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus (even if we are non believers it is a religious day), however it is also important to remember that if we know that striving for perfection, attending every function, work or family related, the added pressure of rushing around buying, dropping off and collecting presents is adding stress why do we forego looking after our needs?

Think about the build up for Christmas! Waiting in endless queues at the check out!  Taking part in forced fun! All you want to do is be by yourself; though in the eyes of the fun forcers, being on your own is just wrong!  But after all it’s your choice and what ever makes you happy IS right!

It is OK to be alone at Christmas if you want to be! it is OK to sit back and let the others play when all you want to do is relax and not participate! It also right to be the life and soul of the party as long as you are not using that attention to mask what is really going on inside!  Instead of doing ‘obligation’ maybe we could all do the Christmas things we want to do! and may be then it will be the perfect Christmas!